About the Trip Leaders

Tuscany, Italy

Gigi Berardi

Gigi Berardi received her B.A. in biology from John Muir College, University of California San Diego and her M.S. and Ph.D. in resources, policy and planning from Cornell University. She holds an M.A. in dance from UCLA.

Gigi’s academic focus is on community vulnerabilities and cultural ecology. Her research and writing includes study and review of food and farm systems, performing arts, and Native American studies and tribal education. For three years, she served as interim director of the Institute for Global and Community Resilience, now the Resilience Institute, at Huxley College and currently serves as Resilient Farms Project co-director. Visit Gigi's departmental profile page for more about her background

From Gigi’s A Cultivated Life:

I am passionate about food – and that means savoring great successes and making a lot of mistakes. Growing up in an Italian home and spending time in other European countries exposed me to many strong food traditions. But I did not limit myself to that small corner of the world - I traveled to Kenya, Mexico, Nicaragua, Jamaica, Thailand, Bali, China, and India. From a culinary perspective, these trips confirmed my omnivore status: I like to eat a little bit of everything, and am grateful for the amazing range of flavors and global cuisines.

Gigi’s blog
Course blog

Email: Gigi.Berardi@wwu.edu


Jim AllawayJim Allaway

Jim Allaway received his B.A. from Carleton College, majoring in philosophy, and his Ph.D. from Cornell University, majoring in natural resources policy and planning. He served in the Peace Corps in Kenya and Somalia for three and a half years as an agricultural and veterinary extension agent, worked as a land use planner for the state of Alaska for five years, did international consulting on natural resources issues – particularly ecotourism and national park planning – in numerous African countries and elsewhere for two decades, and taught a wide variety of environmental studies and science courses at Huxley, serving for two years as academic director of Huxley’s degree program on the Olympic peninsula.

Lately, Jim has been building a house and developing a subsistence croft on one of the San Juan islands, researching agritourismo in Italy, and keeping up his interest in African elephants initiated in his Ph.D. research (most recently with a project in Kenya addressing poaching of elephants).

Email: Jim.Allaway@wwu.edu

Tanzania, Africa

Tim SCharksTim Scharks

Hello! This will be my eighth trip to Tanzania. It never gets old, as I really enjoy showing my traveling companions the best of the best on their journey through a truly remarkable landscape. I lead a Study Abroad for Western students to Tanzania each summer with a focus on globalization and sustainability. My interests in travel and sustainability led me to plan these Global Discovery itineraries in a way that maximizes the experience—truly the ‘trip of a lifetime’—while remaining culturally and environmentally sensitive. 

I started guiding on Mt. Baker and Mt. Shuksan while completing my M.S. in Geography at Western. Since then I’ve traveled the world extensively in search of adventures both high and low, from beach backpacking in Costa Rica to backcountry skiing in Morocco. I’ve led climbing expeditions on four continents, including six successful climbs of Kilimanjaro.

I’m also a dedicated amateur photographer, having taken most of the photos you see advertising this program. If you’re interested, I’m happy to share what I have learned about photographing people, wildlife and landscapes.

A bit more about me: While I live in Seattle now, I’m originally from Bellingham and still work at WWU as Senior Lecturer in geography and environmental studies at Huxley College of the Environment. At home I enjoy spending time with my wonderful family, skiing, and trail running. 

Email: Tim.Scharks@wwu.edu

Page Updated 11.27.2013