Skip to Navigation | Skip to Content

Academics: Interim

Interim courses 2017

January 2017

GEOG Minecraft to Marauder's Map: Mapping Your World
Instructor: J. Van Horn.
DCM CORE Course - On Campus

From the open infinite worlds of Minecraft to the personal scale of surveillance found in Harry Potter's Marauder's map, we will explore the connections of maps with Christian faith. Students will explore mapping of old (those made with pen's & paper) to new cartographies (those made with bits & bytes) in an effort to understand at various geographic scales and connections the landscape of poverty, terrorism, politics, health, water scarcity, population growth, surveillance & slavery, Christian missions, urban development, and refugees challenges. Activities engage students in paper mapping, geospatial technology mapping, and the popular game of Minecraft. No previous mapping or gaming experience required. This is a DCM course for first-year students.

GEOL Hawaii: Life on a Volcanic Archipelago
Instructor: M. Bjelland and G. Van Kooten.
Off-campus in Hawaii

This course explores the natural history and diverse cultural landscapes of Hawaii, Maui, Kauai, and Oahu, the four main islands of the Hawaiian archipelago. The course begins at Kilauea volcano on Hawaii where we view on-going eruptions and investigate fresh lava flows and recent volcanic features. On Hawaii and Maui, students observe a wide range of climate zones, biomes ranging from tropical rainforest to Mediterranean to sub-alpine, and sites of cultural significance for the original Polynesian inhabitants of the islands. The trip progresses to progressively older volcanoes at Maui and finally to Kauai where we see the inner geometry of a deeply eroded volcano and investigate the plumbing beneath the volcanic edifice. Students investigate the logistical and environmental challenges of living on a remote, volcanic island chain including securing food, energy, and freshwater resources. We visit farms, wind farms, and a geothermal energy generation plant. On Hawai’i, Maui, and Kauai we observe rural landscapes and small towns associated with the sugar plantation economy and tourist industry while on Oahu we observe landscapes shaped by military development, urbanization, and global tourist flows. Instruction will take place on daily field trips and hikes to sites of geological, oceanographic, ecological, and cultural significance. Course dates: January 2017 in Hawaii. Cost, $3,699. CCE credit.

ENGR Dutch Landscapes
Instructor: R. hoeksema and J. Skillen
Off-campus in The Netherlands

Few countries exist where human activities have exerted a greater influence in the shaping of the land than the Netherlands. With daily field excursions, students will learn about this country’s richly varied and historically layered cultural landscapes. Many of the excursions will focus on land reclamation, water management, and environmental preservation technologies which have been used over many centuries. These technologies are each an important part of understanding the complex interrelationships between society, technology and land. Students will also learn about Dutch society and culture via readings, excursions and direct engagement with people of this country.
Students stay in a group accommodation facility about 10 miles north of Amsterdam. The primary mode of instruction is field excursions to locations throughout the country. These daily trips are guided by briefings the night before, interpretation en route, presentation made by local experts, and study sheet assignments. Course assessment is based on the study sheet assignments. Additionally, each student spends part of one weekend with a Dutch family.
Course dates: January 3 to 27. Integrated through this period are 7 open days for personal travel. Cost: $3590. Prerequisites: none. CCE integral core credit

MAY 2017

ENST Faith & Nature in the Range of Light
Instructor: J. Skillen and R. Rooks
DCM CORE Course off-campus in Yosemite National Park

John Muir once wrote that the Sierra Nevada Mountains, often referred to as the range of light, open a thousand windows onto God. They also open a thousand questions about the Christian task of creation care. This DCM provides students with an introduction to Christian environmental stewardship and leadership. It starts in Michigan with lecture and discussion as well as with certification in Wilderness First Aid. The class then travels to Yosemite National Park and the broader Sierra Nevada range to apply Christian environmental thought to the complex challenges of land and resource management as well as to hone their skills in wilderness adventure and recreational leadership. Cost: $1662. DCM Core.

GEOL 153 Big Sky Geology: Montana
Instructors: R. Sparks
Off-campus in Montana

Big Sky Geology: Montana (field version of on-campus Geol 151) This Interim in May course in Physical Geology is based in SW Montana, a location with a wide variety of superb geologic exposures and landscapes. This course fulfills the Physical World core and emphasizes outdoor, field-based investigation and learning. Students will be introduced to the breadth of geological study leading to responsible Christian appreciation and stewardship of the Earth. Topics include rocks and minerals, volcanoes, weathering, rivers and streams, geologic time, plate tectonics, natural resources and geologic hazards. Field activities are an important part of the course, and afternoon field work most days complements morning lecture and lab activities. Included among the many visited localities are Butte, Yellowstone National Park and Craters of the Moon National Monument. As a graded course, quizzes and exams will cover lecture, lab and text. Students will be required to complete lab assignments, make an identified rock and mineral collection, and maintain a written field log. NOTE: This 2-week Interim in May course begins immediately after spring commencement, and includes 4 on-campus, Thursday evening sessions (6-8pm) in April. 2017 dates are May 22 - June 5, 2017. Fee $1350

See more information about the Big Sky Geology interim course.

GEOL 112 Earth Science for Educators
Instructors: Ken Bergwerff
Off-campus in Montana

May interim, alternate, odd years. An Introductory study of physical systems and historical and contemporary processes that shape the surface of Earth. Topics include 1) the physical nature of Earth's surface based on composition of earth materials and the forces that create landforms, 2) weather and climatic systems and their effect on the global distribution of soils and ecological communities, 3) the Earth/sun/moon system. Understanding of Earth Systems is applied to concepts of stewardship, resource use, and energy consumption. Laboratory, multiple field trips. Not open to students who have completed Geology 151 or Geography 120. This course is designed for students in the education program. Cost: $1503.


Interim courses 2016


GEOL 153 Big Sky Geology: Montana
Instructors: Ken Bergwerff

(MAY)(4 semester hours). This course in geology is based in southwest Montana. Southwest Montana offers superb field exposures and is within driving distance of outstanding geological localities including Yellowstone National Park and Craters of the Moon National Monument. This course fulfills the physical science core requirement, and emphasizes outdoor, field-based investigation and learning. Students will be introduced to the breadth of geological study leading to responsible Christian appreciation and stewardship of Earth, including rocks and minerals, landforms and surficial processes, geological hazards, and natural resources. Field activities are an important part of each day and the field experience will complement morning lecture and lab activities. As a graded course, exams will cover lecture and text, and students will be required to complete lab assignments, construct a written field log, and engage in all field activities. Not open to students who have completed Geology/Geography 120, Geology 151or Geology 112. NOTE:  This 2-week Interim in May course begins immediately after spring commencement, and includes 4 on-campus, Wednesday evening sessions (6-8pm) in April.  Course dates: May 23 - June 6.  Fee $1300. Off campus.

See more information about the Big Sky Geology interim course.

GEOG W40 The Geography of Terrorism.
Instructor: J. Van Horn.

This course introduces students to terrorism from a geographic perspective. The course is formatted to provide both foundational theory and practical skills as a lecture and lab. Lectures and readings will include a variety of topics on terrorism, including investigation of definitions of terrorism, various historical and modern forms of terrorism, critical theory, issues of Christian faith in relation to terrorism, Homeland Security, and the state-of-the art of terrorism research from a geographic perspective. Laboratory work will be conducted using Geographic Information System (GIS) technology. Lab work will explore the spatial analysis and mapping of multiple forms of terrorism, vulnerability and threat analysis, border issues, privacy, international relations, and weapons of mass destruction. This course may fulfill an elective in the Geography major or minor.  8:30 a.m. to noon.

IDIS W42 In Search of Clean Water in Ethiopia.
Instructors: J. Bascom, D. Wunder.

This course travels to Ethiopia.  Water is our primary focus.  We explore its complexities in the context of an increased population, climate change, land degradation, economic development, cultural change (including that by the Christian church) and the efforts of non-governmental agencies.  The main portion of the course occurs in South Gondar.  The overland trip crosses a variety of geographical and cultural terrains.  Students make an assessment of technical efforts to secure water – boreholes, traditional wells, pan dams, rehabilitated dams, and capped springs – as well as consider future alternatives.  Students conduct a social survey so as to understand the cultural, economic, health and spiritual issues associated with water and land use as well as the perception and reception to water projects.     In the capital city of Addis Ababa, students celebrate Ethiopian Christmas with host families. Students have first-hand exposure to Ethiopian culture, including a home stay in a rural community. The trip includes the 2nd largest waterfall in Africa, the historical attraction of Lalibella to witness the celebration of Timket (the 2nd most important celebration of the year in Ethiopia) and climbs to cave churches in Gerhalta. Students are personally challenged as the complex realities of Ethiopia are explored. Briefings occur at the US Embassy and a variety of water projects. This course may fulfill an elective in the Engineering and Geography majors as well as for majors and minors in International Development Studies.  Course dates: January 6-26.  Fee: $3761.    Off campus.

Past interims

Ethiopia: Communities of Hope - an interdisciplinary course co-taught by Johnathan Bascom.

Leadership, Geography and Culture in Kenya
- an interdisciplinary course taught by Johnathan Bascom in collaboration with Messiah College

Who Owns the West? An Introduction to Federal Land and Resource Management - an interdisciplinary course taught by James Skillen.

Earth Science for Educators - offered in odd-numbered years in Montana (May interim); a course specifically designed for future teachers, taught by Ken Bergwerff.

Dutch Landscapes - an interdisciplinary course taught by Henk Aay and Bob Hoeksema