Program Details


Course offerings (students enroll in 4 of the following courses):

  • POL 241 Environmental and River Politics (meets SBS LAF)
  • ENV 310 Environmental Politics Field Seminar
  • POL 299/410: Democracy in the American Heartland
  • ENV 120: Environmental Science (Lab Science)
  • BIO 495: Topics: Natural History and Conservation Biology of the Mississippi River Valley
  • BIO 495 Topics: Ecology of Rivers, Streams, and Estuaries (with lab)
  • POL/ENV/BIO 499 Directed Research Project (possible Keystone credit)
  • POL/ENV 399 Internship (with a river-related organization; some internships are paid)

Plus everyone is enrolled in:

  • HPE 002 Lifetime Activity: Canoeing
  • Augsburg Experience credit

Estimated Costs (pending final approval)

For Augsburg College students, the cost is regular full-time tuition for four courses (16 credits) plus a $7,500 program fee covering all room and board, supplies, and transportation for the trip ($6,750 if you register before Dec. 15, 2014). Students must supply sleeping bags, pad, and appropriate outdoor clothing including rain gear (tents and all other equipment and supplies provided by the program).  Full financial aid applies.

For students from other colleges and universities, the total charge to the school will be approximately $17,500 ($16,750 if before the Dec. !4, 2014 early registration deadline).  This includes the tuition for 16 credits and program fees for the full semester program.  Contact your study abroad office for details on pricing, registration, and financial aid.


Prof. Joe Underhill has been engaged in environmental politics for the last 30 years, from the Hudson River to San Francisco Bay to the Mississippi River.  Prof. Underhill teaches in Political Science, Environmental Studies, and International Relations, and in 2010-12 he served as the Batalden Faculty Scholar in Applied Ethics.  His experiential and interdisciplinary courses regularly take students off campus participation in Model UN in New York City, and studying comparative environmental politics in locations including Egypt, New Zealand, Nicaragua, and Tanzania. He has written and presented on the intersection of political psychology, security, and the environment and is author of the book Death and the Statesman (Palgrave, 2001).  His most recent research examines the relationship between urban sustainability and environmental pedagogy. He has taken students out on the Mississippi for the past decade studying the impact of human activity on the river ecosystem and meeting with river rats and local activists in communities from St. Paul to Lake City to Wabasha.

He will be accompanied by a Stream Ecologist and Conservation Biologist who will teach the Biology and Environmental Science courses.  Stay tuned for details once this position is filled (and contact Prof. Underhill if you are interested in applying).  In addition we will have numerous guest lecturers and site visits with field scientists and naturalists along the entire length of the river.


We will be joined by two seasoned staff from Wilderness Inquiry for the trip from the Twin Cities to St. Louis.  For the Lower Mississippi River portion of the trip, our guide will be John Ruskey of the Quapaw Outfitters.  On the Gulf of Mexico we will work with staff and field biologists from the Louisiana Marine Consortium.


Want to get added to the waiting list? Contact  612-330-1312