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2020 Term III Courses

This course provides an introduction to ecological concepts as students observe and sample plants and animals in terrestrial and marine environments. The class is based at the Gerace Research Centre on San Salvador Island, where Christopher Columbus landed in the New World. Students snorkel over coral reefs, observe rare rock iguana, explore karst caves, and hike through sub-tropical habitats as they prepare their independent field research projects.

Dr. Daniel Kjar (
Dr. Betsy Smith (

This course is an introduction to the relationship between the plants, animals, and ecosystems of Australia as they have influenced the art, culture, and history of the indigenous people living there. The class will spend 4 weeks in Australia experiencing the society, economy, culture and landscape of Sydney, Brisbane, Cairns, and Alice Springs. Students hike UNESCO World Heritage rainforests, snorkel the Great Barrier Reef, observe marsupials, and camp in the desert near the famous Uluru rock formation.

Dr. Lynn Gillie (
Dr. Mariam Khawar (

This travel course in Iceland begins with the cultural legacy of Viking adventurers and ends with a first-hand look at community institutions today. The class will study Norse mythology (Odin, Thor, Freya) and folklore (trolls, elves, and runes) as we travel along North Iceland to Akureyri and Húsavík. The course will then turn to contemporary Icelandic culture: global leadership in gender equality, ecological sustainability, and participatory democracy. Students will meet with Icelandic community leaders including elected officials, entrepreneurs, and artists; experience Reykjavík's contemporary arts scene; and visit volcanos, lava beaches, hot springs, canyons, and glaciers.

Dr. Alexa Yesukevich (

This course introduces the students to the ancient and contemporary culture and history of Central America, focusing on the Aztec and Mayan cultures of Mexico, Belize and Guatemala. The class will spend one week in the classroom studying the ancient peoples and cultures of Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala followed by a two to three-week exploration of Mexico, Belize and Guatemala. Highlights include the temples of Teotihuacan, Monte Alban, Chichén Itzá, Palenque and Tikal as well as the Anthropology Museum in Mexico City, Oaxaca, Palenque, Merida, and Antigua.

Dr. Heidi Dierckx (

This course is an introduction to classic English literature, uniting traditional classroom-based work with traveling to sites in England associated with William Shakespeare, Jane Austen and the Brontës. Students will tour Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, attend a performance and even visit his birthplace in Stratford. They will walk the Yorkshire moors made famous by the Brontës, especially in Wuthering Heights, and they will also experience the palatial beauty of Regency-era architecture in Bath, where Austen lived and situated two of her novels. The full two-week itinerary includes extensive sightseeing in London as well as day trips to Oxford, Cambridge, and Stonehenge.

Dr. Mitch Lewis (

Southern and Northern regions of Ireland are studied and visited in this course. The peoples of Ireland broke from the British in 1801 through an “Act of Union” to establish their own parliament to settle political, social, religious, and economic struggles. The course presents a brief but varied look at issues that shaped modern Ireland and the Irish people's progress. We explore 12 different cities and various areas including multiple castles, The Rope Bridge challenge, Giants Causeway, Dover Cliffs, Fairy gardens, Titanic and Peoples museums, The Barren's and Viking past. Students participate in city tours, hikes, bike riding, shopping and enjoying the extensive scenery on the Green Isle.

Dr. Christine Bezotte (

In 2008, Ecuador adopted a new constitution that recognizes the rights of Pachamama (Mother Earth) and seeks to promote a life in harmony with nature while caring for its biodiversity, its natural resources, and its biosphere. Ecuador also embraces its cultural diversity—a community composed of indigenous American, European, African, and Asian heritages—through self-identifying as a “pluricultural” and “plurinational” state. This course examines the tensions and possibilities invoked by these revolutionary changes in Ecuador's democracy. Students will spend 3 weeks in Ecuador, living with host families, exploring local culture, and studying Spanish (at any level of experience).

Dr. Lauren Shaw (
Dr. Doc Billingsley (

This course is a study of the flora and fauna of the Kenai Peninsula, and students are exposed to Alaskan culture and society. The focus will be on Alaskan ecology, wildlife conservation, and environmental/social issues. Students spend 2 weeks in Alaska hiking to glaciers, sea kayaking, dog sledding, visiting a wildlife refuge, and whale watching.

Dr. Corey Stilts (
Dr. Krista Barzen-Hanson (