Hiram College

CHOOSE ONE FRCL (first-year colloquium):

WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE (4 hrs)

Wilderness and Nature – These words evoke images of vast untouched landscapes. Look outside the window. What do we see? Perhaps a few trees, birds, a squirrel, the street, buildings, cars. Is this nature? Is anything out there Wild? The view out of almost every window everywhere is cluttered by the evidence of human activity. As a species, we evolved in a context of wilderness, slowly bending ecological systems to suit our needs. Today, the human footprint can be found on every corner of the globe from Antarctica to the Mojave Desert. Is there any wilderness left? For centuries, there have been those who have claimed that humans have destroyed the essence of nature and eliminated wilderness while others have suggested that human civilization is nature’s greatest creation. In this class, we will examine our ideas about nature and search for the wild things in the world around us. We will ask: What is wilderness? Where can we find it? Is wilderness dead? Has nature become irrelevant? Is there value in maintaining a connection with nature? Can we revive our connection with nature and experience wilderness? We will use the writings of historians, philosophers, naturalists, ecologists, politicians, and others as well as our own observations and experiences.

TAKE A HIKE! LESSONS LEARNED FROM NATURE WANDERINGS (4 hrs)

Pond, streams, fields and forests (500 acres worth) at the Hiram College James H. Barrow Field Station will be our classroom as we hike, climb, net and crawl our way to a better understanding of the natural world around us. This course is designed to develop a sense of place in our natural surroundings and will be accomplished through frequent, positive, unstructured experiences in nature that evoke the senses and charge the emotions. These experiences will allow you to gain a better grasp of nature’s complex concepts and systems and begin to understand the role of humans in nature. As part of this course, we will discuss historical roles in interpreting nature and the consequences of human’s recent disconnect with nature.

INTD 22500: HUMANS AND THE ENVIRONMENT (ES) 4 hrs

All living things depend on and influence their environments, but humans do so in a unique way. This course examines interactions between human and non-human nature through the study of specific biophysical processes and systems, human social systems, socio-environmental problems, and more. Students will integrate and apply diverse knowledge from the physical, biological, and social sciences, as well as ethical, legal, and other perspectives, to understand complex systems and be able to identify entry points, at multiple scales, for addressing problems.  Fulfills the Interdisciplinary (INTD) and Ethics and Social Responsibility (ES) core requirements.

EVST 28600: NATURE INTERPRETATION (SM) 4 hrs

This course deals with making observations about the natural world around us and developing and communicating resultant explanations of its structure, composition, and dynamics based on available scientific information. Specifically, exploration of regional geological history, the structural features it produced, regional climates, and past and present ecosystems are studied through relevant field trips to areas of interest. Field trip locations include Lake Erie, local rivers, forests, bogs, rock outcrops, marshes, and many areas of the Hiram College Field Station. Overnights trips include those at the Northwoods Field Station in Michigan and Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Additionally, various nature education facilities and organizations will be visited to study how the public is informed and how natural resources are managed at each site. Each student will be required to develop her or his own nature education presentation. Field trip fee: $350 (scholarship funding available).

EVST 29800: FIELD EXPERIENCE (3 hrs)

This is a project-based course designed to provide students the opportunity to engage in the hands-on application of knowledge and skill in a field setting. In the context of the collegium, the goal of this course will be to implement plans for a legacy project such as a nature interpretation trail designed to enhance community access to nearby nature.