Westminster Expedition Students in the Open American West

During the 2017 Fall Semester, 14 students, two professors, and a program coordinator will load books, camping gear, and themselves into a couple of vans and hit the road for a semester-long tour of the American West.

The trip is designed as an exploration into the issues at the heart of the contemporary West. Students will earn 16 credits in environmental studies and history as they study Environmental Cooperation and Conflict, Landscape and Meaning, the History of Public Lands, and the Native West.

This prolonged journey into the field will allow us to learn directly from landscapes and ecosystems, as well as from people who live, work, and study in those places. Together, we expect to build a cohort of impassioned scholars with a particular breadth and depth of experiential knowledge who are equipped to build a better future for the West.

We will visit iconic, protected sites like Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks, contentious places like the Little Bighorn and the Malheur Wildlife Refuge, working landscapes like the Butte Copper Mines, and communities from present-day Native nations to "New West" towns like Bend, Twisp, and Moab.

Meet the Expedition

Learn More About the Students and Faculty on the Expedition

Read the Latest Journal Entry

April 9, 2015

April 9, 2015

Dear Faculty & Staff,

I would like to inform the campus community that Dr. Charles H. Dick, the 14th President of Westminster College passed away yesterday April 8, 2015. Dr. Dick served from 1985–1995. He was a gracious and wonderful president who provided the leadership, direction, and class that the college needed at the time.

Last week, the all-college and faculty meetings were held. I was thrilled to see so many faculty and staff attend. If you weren't able to attend the meetings, please see the attached slides from the all-college meeting. They provide a snapshot of the presentations.

We also recognized last Friday at a special ceremony five new emeritus faculty: Marsha Morton, Chuck Tripp, Joy Woolf, Fred Fogo, and Carolyn Jenkins. We said a fond farewell to seven long-time faculty who are retiring this year: Gaylen Bunker, Diane Forster-Burke, Shannon Bellamy, Maria Wrotniak, Gerry Fairbairn, Bob Haworth, and Donna Wahoff-Stice. We will miss these wonderful faculty who have provided many years of service to the college and our students.

This week we celebrate the 140th anniversary of the founding of Westminster College. I hope you all will join me tomorrow, Friday, at 3:00 p.m. in the Richer Commons for music, cake, and prizes. Westminster College's history is very important to me. Our past and our traditions shape the present and the future. Honoring those traditions will be one of the priorities of my presidency.

Friday is also Westminster's first 'Day of Giving,' with this year's theme of '$30K in a Day.' Our former board chair, Ginger Gore Giovale, has generously contributed a challenge grant for the day, and we are hoping to meet the fundraising goal of $30,000 raised in one day. If you haven't made a gift to the college this academic year, please do so on this day to help us meet Ginger's generous challenge grant.

Finally, I was proud to see the inspiring op-ed by Dr. Richard Badenhausen, professor & director of the Honors Program, that was published in Sunday's Salt Lake Tribune. If you haven't already read the article, please take a moment to do so. I appreciate Richard's thoughtful expression of the value of a college education.

Be sure to wear your favorite purple and gold attire on Friday for the birthday party!

Best regards,
Acting President Morgan

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Expedition in the News

Two people on a canoe
Group of Students around Campfire

The Route

Our proposed route is an enormous figure eight, heading northwest first (because of potential early winter weather) and including Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Arizona, and Utah. Course-related sites include sites of environmental/cultural conflict or cooperation (e.g., Malheur National Wildlife Refuge; East Tavaputs Plateau tar sands; Klamath River dams; the Berkeley Pit, the Nevada Test Site, Owens Lake); National Parks (e.g., Yellowstone, North Cascades, Olympic, Redwood, Grand Canyon, Great Basin); wilderness areas (e.g., Bob Marshall, Glacier Peak); Native nations and sites (e.g., Burns Paiute, Coast Salish, Miwok, the Nez Perce trail, Colville, Pyramid Lake, Hopi); dam sites (e.g., Teton, Grand Coulee, Hoover, Hetch Hetchy, Snake River); and relevant towns/cities (e.g., Bozeman, Bend, Cody, Moab, Winthrop, Page).

Expedition Route

Course Descriptions


Follow the Expedition's Progress