Sponsoring Units: Honors Program (Undergraduate Academic Affairs); Program on the Environment; School of Law
Program Dates: August 24 - September 18
This program will satisfy the following Law School, Honors core, or Program on the Environment credits:
|Law B511||5 credits||International Environmental Law Research|
|Honors 391||5 credits||Honors Interdisciplinary (VLPA and I&S)|
|ENVIR 496||5 credits||Advanced Environmental Studies|
- Wednesday, January 15 @ 3:30pm
- Tuesday, February 4 @ 3:30pm
- Tuesday, February 18 @ 3:30pm
About the Program
The program will study institutional arrangements for the management of forest lands and their natural resources and the practical impact of those arrangements on the sustainable preservation of wild places against the background of economic and social pressures for human use and access. The project will be comparative at its core, and it will involve the study of circumstances in the mountain regions of Northern Spain as shaped by national, regional and European Union policies and mandates. Practices and policies elsewhere in Europe, and in the United States will also be highlighted.
A unique component of the program is working in and coming to understand the countryside and mountain landscapes of Northern Spain through the lens of wild lands, wildlife, and fire and water management policy. Course materials and readings will focus on important concepts relevant to forest lands and wild lands management, including (i) ideas of conservation and preservation underlying management choices; (ii) the mobilization of consensus at political and social levels in favor of understandings of landscape that include the idea of protection of natural landscapes; and (iii) case studies in management strategies and their success or failure in producing good prospects for the sustainable protection of natural resource landscapes.
We will emphasize “locality” as a universal phenomenon. That is to say, every landscape is local, and its conflicts and challenges express themselves in local terms. Understanding the universality of locality and also that every natural resource conflict expresses itself in local terms can be a vital understanding for natural resources students.
We will be collaborating and interacting with students and professionals from Leon (with the help of translators) who are also engaged in natural resource management studies. There will be some light open-country hiking and walking on forest trails.
Students will receive 5 credits of either Law B511, Honors 391, or ENVIR 496
Alternative credit options may be available, but must be arranged in advance with your departmental adviser.
Spring 2014 - Preparation for Spain Exploration Seminar Abroad
The orientation process will begin with thorough interviews of prospective students to determine their interest in the program and their capacity, both temperamentally and academically, to participate effectively in a concentrated program that requires full absorption by all participants.
Once selected, all students will meet as a group with the Program Directors on three occasions during Spring Quarter 2014 for foundational lectures and discussion of the curriculum and for a thorough introduction to the experience of being a student at the Leon Center, including (i) issues of health and safety, (ii) the expectations and duties that go along with homestay living arrangements, and (iii) the content of the “social contract” that arises when UW students travel abroad together and must become part of a temporary community.
Once in Spain
Problems in International Environmental Law: Comparative Studies in Forest and Wild Lands Management and Protection
Law B511/Honors 391/ENVIR 496 - 5 credits
The course will study institutional arrangements for the management of forest lands and their natural resources and the practical impact of those arrangements on the sustainable preservation of wild places against the background of economic and social pressures for human use and access. The project will be imperative at its core, and it will involve the study of circumstances in the mountain regions of Northern Spain as shaped by national, regional and European Union policies and mandates. Practices and policies elsewhere in Europe, and in the United States will also be highlighted. We will be working in and coming to understand the countryside and mountain landscapes of Northern Spain through the lens of wild lands, wildlife, and fire and water management policy there. Course materials and readings will focus on important concepts relevant to forest lands and wild lands management, including (i) ideas of conservation and preservation underlying management choices; (ii) the mobilization of consensus at political and social levels in favor of understandings of landscape that include the idea of protection of natural landscapes; and (iii) case studies in management strategies and their success or failure in producing good prospects for the sustainable protection of natural resource landscapes. A chief goal of our project will be to emphasize that "locality" is a universal phenomenon. That is to say, every landscape is local, and its conflicts and challenges express themselves in local terms. Understanding the universality of locality and also that every natural resource conflict expresses itself in local terms can be a vital understanding for natural resources students.
In addition to the core course, students will participate in conversations, interviews, and exchanges of ideas with researchers, community spokespersons, and ordinary rural farmers, shepherds and woodsmen, learning to apply the knowledge and principles taught earlier in the course, and gaining an understanding of a particular natural resource landscape, its character, and its challenges. This opportunity to observe and participate is very special and it will offer a hard-to-obtain and concrete experience of contemporary Spanish society with lessons of wide application.
Gregory Hicks, Professor of Law
Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development
Professor Hicks has travelled widely in Spain and has a strong affinity for Spanish culture and society. He speaks, reads, and writes Spanish fluently, and he led a UW Summer Term A program in 2012 at the Leon Center focused on water rights and water justice in rural Spain. He spent part of the time in Leon in Summer 2012 exploring the possibilities for the present proposal, meeting with faculty at the University of Leon. He is an authority on Spanish and Mexican irrigation institutions in the American Southwest and their role in shaping the agricultural landscapes and the cultures of water use in that region of the U.S. He has presented papers and research in Spanish on water law and institutions and their role in society at academic and NGO conferences in Spain (2006), Mexico (2005) and Peru (2009, 2010).
Professor Hicks was the project leader in Summer Term A 2012 for a course of study on water rights and water justices based at the Leon Center. He was also project leading in Winter Quarter 2004 for UW’s Auroville Program in Sustainability, Community and International Cooperation in Tamil Nadu, India.
The program will collaborate with the University of Washington León Center as well as the University of León. Collaborations will include meetings and sessions with University of León students and faculty and also with natural resource managers from the provinces of León, Asturias, and Oviedo, so that our study will offer rich opportunities for exchanges of ideas with Spanish partners.
Program cost is approximately $3,675 per student (this amount includes tuition, lodging, classroom and any lab fees, some group meals, admission to all museums and exhibits, excursions, partial ground transportation, and any fees). Course fee does not include Study Abroad fee ($300), airfare ($1,000-$1,600 round trip, depending on when and where you buy your ticket), food (about $30-50 per day), and personal spending money.
Students may use their regular financial aid and scholarship funds for study abroad. The exception is any scholarship in the form of a tuition waiver. Tuition waivers cannot be used to pay study abroad program fees. Check with the Office of Student Financial Aid in Schmitz Hall for more information.
Funding opportunities are available through the Global Opportunities Program (Go! and Fritz Scholarships). The Office of International Programs and Exchanges maintains a funding opportunities list.
For information on the Guaranteed Education Tuition Program visit:
GET Program Information
and for Financial Aid Questions:
Financial Aid Information
Honors Program students may also apply for any of the Honors Program Scholarships for Continuing Students: http://depts.washington.edu/uwhonors/scholarships/current/
The Study Abroad Refund Policy details out the process for withdrawal.
The students' primary housing will be with homestay families, who will provide students with a room of their own and 3 meals a day. No more than one native English-speaking student will be placed in a home. Students will fill out a form indicating their preference of type of family as well as any allergies or dietary restrictions.
While doing fieldwork in the countryside, student housing will be in hotels or pensions.
Madrid is easily accessible by all major airlines. Participants are responsible for making their own travel arrangements to Madrid, then travel by train to León. Travel to León is 2.5 hours by rapid train and easily available from the main train stations in Madrid. You may wish to explore budget fares offered on discount search websites as well as STA and Council Travel Offices in Seattle.
Students and instructors will go on several day-excursions (Asturias and Oviedo Provinces in Spain). Students will also have opportunities to travel on their own for two or three day-jaunts. Independent travel is not covered by the program fee. Field trips will involve a series of one-, or at most, two-day excursions from the city of León, and the work done will consist of meetings with land and resource managers, with local officials, and with farmers and pastoralists in the landscapes we are studying.
All participants must have a passport valid for the duration of the program. It may take as long as six weeks to obtain or renew a passport.
We are seeking an inter-disciplinary mix of students with strong interests in environmental studies and a particular interest in the impact of culture and social and political institutions on the achievement of conservation goals. Advanced undergraduate students interested in environmental studies would be as well suited for the course as graduate and professional students from such disciplines as law, social geography, and any of the natural resources management disciplines. Although not a requirement, this course might be of special interest for undergraduate and graduate students whose thesis or capstone work is focused on problems of natural resource conservation and the social construction of landscape.
We will be seeking and giving preference to students with a demonstrated interest, evident in their course work, in the study of problems arising from the governance and management of natural resource landscapes and ecosystems, and with an interest in investigating the social context of resource and landscape management. We will also be interviewing for qualities that indicate that students are prepared to participate fully in the opportunities offered by a program in Spain. These include evidence of an aptitude for cross-cultural studies and for working cooperatively in a collaborative environment in a foreign country. While Spanish language skills are desirable, they are not essential. It is essential that students be open to cross-cultural contacts.
Early applications are encouraged as we will be accepting applicants on a rolling basis.
For more information
Gregory Hicks, Program Director
Julie Villegas, Honors Program International Programs Lead