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Honors Program
Course Description

Honors Program: A pathway to excellence.

HON 101/301 Geology, Mining, Culture, & Labor History of Butte, Montana (Roberts & Satterley)

Butte, Montana (and immediate vicinity) has a very long geological history, which ultimately resulted in metals mineralization that earned it the name "Richest Hill on Earth." Early Native Americans apparently exploited some of the near-surface mineralization, but it was the increasingly important sequence of gold-silver-copper discoveries in the mid to late 19th Century that created the mining community of Butte. Mining attracted people from all over the world, who carried out a wild, rich, multicultural experiment in the middle of the otherwise rural West, and completely altered the history of Montana, the labor movement, and the landscape. Mining continues today, as does the cleanup of the nation's largest Superfund site. Join this Honors class to explore the geology and history of Butte with field trips, archives research, guest lecturers, films, food, stories, and more.

The course will explore Butte geology and human and environmental history, in an experiential format that will include relevant lectures but will center on:
1. Five or more extended (day-long) field trips to Butte and vicinity, lead by Roberts and Satterly and augmented by several guest lecturers/leaders.
2. Reading assignments and films
3. Service-learning research projects
4. Experiential studies of ethnic music, food, clothing; mining practices; and other cultural items
5. Storytelling and other performances

Students will participate in all class activities, but will produce researched reports, creative presentations, and other activities related to the disciplines for which they are receiving substitution credit, with expectations adjusted for the academic level of their substitution. The class will include a service-learning research project in cooperation with the Butte Archives (see below). A major part of assessment of student performance will be seminar-style presentations of their research and/or creative work and one public presentation. Other assessments will include one or two exams on basic course geology and history content.

The class will include a service-learning research project, in cooperation with Ellen Crane, Director of the Butte Archives. She will present students with an annotated list of possible topics that are of interest to the Archives staff, and for which information exists in their files. Each student will choose a character, event, mine, or other interesting topic, complete a research project, and produce and record a radio "spot," which will be aired in Butte and Dillon. We may also offer students an alternative service-learning project with the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology, but that is still in development. _____________________________________

Instructors: Dr. Sheila Roberts and Thomas Satterly

Substitutions: Possible course substitutions (subject to departmental approval):
Geology 101 (Introduction to Geology);
Geology 103 (Introduction to Environmental Geology);
Geology 409 (Geology Seminar);
History 294 (History Seminar, a General Education history course);
History 355 (Montana and the American West);

Time: Fall 2011, Block 2

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