Fall 2020 Calendar
Grand Canyon Semester is an intellectual immersion into the science, culture, arts, humanities, and politics of the Colorado Plateau region. The GCS calendar generally follows the pattern of classroom time early in the week followed by field time later in the week, but the schedule will vary over the course of the semester as we take advantage of unexpected opportunities and experiences.
You will participate in class lectures and discussions on campus on Mondays and Tuesdays. Wednesdays will generally be study days that can be used to work on independent research projects. Thursdays and Fridays will usually be spent in the field, either on short day trips or extended trips that sometimes last until Sunday afternoon. You will keep a field journal for all courses in the applied core, recording your ecological, geological, anthropological observations as well as sketch what you encounter along the way.
Key Grand Canyon Semester 2020 Dates
Students arrive in Flagstaff
Orientation in Grand Canyon NP
GCS Symposium & Final Dinner
Students may leave Flagstaff
Grand Canyon Semester 2020 Courses
All Grand Canyon Semester courses are seminars with substantial fieldwork that that interconnect content, projects, and site-specific, place-based learning experiences. The semester is centered on the Applied Core, Humans and the Environment. The Integrative Seminar and Directed Study courses complement the Applied Core by providing students the opportunity to contextualize their experience and choose a portion of the semester for in-depth study.
Applied Core: Humans and the Environment
The three-course natural and social science core allows students to study contemporary cultural, environmental, and management issues through an interdisciplinary lens. The Applied Core will make extensive use of integrated field trips that expose students to residents, stakeholders, and land manager across the Grand Canyon region.
ANT 306H: Peoples of the Southwest Accordion Closed
3 credit hours in Anthropology, Native American Studies, or Humanities
For at least 12,000 years, peoples of the Southwest have developed diverse and flexible adaptations to scarcity and unpredictability of water and other critical resources. Emphasizing writings and media by Native American authors and filmmakers together with scientific research, this course explores the relationships among past and present human communities in the Southwest and their unique environments. Students will be immersed into contemporary southwestern cultural traditions by visiting tribal reservations and interacting with indigenous people (i.e., Hopi, Zuni, Navajo, and Hualapai) and behind-the-scenes explorations of museums and ancestral (archaeological) sites. Particular emphasis will be placed on the many issues that Southwestern Native Peoples face on a daily basis.
ENV 250H: Environmental Conservation on the Colorado Plateau Accordion Closed
4 credit hours in Natural History, Environmental Science, or Ecology
There are few places on earth where ecological relationships are more starkly apparent and where the underlying geologic strata are more readily visible than the Grand Canyon Region. Students will focus their study at the intersection of natural history, geology, and ecology to discover the patterns and processes that frame regional biodiversity. This stunningly beautiful landscape is also host to a myriad of environmental issues ranging from endangered species management to uranium mining and the impact of humans on native vegetation and animals. Climate change and adaptation drive many of these pertinent ecological issues.
POS359H: Environmental Policy Accordion Closed
3 credit hours in Political Science or Environmental Science
This course will introduce students to some of the major environmental and political issues of the region, including climate change, water, forests, fire, restoration, development, tourism, and places sacred to indigenous populations. Students will interact with primary stakeholders, such as federal agency land managers, non-profits, environmentalists, and indigenous people to understand the complexity of managing one of the world’s most valuable treasures.
HUM399H: Integrative Seminar: Grand Canyon as Text (3 credits) Accordion Closed
Students integrate their learning while cultivating their sense of place through personal reflective writing and creative projects, as well as learning from the creative work of other artists, writers, and explorers of the Grand Canyon region. Using creative and non-fiction writing, journaling, art, and multi-media, students will document their our own Grand Canyon intimate encounters.
HON485: Directed Study – Independent Research Project (4 credits) Accordion Closed
Students will be guided through a research project that they design incorporating course work, their interests, and field work.