2010-11 Catalog

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Offering Description

Trek the Caucasus Mountains and Countries

Summer quarter

Faculty: Robert Smurr Russian history, environmental history

Fields of Study: environmental studies

Summer: CRN (Credit) Level 40175 (8) First Session  Signature Required Students must meet with faculty to get faculty approval before registration.  

Credits: 8(Su)

Class Standing: Freshmen - Senior

Offered During: Day, Evening and Weekend

Prerequisites: Students must be physically fit, preferably with backpacking experience.


This course is designed for particularly inquisitive and adventurous students who wish to explore the history, culture, politics, and landscapes of the Caucasus region during a physically demanding, four-week, foreign trek. Our early travels will take us to many ancient cultural sites in the countries of Armenia and Georgia. We spend the final few weeks of the program backpacking through two distinct areas of Georgia’s isolated high alpine regions that border Russia and Chechnya, but we also conclude the trip with a few relaxing days on the shores of the stunning Black Sea. Course readings will focus on Caucasian national histories, current political concerns, and the development of outdoor leadership skills. Students who participate in this unique program must be intellectually and emotionally mature, in top physical condition, and prepared to endure numerous physical hardships (e.g., rain, snow, mud, wind, high altitude hiking [maximum 11,000’], long, bumpy, dusty roads, foreign cultures). Rob Smurr has nearly two decades of experience leading commercial and student trips to this region.

Depending on student interest and emphasis, credit can be given in the following disciplines: environmental studies, history, political science, Russian and Eurasian studies, art (photography, drawing), art history, writing, and adventure travel.

Maximum Enrollment: 16

Advertised Schedule: Travel abroad July 1-28.

Required Fees: $3,265 maximum fee for all foreign travel excluding international airfare to Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia. Actual fee will likely be lower depending on the number of registered students.

Study Abroad: Backpacking, hiking, and remote travel in Armenia and Georgia.  Arrival in Tbilisi, Georgia NO LATER than July 1. Departure from Tbilisi NO EARLIER than July 28.  Students need to be experienced in outdoor camping and/or be willing to endure and even embrace unexpected and unpredictable hardships.  A proper appreciation of and tolerance for distinct foreign cultures is considered mandatory.

Preparatory for studies or careers in: eco-tourism, adventure travel, environmental history, cultural studies

Campus Location: Olympia

Online Learning: No Required Online Learning

Books: www.tescbookstore.com