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Honors Program
Course Description

Honors Program: A pathway to excellence.

Coral Reef Conservation Ecology and introduction to creative writing

This class is an interdisciplinary, thematically integrated study of how threats to tropical coral reef and adjacent seagrass and mangrove ecosystems impact worldwide biodiversity and sustainability, and what we can do to help conserve these critically important systems. Tobacco Caye, Belize (Central America), is located right on the second largest barrier reef in the world and is the home of diverse coral reef, seagrass, and mangrove communities, where students can learn about these tropical environments experientially in the field. Students will also participate in coral reef monitoring and restoration activities with the local nonprofit Fragments of Hope.

This course in organismal biology introduces major concepts in ecology, evolution, classification and biodiversity. Tropical coral reefs are hosts to some of the richest biodiversity on the planet, and therefore decline of coral reefs worldwide is a pressing concern. It is important to understand the complex ecological relationships of coral reefs in order to determine how this diverse ecosystem will respond to current and future threats. This course will introduce students to diversity, classification, evolution and ecology via coral reefs and associated ecosystems (seagrass and mangrove communities). Material will be presented from a global perspective, with a focus on Caribbean coral reefs.

CRWR 240, Introduction to Creative Writing, introduces the student to the art and craft of poetry, fiction, and (creative) nonfiction, and serves as an introduction to the 300- and 400-level creative writing courses dedicated to each of these broad genres. You will try your hand in these forms of imaginative writing, and in the process, use elements common to them such as voice, metaphor, image, character, setting, and story. This course expects you to take writing risks you might not have taken before as you explore elements of craft and of your own experience and imagination. You will learn about revision and constructive feedback, and gain some confidence in these literary forms as you compile and submit a portfolio of your work. This portfolio will include poems, one extended prose piece (either short, short story or creative nonfiction, e.g. personal or nature essay), and a short reflection upon your work. Or instead, the portfolio could primarily consist of an extended photo-journalism project. s including recent worldwide coral bleaching events, heavy fishing pressures and pollution, review recent coral reef, seagrass and mangrove community restoration efforts based on state of the art research, and deliver a professional presentation based upon their their literature reviews.

Travel Abroad: During the second and third weeks of Block 6, 2020 students in both classes, which usually will meet as one class, will travel as a group to Tobacco Caye, Belize led by their faculty. Interested students will have the opportunity to participate in a Discover SCUBA course with the Reef's End Divemaster on Tobacco Caye, and SCUBA certified students will have the opportunity to dive. Note that students can use financial aid and apply for an X1 grant for travel costs.

CRWR 240, Introduction to Creative Writing
BIOB 170 Principles of Biological Diversity
BIOE 250 Conservation Biology
BIOE 250 Conservation Biology

Instructors: r. Wendy M. Ridenour AND Dr. O. Alan Weltzien
Time: Spring, BLOCK 6, 2018.

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