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Academics: Interim

Interim courses 2015

ENST W40 The Changing Great Lakes
Instructors: R. Stearley

This course will review the geography and geology of the North American Great Lakes region; the ecology and biota of its waters; native terrestrial biomes; aboriginal human inhabitants; the history of natural resource exploitation during the past 400 years, including logging, mining, and fisheries; and recent threats caused by shoreline and canal engineering, pollution and introduced non-native species. The course will consistently rely on good background in high-school biology and chemistry. A college course in biology and/or geology would be helpful. This course may fulfill an elective in the Environmental Studies and Geography major and minor. R. Stearley. 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

ENST 395 Seminar in Environmental Studies
Instructors: J. Skillen

This course aims to develop a Christian philosophy of the environment and environmental management.  Issues, problems, and controversies in environmental ethics are explored.  Environmental thought is explored historically, through the perspectives of contemporary environmental movements, and finally from a Reformed, Christian perspective.  These topics are studied in a seminar format with extensive readings, student reports, and discussion.  Prerequisites:  Environmental Studies 210 and 302 or permission of the instructor. This course fulfills the Integrative Studies core requirement. Course dates:  January 7 - 27.  Fee: $1490.  J. Skillen. Off campus.

GEOL W40 Hawaii: Volcanoes in the Sea
Instructors: G. Van Kooten, M. Bjelland

This course explores the natural and cultural history of the four major islands of the Hawaiian archipelago: Hawaii, Maui, Kauai, and Oahu.  Hawaii is the best location in the world to study volcanoes and supports a fragile, tropical ecosystem.  The course examines the active and extinct volcanoes and other geologic features of the islands.  Students investigate Hawaii's marine (reef) environment, the diverse land ecology, and the human history of settlement and development of the islands.  Students will view ongoing eruptions, if possible, and hike to study fresh lava flows and associated volcanic features.  Instruction will take place on daily field trips to significant geological, oceanographic, ecological, cultural, and geographic sites.  Daily activities include light to moderate hiking and occasional snorkeling.  In rainy weather, hiking can be strenuous.  Each student is responsible for reading the assigned history of Hawaii and discussing an aspect of the Hawaiian Islands or culture in an on-site class presentation.  This course may fulfill an elective in the Geology, Geography, and Environmental Studies programs.  Optional CCE credit is available. Course dates:  January 7 - 27.  Fee: $3746. Off campus.

GEOL 112 Earth Science for Educators: Montana
Instructors: K. Bergwerff

(MAY) (4 semester hours). 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, and 3) the Earth/sun/moon system. Understanding of Earth systems is applied to concepts of stewardship, resources use, and energy consumption. Laboratory, multiple field trips. Not open to students who have completed Geology 151 or Geography/Geology 120. This course is designed for students in the education program.  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.  Course dates: May 25 - June 8.  Fee $1300. Off campus.

GEOL 153 Big Sky Geology: Montana
Instructors: G. Van Kooten

(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 choose a special field project. 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, Thursday evening sessions (6-8pm) in April.  Course dates: May 25 - June 8.  Fee $1300. Off campus.

See more information about the Big Sky Geology interim course.

IDIS W43 Dutch Landscapes
Instructors: H. De Vries, R. Hoeksema

Few countries exist where human activities have exerted 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 important for understanding the complex interrelationships between society, technology and land.  Students will also learn about Dutch society and culture via visits to museums, churches, and political institutions as well as readings 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 excursion 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.  Additionally, each student spends part of one weekend with a Dutch family.   This course may fulfill an elective in the Geography, Environmental Studies, Dutch and Engineering programs.  This course will fulfill the CCE requirement.  Course dates: January 6-30 integrated through this period are 7 open days for personal travel. Fee: $3666. 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