The application deadline for GEOG 347 (the only Fall 2015 Travel-Learning course) has passed. All other courses will be offered in Spring 2016, and the application period will be during September 2015, with the precise dates yet to be determined. They will be announced in the OWU Daily and via campus fliers.

The University covers half the cost of airfare (or ground transportation for some domestic trips), meals, and lodging, while the student is responsible for the remaining balance plus additional costs including but not limited to required vaccinations and medical screenings, airport transportation, a portion of the cost of faculty travel, and insurance.

BOMI/ZOOL 255 – Tropical Biology

Dr. Ramon Carreno, Dept. of Botany-Microbiology
Dr. David Johnson, Dept. of Zoology
Travel Component: Costa Rica during Spring Break

This honors course examines the biodiversity and ecology of tropical ecosystems of the world, examining evolutionary processes that account for the remarkable diversity of the tropics through reading and discussion of the research literature. The course field trip to Costa Rica at Spring Break constitutes the laboratory portion of the course and includes student-designed projects. Each student prepares and presents a research report upon return to campus. Students participating in the OWU Honors Program will receive priority for enrollment, but all interested students are invited and encouraged to apply. You do not need to be a science major to take the course, although one previous college-level biology or geology course would enhance your understanding.

Capabilities statement: This course stresses both independent and collaborative student work before, during, and after the travel experience. Fieldwork in Costa Rica may be strenuous, involving hiking, some of it at higher elevations. You must carry your own luggage and any equipment you bring for carrying out your field project. Yellow fever vaccination and anti-malaria medication are NOT required, but students should consult with a physician, travel-health service, or the Centers for Disease Control website to determine their own individual medication/immunization needs. (Is your tetanus shot up to date, for example?) Speaking Spanish is not required, but is helpful with accomplishing many small tasks and enriches the overall experience. 

CHEM 261 – Chemistry and Art

Dr. Katie Hervert, Dept. of Chemistry
Travel Component: Italy in May (2 weeks)

This course offers students an opportunity to blend their knowledge of chemistry with the beauty of the art and architecture found in Italy. The diverse properties and the behavior of the colors of natural dyes, oils, and materials as well as many other phenomena will be discussed and examined through the eyes of a chemist in Venice, Florence and Rome. Students will see how acid rain has impacted historical stone and metal sculptures throughout these cities. Their acid/base knowledge will be drawn upon in examination of the beautiful fresco restoration projects in Florence. A visit to Pompeii and Herculaneum will prompt students to discuss the mechanism of paint pigment degradation and the impact of volcanic plumes and pyroclastic flow in that region.  Students will see how chemistry plays a vital role in the creation, preservation, restoration, destruction, forgery detection and analysis of the many works of art throughout Italy.

Capabilities Statement: This course involves the examination of various structural, architectural, and artistic works in buildings that are not always air conditioned, equipped with elevators, or modernized. At times rigorous walking and climbing will be required and it will be expected that the group will maintain a reasonable pace. Students will need to be in good physical shape and able to carry their own luggage at the required times (i.e. transferring trains, flight connections, getting on and off subways, etc). On most days, good walking shoes (i.e. not plastic flip flops) should be worn, and on some occasions modest clothing will be required (shoulders covered, no shorts or hats, etc.). Respectful and reverent behavior will also be appreciated at all times, but especially in religious places. It will be hot and humid in many of the older buildings, so students should dress appropriately (wicking material, no heavy garments, etc.).

CHIN 201 – Meet Taiwan: The Modern and the Traditional

Dr. Ching-Hsuan Wu, Dept. of Modern Foreign Languages
Travel Component: Taiwan in May (2 weeks)

This course is an optional 0.25-unit enrichment experience​ and has a pre- or co-requisite of CHIN 111​. Prior to the trip, students who are enrolled in this travel component will attend five, two-hour long meetings. During these class meetings, the students will receive intensive training to reinforce their Chinese speaking and listening skills and discuss Chinese culture and travel-related questions. ​During the trip, the students will visit two different universities and participate in four three-hour long Chinese conversation seminars, where the students can interact with local professors and students. The conversation seminars will be conducted in Chinese, which will give students ample opportunity to practice their Chinese skills in a structured classroom setting with native speakers. We will visit four major cities in Taiwan, where the students can meet local people, practice their speaking skills in an authentic context, and immerse themselves in the regional cultures in which they can see both modern and traditional sides of Taiwan. 

Capabilities Statement: Students will be expected to carry their luggage with them to and from hotels and airports. We will utilize various forms of public transportation, and engage in guided and unguided tours of facilities in which some moderate walking will be involved, including the need to use stairs. Reasonable accommodations will be made for students who require them.​ Long-sleeve shirts and long pants are recommended for prevention of mosquito bites. ​There might be some optional activities, such as swimming and bike riding.

ENG 300.8 – Reading and Writing about Place: Southern Louisiana

Dr. Lynette Carpenter, Dept. of English
Travel Component: New Orleans and Lafayette, Louisiana during Spring Break

Location, location, location: the goal of this course is to consider the primacy of place in a writer’s imagination, and to introduce students to a multidisciplinary, and therefore multidimensional, perspective on place. Southern Louisiana’s geography and history have drawn a diverse population of residents, and the richness of their stories has in turn drawn numerous writers and filmmakers. In fact, it’s difficult for a writer to walk the streets of New Orleans or the banks of the Mississippi River or Bayou Teche without feeling the pull of story.  This course will examine some of the narratives inspired by this unique landscape and its inhabitants, and ask students to make their own contributions to this literature, as well as to apply the perspective they’ve gained to writing about places that are special to them. The course will include travel to New Orleans and Lafayette, LA, over Spring Break in the company of Dr. Nancy Gamso’s music students and Dr. Barbara Terzian’s history students.

Capabilities Statement: Travel will involve extensive walking, mostly on city streets, and the use of some public transportation (buses and streetcars). Students will need to carry their own luggage.

GEOG 347 – Environmental Alteration

Drs. Nathan Amador and John Krygier, Dept. of Geology-Geography
Travel Component: Costa Rica in January (11 days)

Global environmental change is among the most important of issues of this century and a core component of this course. The primary objective of Environmental Alteration is to explore the relationship between the human and environmental systems at local to global scales. In this course, we will learn how to collect environmental data in Delaware, Ohio (Fall 2015) and coastal Costa Rica (January 2016) and understand how these data relate to regional and global climate and environmental change. We will be collaborating with an OWU alumna, Amy Work ’04, and her community geography organization, Geoporter, in Bahia Ballena-Uvita. This group works with local citizens in a developing ecotourism region. Types of data that will be collected and analyzed include weather station readings, drone aerial imagery, ecological assessment of soil moisture and temperature, and stream flow and water quality. We will also participate in whale monitoring. During the trip, we will visit Arenal National Park, Marino Ballena National Park, and Bahia Ballena-Uvita (a small coastal town), and partake in activities such as eco-surfing and visiting whale conservation and mangrove conservation sites.

Capabilities Statement: This travel course will include several days of hiking in warm, humid conditions, sometimes on steep terrain. It will also include climbing in and out of boats and there may be the potential for swimming. There may be some moderate-to-long bus rides on unpaved roads, so beware of any car-sickness issues. We will be collecting in-situ data, so be prepared to walk in streams, or areas of mud or dirt. As we will be moving through several locations, you must be able to transport your own luggage.

HIST 300.4 – New Orleans and its Environs in U.S. History

Dr. Barbara Terzian, Dept. of History
Travel Component: New Orleans and Lafayette, Louisiana during Spring Break

All students enrolled in this history course will travel to New Orleans and to Lafayette, LA (“Cajun” country) with students from two other American Landscape Course Connection courses: Dr. Nancy Gamso’s music class focusing on regional music traditions and Dr. Lynette Carpenter’s English class focusing on the region’s literature. During the semester, we will analyze the racial, ethnic, cultural, political, and legal history of New Orleans and the nearby Bayou country from its 17th- & 18th-century French and Spanish colonial history through the on-going rebuilding after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. We will trace its colonial legacy of multi-culturalism that created a distinctive ethnic and racial history, producing a large community of free people of color. In the 19th century under U.S. control, we will consider its role in the War of 1812, the effect of the U.S.-imposed more rigid racial system, and the region’s significance in the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the Jim Crow Era.  We will continue to trace the region’s racial and ethnic history in the 20th century, studying the rituals of Mardi Gras as a window into distinct cultural worlds. Finally, we will finish this course by studying the racialized history of the national response to Katrina and the plans for rebuilding New Orleans. During our 6 days in New Orleans we will visit French, Spanish and 19th-century U.S. historical sites in the French Quarter; African-American historical sites such as “Storyville,” “Congo Square,” Treme Cultural Center, Mardi Gras, and slave plantations; and sites related to the War of 1812, the Civil War, and Reconstruction. Our 2-night stay in Lafayette will focus on “Cajun” history and will include a bayou/swamp boat tour.

Capabilities Statement: The trip will not involve strenuous physical activity but it will involve quite a bit of standing and walking, sometimes on cobblestone streets, and you will be expected to carry your own luggage most of the time.

MUS 300 – Music on the Mississippi: Exploring River Road Folk Music Traditions

Dr. Nancy Gamso, Dept. of Music
Travel Component: New Orleans and Lafayette, Louisiana during Spring Break

This course is an American Landscapes course connection, Diversity, and Travel-Learning course designed to explore the musical culture along the Mississippi River from its headwaters at Lake Itasca, Minnesota to its conclusion though the Mississippi-Atchafalaya River basin to the Gulf of Mexico. The folk music along the Mississippi includes an astounding number of styles—indigenous, blues, rhythm & blues (early rock), gospel, zydeco, Cajun, many sub-genres of country music, and traditional jazz. Through the music, students will learn about the unique cultural histories of the people who created and preserved these folk music traditions. On our trip we will be joined by students from Dr. Lynette Carpenter’s and Dr. Barbara Terzian’s Travel-Learning courses.

Capabilities Statement: Travel for this course will require extensive walking, which will be mostly in an urban setting. The class will make use of some public transportation in the form of buses and streetcars. Students will need to carry their own luggage and musical instruments. The swamp boat tour will bring travelers in close but safe proximity to wildlife, including alligators, snakes and mosquitoes.

REL 300 – Archaeology of the Early Christian World

Dr. David Eastman, Dept. of Religion
Travel Component: Greece and Rome in May (12 days)

This course introduces students to the archaeology of important sites and artifacts that inform the study of early Christianity. It focuses on the usefulness of these materials but also on the complexity of their interpretation. Close attention will be paid to the advantages and limitations of archaeological methodology and the role of archaeology in the larger enterprise of studying the early Christian period. This is an Honors course that assumes some previous knowledge, so the reading and preparation will be significant, and background in New Testament and/or early Christian studies is required for admission.

Capabilities Statement: The travel portion of this course will involve extensive walking and moderate to strenuous hiking up to several hours per day. On archaeological sites this can involve rugged and uneven terrain, significant heat, and substantial elevation changes. In the cities there may be extended walking between sites and in museums. Students must be sufficiently fit to keep up with the group at all times and at points may need to carry their own luggage. Transportation may include travel by bus, railway, or boat. We may encounter crowded situations in cities, so students should be comfortable with navigating unfamiliar environments.

SOAN 358 – Building Economic Justice from Below: Society, Politics, and Social Movements

Dr. Paul Dean, Dept. of Sociology-Anthropology
Travel Component: Argentina in May (12 days)

This course focuses on social movements and the organization of power in contemporary society. While there is a particular emphasis on economic justice movements addressing poverty and class inequality, we will also examine movements promoting environmental sustainability, indigenous communities, and human rights. By examining specific cases, we will learn how movements emerge, why individuals participate in social movements, what strategies they use, and what outcomes are possible in building a better world. We will travel to Argentina to visit historic sites of conflict and speak with participants of local movements there. We will visit occupied factories in Buenos Aires, where workers have occupied abandoned workplaces and run them together without bosses or managers. In these visits, we will meet with workers at workplaces cooperatively owned and managed by their workers, hear their stories of protest, and learn how they built alternative economies. We will meet with the Madres de Plaza de Mayo, one of Latin America’s most famous feminist organizations. We will see some of Argentina’s natural beauty on our way to a nearby province to talk with local groups resisting GMO farming and pesticide use near an ecological reserve, and we will stay at a sustainable farm. In our travels, we will also speak with local journalists, economists, lawyers representing workers, community leaders, and small business owners, in order to understand Argentina’s struggle for social justice and how their efforts are connected to other global and US-based movements. By studying this variety of movements, we will evaluate the possibilities for building “real utopias” or more socially just societies.

Capabilities Statement: This trip will be primarily based in Buenos Aires, a large city, but we will also be visiting some nearby provinces. Some other sites we will likely visit include a farm, ecological reserve, and possibly rural villages. Students should therefore be prepared for considerable walking in urban environments, and also rural areas. During our May travel, average temperatures for these locations vary from daytime highs in the 60s Fahrenheit to nighttime lows in the 40s Fahrenheit.

SPAN 111 – Beginning Spanish II: The Three Mexican Cultures

Dr. Juan Armando Rojas, Dept. of Modern Foreign Languages
Travel Component: Mexico City and Mérida, Yucatán in May (10 days)

This is an optional Travel-Learning section for which students enrolled in SPAN 111 may apply. The Travel-Learning course will emphasize the four basic skills: aural comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing. It will provide basic language and cultural immersion to the students, as they will experience the old and modern cultures of Mexico City, the oldest capital in the Americas, founded by the Mexicas in 1325, and also the largest Spanish-speaking metropolitan area in the western hemisphere with over 21 million inhabitants. Students will also experience the pre-Hispanic and colonial aspects of the culture in Mérida, Yucatán, one of the most welcoming and historical sites, where approximately 60% of the inhabitants are of Mayan ethnicity. In order to familiarize the students with the local indigenous and mestizo cultures, the Mexican Three Cultures Travel-Learning group will visit historical and archaeological sites, such as Chichén Itzá and Uxmal, and will also visit 17th- and 18th-century cathedrals and government palaces in the colonial cities of Mérida and Valladolid (Yucatán). Students will have many opportunities to use their Spanish language skills, and the cultural and linguistic benefits of this Travel-Learning trip will carry over into other aspects of the students’ lives and will make them better citizens of the world and ambassadors of Ohio Wesleyan University.

Capabilities Statement: Most travel will be by plane. Students will be responsible for their luggage during the traveling portions of the trip and must be ready to ride on an extremely crowded underground, as well as a few public buses. In Mexico City we’ll be walking daily for 3–4 miles at an altitude of 7,350 ft., and in Mérida, Yucatán, we’ll be walking at sea level and under very hot and humid conditions. Some temple climbing at Aztec and Mayan archaeological zones will be expected, and students should be prepared to stand for long periods of time. Bring walking shoes and strap sandals. It is also recommended to bring sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat. Students are expected to follow instructions carefully, as many on-site practice exercises and other activities will be conducted in Spanish.

ZOOL 300.10 – Biology of East Africa

Dr. John Gatz, Dept. of Zoology
Travel Component: Tanzania in May (2 weeks)

Who hasn’t always wanted to see the animals of East Africa in their natural habitat? This course provides an opportunity to do just that, and to go thoroughly prepared by knowing about the various species that we’ll be seeing—their natural histories, their roles in the ecosystem, the behaviors we’re apt to witness, and so much more. The course will focus primarily on the large mammals, but it will also highlight some of the huge diversity of colorful birds and a few reptiles we will be able to see. The travel portion of the course will take place exclusively in Tanzania and include two parts of the Serengeti ecosystem: (1) Ngorongoro Crater (a UNESCO World Heritage Site and eighth natural wonder of the world), and (2) the Serengeti National Park itself. In addition we’ll visit Arusha National Park, Lake Manyara and Tarangire National Park. All in all, we’ll see some of the most spectacular scenery in East Africa and enjoy lots of close-up viewing of an incredible diversity of wildlife that you’ll have learned all about before we go.

Capabilities Statement: Students will be required to negotiate the airports with their carry-on luggage and carry their checked bag for short distances and be prepared for traveling 24 hours straight when going to and from Africa. Other than the long flights, the trip is not very demanding physically. The main activity on the trip will be bouncing around on dirt roads in a four-wheel drive safari vehicle—sometimes all day long—so those subject to becoming car-sick should bring appropriate medicine. Anti-malarial medication should be taken for your own safety, and various vaccinations are suggested by the CDC before travel to Tanzania. Students should consult with either their own physician or a travel medicine health care provider.