January Term Extensive Travel Courses

January Term 2018 Extensive Travel Courses
Extensive Travel Course Descriptions


L.BIO-280: Sustainable India – The Interface of Nature-Economy-Society (AH)
Professor Aditi Sinha
Location of travel: India
Course fee:  Estimated at $3,250

This study travel J-term course to India will explore sustainability issues in India with an emphasis on environmental sustainability. This course will focus on major environmental issues such as threats to biodiversity, forest and wildlife conservation, urban pollution, climate change, eco-tourism, and challenges, strategies and innovative solutions. Students will examine these issues in urban and wilderness areas through first-hand experience gained via field trips and opportunities to interact directly with and learn from experts such as resource managers, policy makers and scientists in India. Students will use the scientific method of inquiry to generate questions, develop hypotheses, design and conduct field projects. They will be required to examine the issues through multiple lenses of ecology, ethics, and socioeconomics. They will share their findings with their peers. Students will have an understanding and appreciation of the delicate balance and interconnectedness between environmental protection and the needs of people especially in developing countries where alternatives and choices may be limited. Additional out-of-pocket expenses include food other than the three meals per day that is provided in the course fee, shopping in India, free-time transportation, immunizations, and possible visa fees. Prerequisites for this course include that of any AH course. 3 credits.


L.BIO-315: Bird Conservation in the Desert Southwest
Professors David Shealer and Tom Davis
Location of travel: Arizona and California
Course fee:  $2,000

The southwestern United States contains some of the most diverse and critical habitat for birds in the United States.  The city, county, state and federal agencies in this region have developed one of the most extensive and effective land preservation and management systems in the United States, although water availability remains a critical limiting resource.  In this course, we will travel to southern Arizona and California to experience the natural history of the region, with emphasis on the diversity of birds and other desert-dependent animals.  We will visit several wildlife refuges, private sanctuaries, and water preserves; the trip also includes an excursion to the Salton Sea, a critical wintering site for hundreds of thousands of waterfowl.  Students will interact directly with wildlife managers and conservation biologists to understand the threats faced by wildlife in arid environments and the challenges faced in conserving/protecting these habitats.  Students will assist researchers in data collection and habitat restoration projects. Basic ecological concepts will be compared between habitat sites.  Each student will learn basic bird identification, current conservation issues and ecology at each of the sites.  Environmental issues including seasonal habitat management, riparian (river) ecology, agricultural land use, invasive plant and animal species effects, pollution and erosion effects , water conservation and rationing, ecotourism, and maintenance of biodiversity will be observed directly and form the basis for analysis and
discussion.  Additional out-of-pocket expenses include dinners and any personal shopping expenses.  Instructor permission is required.  3 credits.

L.BUS-490: Business Seminar
Professor Hugh Graham
Location of travel: San Francisco, California
Course fee:  $1,750

This study travel course will focus on development and application of business knowledge, exploration of world class organizations and business leaders, and service to community.  Class activities will include in-depth study of current events, a comprehensive and competitive simulation and in-depth field experience of world class organizations/leaders. Anticipated out-of-pocket expenses include most meals, some entrance fees, and personal shopping. Prerequisites for this course: ACC225, ACC 226, CIT 110, BUS 230, BUS 240, BUS 250, BUS 317, BUS 350. Registration restricted to Senior CIT Management and Business majors. Instructor’s permission required.  3 credits.

L.EXP-240: Global Service Learning: Haiti (AC)
Professor Eric Eller
Location of travel: Haiti
Course fee:  $2,000

This is a study travel with a focus on learning about Haitian culture through performing community service within that culture. The earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12, 2010 brought to the public’s attention the plight of the Haitian people. News coverage was extensive and donations poured in to help. This course explores the situation in Haiti before the earthquake hit, the international response to the disaster, and the current state of affairs.  The course will include significant pre-travel research into the cultural aspects of the destination, including its history, politics, economics, and religion, followed by 8-11 days of travel to immerse within that culture while serving the host community. The service aspect for this course is primarily through building houses, although there are also opportunities for those in pre-medical fields to assist at the medical clinic of the NGO we work with. This is HARD work…hot, exhausting, tiring work and we are staying in a bunkhouse at a medical clinic where there only brief, cold showers. This course is not about being comfortable; to the contrary, we seek to take you out of your comfort zone, because beyond the comfort zone is where much learning takes place. Excursions are tentatively planned to the beach, Sunday morning church, downtown to see earthquake damage, and to the National museum. All meals are included in the course fee. Anticipated out-of-pocket expenses may include work gloves, supplies, and potential immunizations. There are no prerequisites for the course. 3 credits.

L.HIS-279: Gandhi the Interfaith Peace-builder (AV)
Professor John Eby
Location of travel: India
Course fee:  Estimated at $3,250

“Gandhi the Interfaith Peace-builder” is a January Term study travel course that links Gandhi’s teachings on non-violence and interfaith peace-building to site visits in India related to his personal history, his historical environment, and the context of religious pluralism in India.  The course will involve community-based learning as students hear lectures from peace-building experts in India, conduct interviews related to understanding the social ecologies of the subcontinent’s diverse cultural landscape, and visit organizations whose mission is to address injustice and religious discord.  Approximately one day of the course will be spent on campus while the other days spent in India or in travel to India.  Anticipated out-of-pocket expenses include immunizations, shopping in country, and possible visa fees. Prerequisites for this course include MOI and all prerequisites for advanced gen eds. This course also qualifies as an elective for the Peace and Justice minor.  3 credits.

L.REL/CTL-262: Little Less than a God: Theology and the Human Person (AC)
Professor Jake Kohlhaas
Location of travel: Netherlands and Italy
Course fee:  $4,000

This J-Term travel course to the Netherlands and Italy focuses on religious conceptions of the human person as expressed through artistic works across time and place. Students will engage diverse perspectives on the human person as expressed by Christians of different eras, locations, and theological perspectives, as well as the biblical and classical cultures in which Christianity is rooted. Our primary means of this encounter will be through travel to religiously significant sites and access to great works of Western art. By studying the cultural histories, theological perspectives, and works of art and architecture, students will encounter the diverse influences that have given shape to the self-understandings and religious imaginations of Western Christians today. Travel expenses, admission fees and most meals are covered through the course fee. Additional out-of-pocket expenses include dinners and any personal shopping expenses. Prerequisites: LIB-100, LIB-105, LIB-110, and at least one course from LIB-130, LIB-135, or LIB-220. 3 credits.


L.SOC-310: Cultural Analysis: Belize
Professor Rick Anderson
Location of travel: Belize
Course fee:  $3,750

This study travel course explores Belizian culture past and present. Located South of Mexico and East of Guatemala on the Caribbean Sea, this small country (about 1/3 the size of Iowa) offers a fascinating mix of ethnicities. Unique physical features including rainforests, the Maya Mountains, cave systems, and the Belize Barrier Reef shape the lives of Belizeans. The course immerses students in everyday life and also includes excursions to a wide range of culturally rich sites. Students will engage in service learning, hear guest lectures, interact with a variety of local experts and create a once in a lifetime experience. The climate is typically warm and humid though some nights may be cool. Some required activities will be strenuous. All travel and most meals during our full two weeks in Belize are included in the course fee. Additional out-of-pocket expenses include personal expenses such as souvenirs, additional food or beverages, gratuities (approximately $60) and optional activities like snorkeling ($70). Prerequisites for this course include SOC 101 or SOC 115 before January 2018. 3 credits.

L.SPA-237:  El Camino de Santiago
Professor Dana Livingston
Location of travel: Spain
Course fee:  Estimated at $3,000

Caminos de Santiago.  Ours are misty stone trails through the same green lands that legend says St. James the Elder travelled during and after life.  We will join the “Camino Portugués” at O Porto and up the coast as it crosses the Minho River into Spain.  Into this same time and place we will weave the theme of modern human migrations across the Galician landscape, seeing and evaluating everything from evidence of the Celtiberian “castros” of the early Roman era to the emigrant/immigrant history of now. Throughout the trip we will investigate the efforts of Cáritas Diocesana. You do not need to know Spanish to take this course; we will be happy to challenge you at whatever level you do have.

On the Camino, we will be walking about 15 miles/day, at times in cold, rainy weather.  Waterproof clothing and backpacking-rated footwear are a necessity.  Lodging will be primitive.  Students walk a segment of the Camino de Santiago and acquire a detailed understanding of the pilgrimage from differing perspectives.  This knowledge is seen through the lens of human migrations through a modern landscape, specifically modern immigrants, emigrants and the groups that engage them.  How do the modern American pilgrim and the modern African immigrant move through this landscape; how are they received by the inhabitants of the place?  The search for truth — the pilgrimage — involves sacrifice and service to others; in modern migrations there is sacrifice as well as service, we explore both in a setting that will expand the students’ understanding of the human experience.  The learning involved will be demonstrated in an electronic portfolio.  Additional out-of-pocket expenses include most meals and some transportation costs.  3 credits.

 *Application and $500 deposit are required before registration.