Courses during the 2023-24 MT term
Everybody Lives Downstream: The French Broad and Colorado Rivers is a Mountain Term course that includes two weeks of on-campus instruction and 10 days of travel. Rivers are extraordinarily abundant and dynamic ecosystems that have nurtured wild biotic communities for millenia. Human societies, too, have long relied upon rivers - for water, food, transport, energy, and more. But modern human uses, compounded now by anthropogenic climate change, threaten riverine systems. This course centers on immersive inquiry into two ancient watersheds: the French Broad River in Southern Appalachia, and the Colorado River in the West. Through comparative investigation of water quality and quantity; biodiversity; cultural and economics significance; and policy and management strategies; students gain understanding of key threats and responses to them. The course includes approximately 10 travel days in the Colorado River basin, and site visits in both basins hosted by scientists, policy makers, and community stakeholders. Community service and engagement in the French Broad watershed will be sufficient to satisfy PEG 2 of the Community Engagement Commitment. The course will generally meet from 9am-12pm Monday through Thursday on campus, with possible afternoon field trips between 12 and 5 pm. This course will include a roughly 10 day trip to Utah, Arizona and Colorado.