The Luce Semester at Dickinson College
Watershed-Based Integrated Field Semester
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Frequently Asked Questions
integrated field semester is a new educational initiative to be offered
by the Environmental Studies Department in the fall semesters of 2005,
2006 and 2007. Analogous to the Mosaic program, participating
students will take a single integrated course for the equivalent of
an entire normal four-course load, combining classroom activities, community-based
fieldwork research, independent study, and extensive travel and immersion
in two comparative watershed regions: the Chesapeake Bay and the lower
The following information is organized by questions you may have. There are five sections:
If you think you may be interested in participating in this semester, now is the time to start planning. Please read this information carefully, and feel free to seek further information through contacting Candie Wilderman (Professor of Environmental Science) or Michael Heiman (Professor of Environmental Studies and Geography).
Profs. Heiman and Wilderman will be teaching the field semester in Fall, 2007. In addition, Julie Vastine , the director of ALLARM, and the assistant director, will be working closely with students in the development of independent research projects and in arranging activities that involve affected communities. There will also be numerous guest lecturers, and community leaders who will teach us. Other faculty may be involved in teaching as well.
There will be 10-20 students in the program. During the 2007-2008 academic year, ES 340 (Terrestrial) will be offered in the Fall semester and ES 330 (Policy) will be offered in the Spring semester (for those not participating in the Luce semester).
What kinds of topics will be covered in this semester?Using the stream continuum as the unifying theme in the course, students will examine environmental systems and the communities dependent upon them from the mountain headwater streams, through the agricultural valleys and the urbanized higher order streams, to the estuaries, and finally on to the coastal marine environments. Students will be trained in ecosystem analysis field techniques through extensive hands-on experience with study design, and in data collection, analysis, and interpretation. Students will examine the cultural contexts wherein environmental problems are created and through which solutions are conceived and implemented, by interacting with a diversity of communities from PA farmers to MD watermen to lower-income communities impacted by toxic waste and natural resource depletion in
Students will be introduced to environmental disruption and the regulatory response in contemporary industrial nations, with a primary emphasis on U.S. regulation and case studies drawn from the watersheds under investigation.
What will be the weekly classroom schedule?When we are on campus, classes (labs, field trips and lectures) will meet on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Monday will be the day devoted to independent research projects. While there will be no regularly scheduled classes on Friday, some of these days might be used for taking extended field trips. For details on the schedule, click here.
How will I be graded?You will receive 4 grades, one for each of the courses for which you will receive credit (see below under How will the credit count towards my major? to see what those courses may be). Grading will include an evaluation of your performance on exams and papers, as well as your engagement with, and contribution to, our field activities.
Why would I want to participate in this program, rather than simply take courses in the more traditional way?If you learn best through direct experience and hands-on activities, then this is the program for you! In addition, your learning experience in this integrated semester will also be interdisciplinary combining ways of knowing and knowledge from the natural sciences, the social sciences, and the humanities. We will approach environmental problems from a variety of perspectives, and will be connected directly with affected communities. Such connections will lead to a deeper understanding of the cultural context for the problems and their solutions. And finally, while you may experience the local environment through field excursions in other courses, this course will widen that exposure to issues outside of our local watersheds, to prepare you more broadly for a professional career. For more information on why you would want to participate, click here.
Why are we studying the Chesapeake Bay and lower
The Chesapeake Bay and lower
You need to have completed ENVST 131 and ENVST 132, have equivalent training, or have special permission from the instructors.
No. We welcome students from other majors.
ES majors (both BA and BS) will get credit for the following courses:
If you have taken ES 335 before the field semester, you will get a credit for ES 375 (Advanced Analysis of Aquatic Systems) instead of ES 335.
If you have taken ES 330 before the field semester, you will get a credit for ES 370 (Science Policy) instead of ES 330. However, if you are a BS major, ES 370 will not count towards your major, although it will definitely strengthen your transcript, provide you with important professional skills, and count towards graduation.
In addition all students will receive credit for the writing-intensive distribution requirement in the major.
If you are not an ES major, we will work with you and your academic advisor to determine how credit should be received.
NO. In fact, we would encourage you to wait to take these courses during the integrated field semester. However, if you have already taken ES 335 and/or ES 330, the course material will be sufficiently enriched and customized for you so that extensive repetition will be avoided and so that you will receive a full 4 credits towards graduation (see also the section above on How will the course credit count towards my major?)
Yes, if you make proper arrangements for a research advisor, you can continue your independent research for a second semester. If you are a senior, and make the appropriate arrangements with an advisor, your research (if continued for a second semester) could be eligible for departmental honors. You need to seek details regarding these requirements from your advisor and the department chair.
Can I take other courses during the semester?NO. If there are extenuating circumstances, we can discuss this further.
YES. There will be no conflict.
We will spend about 5 days in the
We will go to
When will we be going to the
We will go to the
We will travel in vans and stay at motels, campsites, and field stations. During extended field trips, room, board, and transportation will be covered.
Yes, but you will need to be sure that your employer is aware of your scheduled time off-campus, and is willing to accommodate this.
How will this impact my extra-curricular activities?You should be able to participate in your usual extra-curricular activities, but you will need to plan ahead and be sure that you do not make commitments during the periods when you will be off campus, traveling to the Chesapeake and to Louisiana.
Contact either Prof. Heiman (Kaufman 110, 245-1338) or Prof. Wilderman (Kaufman 112, 245-1573) before classes begin this fall to receive help in planning for this experience. It is particularly important that you start planning now, as there are some courses you may wish to postpone, and others you may want to take sooner rather than later. There will be further information sessions this fall keep an eye out for them, and for the call for applications.