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Honors Program
Course Description

Honors First Year Experience: Linked Courses

"Earlier in my life, I thought I was in love with the answers. I found out later that I was really in love with the questions . . . " - Roger Dunsmore.

Wildfire in the West and Land of Fire
This is a freshman honors course that will be linked for both Block 1 and Block 2.

Block 1: Wildfire in the West: Across the world we are experiencing unprecedented rates of global change. From globalization to climate change humans are fundamentally altering human and natural systems. How do we promote human development while also ensuring natural resources are available for future generations? In this course, students will learn how global change is affecting people and the planet and explore how this plays out regarding water and fire across the west. Students will learn what it means to be environmentally sustainable and students will see what this looks like in practice and work to implement their own project: (1) During the course we will visit local sustainability projects including the LEAD Certified Hospital, solar homes, wastewater treatment plant and Clark Canyon Dam. (2) Over the course of the block students will design and implement a local sustainability project. Through this group project, students will learn first-hand the challenges of implementing and assessing sustainability projects and will learn how to work together and problem solve to overcome these challenges.

This Natural Science General Education course is designed to be a first-year experience for both major and non-major students who are interested in societal and environmental issues. In Block 1 there will weekly fieldtrips. We will be visiting local sites relevant to sustainability and meeting with local organizations and community members engaged in sustainability initiatives, particularly regarding water and wildfire. Course fees will be used for travel, lodging, meals, tour or program fees, as well as for educational or group project materials.

Block 2: Land of Fire: Students will develop probabilistic and numerical skills to extend students’ ability to model human-water interactions and their effects on wildfires. The knowledge gained in the first course will allow students to make more realistic assumptions and approximations leading to better models. Students will consider how changing water supply and increased wildfires can affect the quality of life of humans (air quality, damage to property etc.) as well as the resulting issues on the water supply such as an increased probability of sedimentation in rivers and lakes.

We will also explore questions of environmental sustainability. The models will be used to investigate how to balance human and environmental water resources needs while also ensuring sufficient water resources for future generations.

Honors First Year Experience: Linked Courses
The subject matter in these two courses will be interrelated and each course will substitute for general education requirements in each field of study. The purpose of Honors First Year Experience is to foster extended collaboration among students engaged in the study of ideas that transcend specific disciplines. These courses will emphasize active involvement and project completion. First Year Honors Linked Courses are an excellent way to begin your undergraduate explorations of Experience One. Students must register for both classes, one after the other during Blocks 1 and 2.


HONR 194 Wildfire in the West (Block 1): Students must satisfy the Math Proficiency Standards (see page 8 of the catalog).
HONR 194 Land of Fire (Block 2) Students must satisfy the Math Proficiency Standards (see page 8 of the catalog).

General Education in Science: ENSC 191 Environmental Sustainability
General Education in Mathematics: STAT121 Probability

Instructors: Dr. Arica Crootof and Dr. Joeseph Eason

Time: Fall 2023, Blocks 1 & 2

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