of Earth, Environment, and Society
GeoJourney is a nine-week field trip/camping trip across the United States offered Summer and Fall. Students have the opportunity to study geology, American culture studies, and environmental studies in an "open-air" outdoor environment that combines aspects of social, environmental, and geological sciences into an integrated learning experience.
During the two-month excursion, the program travels from coast to coast across the U.S. and uses many parklands in the western U.S. as settings to conduct interdisciplinary field investigations. The itinerary is designed to give students first-hand experience in a wide range of geographic environments and to give them an opportunity to study each of the subjects in a holistic framework.
GeoJourney travels to 24 states across the US and visits 29 national parklands, including: Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Glacier, Great Smoky Mountains, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Arches, Mesa Verde, Chaco Canyon, and Mt. St. Helens. There are 7 days off during the nine weeks, which occur on days when the program visits cities such as San Francisco, Las Vegas, and New Orleans.
The program travels by van, moving every few days to new camp sites. Participants provide their own essential camping equipment. During the day, students will carry out field investigations in a variety of geographic environments, including some day hikes at high elevation. Some projects require several days of field work and project reports or maps. At night, campfire lectures and discussions, along with reading assignments and written exams, enhance the educational experience.
Students successfully completing GeoJourney receive 18 hours of BG Perspective credit in five courses:
- GEOL 2500: Field-based Physical Geology (5 hrs.)
- GEOL 2510: Field-based Historical Geology (5 hrs.)
- ACS 2520: Indigenous Cultures of North America (3 hrs.)
- ENVS 2530: Environments in Context (3 hrs.)
- HNRS 3000: GeoJourney Critical Thinking (2 hrs.) (Fall and Spring Semesters only)
The courses are corequisite and satisfy the BG Perspective Requirements in Natural Science, Cultural Diversity in the U.S., and Social and Behavioral Science, International Perspectives. Honors credit is optional for all five courses. Students can only register for the courses by permission of instructor after they have been accepted to the program.
Application to GeoJourney is competitive due to the academically, physically, and emotionally intense nature of field work. Undergraduates with any major and at any point in their academic careers can participate. Applications from high school seniors who are entering the University in the fall are encouraged. Applications are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Class size is limited to 24 students.
Students should apply to participate in GeoJourney prior to and during pre-registration for the semester during which the student applies to participate. We recommend that students register for class on-campus in order to insure that they get the classes they want for the semester in the event they are not selected for the GeoJourney program.
The summer program departs from BGSU around the middle of June, near the beginning of summer session, and returns to BGSU approximately one week before Fall classes begin on campus. When offered, Fall and Spring Semester GeoJourneys will also be nine-week programs. A Fall Semester GeoJourney would run for the first half of the Fall Semester while a Spring GeoJourney would run the last half of the Spring Semester. The academic responsibilities of the student are confined to the program dates; for Fall and Spring semester, GeoJourney students are free to pursue other opportunities during the remainder of the semester. Many students opt for temporary full-time employment upon returning from the Fall GeoJourney or prior departure on the Spring GeoJourney. An orientation picnic will be held prior to each GeoJourney departure for the student participants and their families.
More information can be found on-line at http://www.geojourney.org; by calling Nikki Elkins, the Director of GeoJourney, at 419-372-6540; by visiting the program office in room 284 of Overman Hall; or contacting the BGSU Honors Program or the Chapman Learning Community. Applications can be found on-line at http://www.geojourney.org/aponline.htm.