CIS Weekly Bulletin

International Students Weekly Bulletin

GEOG 379 American Wilderness

GEOG 379 American Wilderness is a unique class at SCSU. The class offers 3 credits of upper division (can be used by any major to fulfill 45 credits of upper division university electives) and can count for Geography, Travel and Tourism, and some other majors as part of their program.

The class takes place over 8 days in mid-May. The main focus is wild landscapes of Minnesota with stops along the North Shore of Lake Superior, in the tourist town of Ely, and spending five days canoeing and camping inside Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness – one of the most beautiful parts of the United States and of the state of Minnesota, full of lakes, forests, animals and plants.

This year the class is offered from May 12th until May 19th. There is a pre-trip orientation meeting in April.

On the trip you will learn about  

·         Biomes of Minnesota: prairie, deciduous and coniferous forest, you will learn to identify about 30 species of plants and animals

·         History of the American wilderness movement – why do we set aside large areas without roads to be protected forever? Who were the people behind the movement, e.g., Aldo Leopold, John Muir, Bob Marshall, Sigurd Olson? We will read some of their short stories around the campfire

·         Management issues: visitors, fires, logging, mining, climate change – how managers of the Forest Service keep this resource wild and free

·         We will practice journal writing about nature and observations of wildlife

·         We will also train you in 'leave no trace' camping and basic canoeing techniques (paddling and portaging)

The planned itinerary is about 30 miles long with a few moderate portages

Previous canoeing experience is not required, we will train you

All equipment and transportation expenses are included in one fee of $430. You will need to pay a little extra for food. The class also requires you to pay 3 credits of undergraduate tuition to SCSU.

The number of spaces is limited, so if interested please contact Dr. Mikhail Blinnikov by email

Include your major, why you are interested in going, any experience camping before (yes/no), and also your SCSU ID number.

Registration is by permission only and will start in February.

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