• Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior
• Students are required to enroll in a one credit course the spring semester prior to the study away program.  Discussions and readings during this class will introduce students to the culture, place, and landscapes of the Bad River Watershed.
• 2.0 cumulative GPA
• Language Pre-requisite: None
• Open to UW-Madison degree-seeking students only
• Good academic and disciplinary standing


American Indian Studies, Public and Environmental Health

Classroom Language




Program Duration

Summer: Mid-May - Early June

Application Deadline(s)

TermApplication Deadline
Summer 2018  12/1/2017
Extended Deadline: 2/19/2018

Future durations will be posted at a later date.

Questions about this program?
Contact a Peer Advisor!

United States, Ashland County (Wisconsin)
UW Exploring Ecology, Culture, and Health in the Wisconsin Lake Superior Basin

Overview | Academics | Cost | Location | Life Away | Student Voices | Apply

The UW Exploring Ecology, Culture, and Health in the Bad River Watershed program is offered by the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) in partnership with IAP.

This two-week program allows UW-Madison undergraduate students to connect with Bad River Ojibwe community members and to learn about indigenous physical, mental, spiritual, and environmental health from Bad River culture keepers.

You will learn from Ojibwe elders about traditional food systems of the Anishinaabe people and about health disparities that exist between indigenous and non-indigenous populations. The program will also explore cultural health as promoted through the preservation of traditional ceremonies, songs, dances, and repatriation of cultural artifacts. Additional topics include environmental health and a perceived threat to the community’s wild rice beds from extraction industries.

This program is approved as a field experience for the Global Health Certificate.

Learning Objectives

We have overall Goals and Expectations for Study Abroad Participants, covering the personal, academic and professional aspects of study abroad. Additionally on this program, you can:
  • Gain an understanding of rural community life and culture in the Bad River Watershed of northern Wisconsin

  • Explore how health is viewed from community members’ perspectives, and the importance of working through a variety of disciplines to contribute to sustainable community development.

  • Differentiate between food security, food sovereignty, and food systems, and describe how each relates to public health and community empowerment in the Bad River Watershed.

  • Develop an understanding about current environmental issues in the Bad River Watershed (e.g., climate change, CAFO proposals, mining and water quality, etc.), considering both how ecosystem health impacts humans and how humans affect the health of the ecosystem, with a focus on indigenous knowledge of the ecosystem.

  • Engage in service learning with community group and meet with community and government representatives (tribal and non-tribal) to understand measures being taken to address local health concerns.

  • Practice respectful and mutual engagement with indigenous leaders and community members during the field course.