Fall 2017

GEOG 347 – Environmental Alteration

Travel component: Costa Rica over Winter Break
Instructor: Dr. Nathan Amador Rowley

Global environmental change is among the most important of issues in the next century and a core component of Geography 347: Environmental Alteration. The primary objective of Environmental Alteration is to explore the relationship between the human and environmental systems – at local to global scales. In this travel-learning course, we will learn how to collect environmental data in Delaware, Ohio (Fall 2015) and coastal Costa Rica (January 2016) and understand how it relates to regional and global climate and environmental change. We will be collaborating with an OWU alumna, Amy Work (OWU, 2004) and her community geography organization, Geoporter, in Bahia Ballena-Uvita. This group works with local citizens in a developing ecotourism region. Expected types of data that will be collected and analyzed include: weather station, drone aerial imagery, ecological assessment of soil moisture & temperature, stream flow and water quality, and will participate in whale monitoring. During the trip, we will visit: Arenal National Park, Marino Ballena National Park, Bahia Ballena-Uvita (small coastal town). This will include some 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 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. 

Pre-Requisites: There are no pre-requisites for this course.

Spring 2018

ASTR 110 – Space Exploration:  Past, Present and Future

Travel component: England and Germany in May
Instructor: Dr. Robert Harmon
Estimated Student Cost: $3,300

This course is an optional Travel-Learning section available to students enrolled in ASTR 110 (Elementary Astronomy). Missions to other planets and moons in our solar system will be discussed in the regular class, where our emphasis will be on scientific results. In this Travel-Learning section, we will study space exploration for its own sake, from the early days of rocketry, to the Cold War “Space Race” to put humans on the Moon, to the modern era in which Russia and the United States no longer have a duopoly in space exploration — Europe, India, China, and Japan all have active space programs. We will examine space exploration by all participating nations and by non-governmental organizations and corporations, with a focus on future possibilities for our global civilization. In England, we will stay in London and Bristol, and tour the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Centre for Space Applications and Telecommunications, the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, and Stonehenge. In Germany, we will stay in Cologne, Frankfurt, and Munich, and tour the ESA’s European Astronaut Centre, the European Space Operations Centre (where interplanetary missions are controlled), and the Columbus Control Centre (mission control for the European module on the International Space Station). We also will visit other sites of scientific, cultural, and historic significance such as the British Museum and the Kölner Dom (Cologne Cathedral).

Capabilities Statement: Students will be expected to carry their luggage to and from hotels and airports. We will utilize various forms of public transportation and engage in guided and unguided tours of facilities with moderate walking involved, including the need to use stairs. Reasonable accommodations will be made for students who require them.

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BOMI 355 – Plant Responses to Global Change

Travel component: Alaska, May 15-26, 2018
Instructor: Dr. Laurie Anderson
Estimated Student Cost: $1,500

Plant Responses to Global Change is an upper-level biology course focused on plant physiological ecology. The course is organized around four major global environmental changes: increases in atmospheric CO2, increases in temperature, increases in nitrogen deposition, and changes in precipitation patterns. We will explore how plants and ecosystems interact with these changes in terms of physiology and ecosystem dynamics, and the implications of these interactions for ecosystem function, global biogeochemical cycles, and the future of the biosphere. We also will discuss the instrumentation, field sampling, and statistical/modelling approaches used in physiological ecology studies that have a global-change context. The boreal/tundra region of Alaska, which has experienced the most dramatic warming of any location on the globe, will be used as a case study to explore these topics more deeply. We will consider human factors in boreal/tundra areas and think about how policy, resource extraction, and consumption choices of people influence the boreal/tundra environment. This class will travel to Alaska with Math 200.2 (Mathematical Models of Climate) in order to create interdisciplinary learning partnerships on climate change topics for students in both classes.

Capabilities Statement: Travel for this course may involve prolonged strenuous hiking on steep and/or uneven terrain (e.g., tussock, wetland, talus field, moraine, glacier ice). Participants should be capable of hiking up to 5 miles in difficult terrain with a 20-lb. pack.

Pre-requisites: BIOL 122 or BOMI 233, plus one additional course in the biological sciences, or permission of the instructor.

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ENG 336 – Shakespeare and the Sites of Performance

Travel component: England, May 21-30
Instructor: Dr. Zack Long
Estimated Student Cost:  $2,000

From the great halls of royal palaces to the inn yards of country villages, Shakespeare’s plays were written to be performed in a variety of different spaces. The most famous of these was the Globe Theatre, the large circular open-air playhouse where works such as Hamlet and Henry V were originally staged. However, Shakespeare’s plays also were performed in a variety of other venues, from the intimate candlelit interior of the Blackfriars (a converted monastery) to the cacophonous din of university halls. This course will retrace the trajectory of Shakespeare’s career from country player to courtly entertainer by looking at the various “stages” — some literal, some improvised — he performed in and the occasions he performed for. The course will culminate in an eight-day trip to England to see and experience these performance spaces for ourselves, attending plays at the Globe Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company, and the National Theatre, while visiting nearby sites of historical interest in London, the countryside, and at Cambridge University.

Capabilities statement: Students need to be able to walk and stand for extended periods (including long walking tours, walking between activities and to and from train stations and the like), carry their luggage on and off public transportation, and manage long days of sightseeing. We may be able to make accommodations for disabled students; please contact the instructor if you need to discuss accommodations

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MATH 200.2 – Mathematical Models of Climate

Travel component: Alaska, May 15-26, 2018
Instructor: Dr. Craig Jackson

Estimated Student Cost: $1,500

This course will examine climate from the point of view of mathematical modeling. Emphasis will be on simple models that serve to highlight the relative roles and interactions of individual climate processes. The course will have a particular focus on the near-polar regions primarily through the modeling of glaciers and climate-glacier interaction. This class will travel to Alaska with BOMI 355 (Plant Responses to Global Change) in order to create interdisciplinary learning partnerships on climate change topics for students in both classes.

Capabilities Statement: Travel for this course may involve prolonged strenuous hiking on steep and/or uneven terrain (e.g., tussock, wetland, talus field, moraine, glacier ice). Participants should be capable of hiking up to 5 miles in difficult terrain with a 20-lb. pack.

Prerequisite: MATH 110.

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MUS 300.6 – Music on the Mississippi:  Exploring River Road Folk Music Traditions

Travel component: Louisiana, March 9-17, 2018
Instructor: Dr. Nancy Gamso
Estimated Student Cost: $1,100

Laissez les bon temps rouler — and join us while we explore the musical culture along the Mississippi River! From its headwaters at Lake Itasca, Minnesota, down 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, we will learn about the unique cultural histories of the people who created and preserved these folk music traditions. Students also will sing and play the musical selections and learn the dance styles of Southern Louisiana. French speakers and musicians of all types are encouraged to apply, but all are welcome! (Diversity Course)

Capabilities statement: Travel for this course will require extensive walking, mostly in an urban setting.  The class will use 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 with wildlife including alligators, snakes, and mosquitoes.

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ZOOL 300.10 – Biology of East Africa

Travel component: Tanzania, May 13th to 26th
Instructor: Dr. John Gatz    

Estimated Student Cost: $3,900

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 we’ll be seeing — their natural histories, their roles in the ecosystem, the behaviors we’re apt to witness, and much more. The course will focus primarily on large mammals, but it also will highlight some of the huge diversity of colorful birds and a few reptiles. The travel portion 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 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 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.

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor and one unit in BIOL, BOMI or ZOOL.

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