Travel to: Big Island of Hawaii
Travel Dates: May 13–26, 2019
Courses (choose one): CHEM 300F, BIOL 300EE, ENVI 300NN, GEOL 300E, HON 300NN
Engaging the World: Successful completion of this May Term Study Experience with a grade of C- or better fulfills the Engaging the World graduation requirement.
Faculty/Staff Leaders: Christy Clay, Robyn Hyde, Tiffany Rivera
Mandatory On-campus Meeting Dates: April 26, 1–3:00 p.m.; May 3, 1–4:00 p.m.; May 13, 1–3:00 p.m.; May 28, 1-3:00 p.m.
Study Experience Cost: $3,350, includes round-trip air transportation (SLC to Hawaii), ground transportation, lodging, entrance fees, approximately 50 percent of meals and a small meal allowance. Participants will need an estimated $100–$300 additional spending money for meals, snacks, and personal expenses. Opportunities for scuba diving are available at an additional cost.
Program Notes: Students should be prepared to walk and hike more than three miles over rough and sandy terrain and at high elevation. Hikes could be longer if the possibility exists to view an active lava flow. Students should be comfortable in a boat and around water with no lifeguard present, though all swimming/snorkeling experiences are optional. Due to the remoteness of the areas visited, some buildings may not have accessible entrances or access to elevators. Because of the current activity of the active volcano and excursions to high elevation areas, fumes may negatively affect those with asthma or other respiratory problems. Since the program cost includes an allowance for food, this program can accommodate a variety of dietary preferences.
Program Rotation: Planned for May Term in odd-numbered years.
Course Description: This course will take a multidisciplinary approach to studying the island of Hawaii. Hawaii is one of the newest landmasses on Earth, and therefore can provide insights into how islands form and become inhabited. The fact that this is such a new natural environment does not, however, mean that it is pristine. Already this island is being adversely affected not only by the natural elements but also by commercial exploitation and population growth. Important aspects of our discussions will include island formation, the responsibilities that people have for the stewardship of the island known as “America’s Paradise,” food sovereignty, and sustainable agriculture.
While traveling around the Hawaiian island, each day the class will drive, boat, hike, and/or snorkel to different destinations, and at each destination the culture, history, science, and/or agroecology unique to the area will be highlighted. The travel will begin at the youngest part of the island and end at the oldest part of the island. Most evenings will wrap up with discussions about the encounters of the day and stewardship. Students will be given time to reflect in their journals. This course is highly interdisciplinary. Students will not simply be learning about agroecology, biology, chemistry, geology, and history, they will be learning how these fields come together to create sustainability, such as safeguarding reef systems, protecting the nutrient balance of a rain forest, and enhancing ecosystem functions to improve food production. There are at least two optional scuba diving experiences for those who have their open water certification, each at an additional expense.