Dubuque a stop for college students studying and traveling Mississippi River in nation’s first-ever River Semester

Class paddled more than 250 miles since leaving St. Paul on Sept. 1

River semester canoes filled with trip gear(MINNEAPOLIS) – The Mississippi River and four, 24-foot voyageur canoes are home and classroom for a group of Augsburg College students who will be in Dubuque from Sept. 28-30 as part of the nation’s first-ever River Semester.

The students, who have paddled more than 250 miles of river since departing St. Paul on Sept. 1 as part of their nearly 2,350-mile journey to the Gulf of Mexico, will earn as many as 16 credits in biology, environmental studies, health and physical education, and political science.

“The canoes are a floating classroom where students translate into action what they learn on shore during lectures and from their reading and homework,” said Professor Joe Underhill, creator of this hands-on learning program.

“Each student also is responsible for personal research project, some in partnership with state and national agencies. Some of these projects contribute to the common good, and every project is a chance for teamwork and collaborative excellence.”

The dozen students participating in this hands-on learning program, created by Underhill, is offered in partnership with Wilderness Inquiry, a nonprofit and inclusive travel provider that specializes in experiential programming and outdoor travel for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities.

“We know that what happens in the boats transfers to the classroom and life,” said Chad Dayton, director of programs and partner relations for Wilderness Inquiry. “Students develop increased confidence, better relationships with faculty, and throughout their college careers, they have a shared experience to refer back to that can help with problem solving.” Continue reading “Dubuque a stop for college students studying and traveling Mississippi River in nation’s first-ever River Semester”

Environmental Studies majors are prepared to make a difference

environmental_studiesThis year, two students in Augsburg’s Environmental Studies program won prestigious scholarships: one received a Fulbright research fellowship and a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship, and another was awarded a Udall Scholarship. Both students say their studies and experiences at Augsburg have prepared them to make a difference in the world.

Katie Edelen ’11 [right] arrived at Augsburg intent on becoming a doctor and helping people in war-torn countries. Following her junior year of college she traveled to Chennai, India to shadow doctors in government hospitals and work with a doctor who brought internal medicine services to refugee camps, slums, and villages. Continue reading “Environmental Studies majors are prepared to make a difference”

Katie Edelen: Triple majors, triple major awards

edelenThe last six weeks have been an amazing ride for Katie Edelen. Not only is it unusual to graduate with three majors, but it’s extremely remarkable to receive both a Fulbright Grant and a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship, as well as one of Augsburg’s major awards.

Edelen was awarded both BA and BS degrees on Saturday with majors in environmental studies, chemistry, and biology. She was also called to the podium to accept the Marina Christensen Justice Award, presented to the graduating senior who best exemplifies Augsburg’s motto, “Education for Service,” and has demonstrated a dedication to community involvement. The award honors 1965 graduate Marina Christensen Justice, who lived in Chicago and reached out to serve disadvantaged people and communities. Continue reading “Katie Edelen: Triple majors, triple major awards”

Meeting with the mayor

mayorAfter returning from New Zealand this summer, Richmond Appleton ’09 was so enthusiastic that he wrote a letter to Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak.

Appleton spent five weeks in New Zealand studying ecology, biodiversity, and climate change with a group of Augsburg students led by biology professor Brian Corner and political science professor Joe Underhill. Their group explored the unique flora and fauna of the island as well as the distinctive political culture that has made it a leader in environmental policy. Continue reading “Meeting with the mayor”

Augsburg creates Environmental Studies major

enviroThis spring, Augsburg introduces its newest creation — the Environmental Studies major. This interdisciplinary program combines biology, chemistry, political science, history, literature, economics, math, communications, and social work to teach students how to conserve the world around them.

Through each discipline, students learn about real-world issues like global warming, energy use, and pollution. Then, they apply this knowledge to develop and produce solutions, such as the three water gardens designed and built by the Environmental Connections course earlier this academic year. Continue reading “Augsburg creates Environmental Studies major”