Faculty-Led Academic Trips provide a remarkable opportunity for an intensive learning experience with a group of Saint Michael's College students and faculty. This year's trips reflect our commitment to international education and to experiential learning. We recognize that not all students can afford to study abroad for an entire semester, and these courses represent an exciting alternative. Trip destinations have been carefully selected to immerse students in their learning and to integrate their theoretical knowledge with the perspective of place. Most people will agree that this is the best way to learn and to retain knowledge. All trips meet the Experiential Learning Requirement if successfully completed.
If you have questions about any of these trips, please contact the faculty members who are indicated as the instructors for the course as soon as possible. Trip size will be limited, and a minimum number of students must register in order for the course to proceed. Travel expenses are paid by the students prior to the trip according to a schedule of payments established by the College. Academic Study Trips are not eligible for tuition remission. Half tuition is charged (per credit) during the winter or summer session. A limited number of need based scholarships are available for qualified applicants.
Palestine and Israel: Jews, Christians and Muslims in the Holy Land
Course #TBA (2 credits)
Date: December 28, 2016 - January 7, 2017 (tentative)
The course will explore the significance of the Holy Land (and the holiest of its cities, Jerusalem) in Judaism, Christianity and Islam through the centuries, but with particular emphasis on the contemporary situation. The course will adopt a broad perspective that will include theological, geographical, and archeological aspects significant to each of the monotheistic traditions. Of equal importance will be focus on how physical space, ideas, and cultural practice have given expression to the holiness of the land, as adherents of the three religions perceive it. Included are daily excursions to sites such as the Temple Mount, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Bethlehem, Jericho, The Galilee, Jordan River, and more.
Professor Edward Mahoney, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sajida Jalalzai, email@example.com
Cuba: Coral Reefs
BI 254 (2 credits)
Prerequisite: BI 253 (Fall 2016; 2 credits)
Date: January 2017 (exact dates TBD)
This 2-credit course (BI254) is an intensive 11-day field course to study coral reefs and associated habitats in Cuba which has some of the most pristine reefs in the Caribbean. The course will focus on the health of diversity of the coral reefs as well as the ecology and behavior of the marine fish that live in association with a coral reef. Coral reefs are one of the most productive of the world’s ecosystems, and there is extraordinary complexity of interactions among the biotic and abiotic components. Studying this ecosystem in a direct and intensive way facilitates an understanding and appreciation of the intricate inter-relationships within a biological community. In addition, this fragile ecosystem provides us with an opportunity to observe and analyze the impact of various environmental threats, both natural and anthropogenic, such as coastal development, pollution, and global climate change.
We will be diving and researching at several different sites; students may snorkel or dive but must be SCUBA-certified in order to dive. All students who are selected for the trip will have to take a 2-credit fall course (BI253) entitled Coral Reef Ecology. This course covers the basic biology and ecology of the coral reef community. This course includes topics such as: the biology of corals; a phylogenetic overview of coral reef organisms; behavior of coral reef fishes; community ecology of the reef; and threats to coral reefs. Therefore, the students traveling to Cuba will have a strong theoretical background in coral reef ecology prior to the trip. The course involves readings, lectures, discussions and films.
Professor Mark Lubkowitz, firstname.lastname@example.org
Costa Rica: Tropical Ecology Study Tour
BI 250 (2 credits)
Prerequisite: BI 151 or permission of the instructors
Date: December 30, 2016 - January 11, 2017
The course will meet for five 1.5 hour classes in the fall before going to Costa Rica over the semester break. The pre-trip classes will include an introduction to tropical ecology including tropical climates and topography and their effects on ecosystems and introductions to the ecosystems and sites we will visit. The sites include a tropical dry forest at Palo Verde National Park, a mid-elevation cloud forest at Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve, and a premontane rain forest at Selve Verde Preserve. Activities at the sites will include guided hikes, our own group hikes, early morning bird walks, a boat ride, and night hikes. Students will generate study questions from observations made on the field trips and on the last full day at each site students gather data for a study that they have designed. Students will analyze and interpret the data and give oral presentations on their studies. Students will also keep a field journal on plants and animals we encounter and on their observations on conservation, ecotourism impacts, and sustainable development. Professor Peter Hope has been to Costa Rica 10 times and been to the sites numerous times.
Professor Peter Hope, email@example.com
Professor Ruth Fabian-Fine, firstname.lastname@example.org