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 The Grand Canyon Semester
  BQR ~ Fall 1999

o-sponsored by the National Collegiate Honors Council, the Grand Canyon Trust and the Grand Canyon National Park, Northern Arizona University (nau) is hosting an exciting program called “The Grand Canyon Semester: The West as Image and Reality” in the Fall semester of 1999. This program selected 33 honors students from 33 different universities in the United States to come to nau for an intensive multi-disciplinary immersion study of Grand Canyon and Colorado Plateau issues. Five faculty were assigned to work exclusively with this project mentoring these students in workshops examining Grand Canyon from a variety of academic perspectives: geology, environmental science, environmental ethics, wilderness impact, political and economic, resource management, arts, and history. In addition to the faculty directly involved, students are working with a number of outstanding guest scientists, artists and historians who will share their considerable expertise on Grand
Canyon. Numerous public events involving distinguished speakers such as Stephen Pyne and Baird Callicot are also planned.
The 33 students were selected in a nationwide competition. In addition to academic work in a traditional classroom setting, students are involved in numerous field trips in Grand Canyon and other Colorado Plateau sites and each student is required to give something back to Grand Canyon in the form of specialized projects for the National Park Service (nps) which will be reported in a public session at the end of the semester. Though the students will experience many field trips during the semester, the highlights are the one week stay at the Albright Training Center and the October nps river trip. In the former, nps officials will take over all the formal instruction in the program teaching every aspect of park administration. On the river students will be involved with various projects directed by nps science staff. These events, and others, are an excellent example of an educational program in and about Grand Canyon that benefits both the students and the canyon. The program also demonstrates outstanding cooperation among federal, state, private non-profit and commercial agencies.
Representing the nps on the river as crew, in addition to other experienced guides from the private and commercial boating community,
are Deputy Superintendent J.T. Reynolds and River Rangers Dave Trevino and Dave Desrossiers.
Jacob Fillion, nps environmental educator, has been assigned the role of liaison between nau and nps and has played a key role in making this project successful. Grand Canyon Semester also wishes to acknowledge generous contributions from the Farmer's Market (their food tasted good on the river) and Bill Gloeckler of Arizona River Runners.
Bob Poirier

 
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