Faculty-led USA Learning Programs provide an opportunity to have hands-on study and service learning experiences throughout the United States. Students can choose from a variety of programs led by Western faculty throughout the year, and earn Western credits.
Curious about what type of programs are offered? See below for a listing of our upcoming courses and past programs.
2020 Faculty-led Study USA Programs
Place-Based Environmental Learning
Travel Dates: June 14-21, 2020
Wyoming! Land of sweeping vistas, rugged mountains and sprawling ranches. The owners of HF Bar Ranch, a historic guest ranch, have invited WWU faculty and students to help them transition from a traditional guest ranch to an environmental learning facility. Students will develop materials and exhibits to create an historical museum at the ranch with an environmental focus. They also will prepare materials to train the ranch staff in techniques to educate guests about local ecosystems, culture, history, anthropology and environmental issues. This 8-day course, from June 14-21, will include introductions to the flora, fauna, geology, archaeology and history of the Bighorn Mountains via horseback riding, hikes, field excursions and guest guides and speakers. Each student will research a particular subject area and develop and exhibit, training materials, field guides and program plans for guest use and staff training.
Pre-Reqs: None: environmental education or field science courses and experience preferred.
Contact: Wendy Walker
New York City
Metro Art Access: NYC 2020
Informational meeting dates: Weds. 11/6 2019, 1/15, 2/5, 3/4 2020
5:30 p.m., FI 202
Pre-departure session dates: Weds. 4/22, 5/6, 5/20, 6/3, 2020
5:30 p.m. FI 202
Travel dates: June 23 - July 3, 2020
This 6-credit WP1 course offers Art/Non-Majors the opportunity to visit New York City with two practicing artists and faculty members familiar with the city. Students will participate in a variety of activities ranging from touring major public museums and institutions, such as The MET, MoMA, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, to exclusive visits with artists, curators, and gallery owners. Using NYC as the classroom students will learn by experiencing celebrated historic and contemporary art in one of the world’s largest art centers. Repeatable. No prerequisites required.
The Grand Canyon
Riparian Conservation in the Grand Canyon
5 credits applied to fall quarter
Travel Dates: December 20, 2020 - January 3, 2021
In its course through the Grand Canyon, the Colorado River traverses gradients in elevation, biogeography, federal-tribal relationships, recreation management, and conservation programs. The canyon also lies between the two largest reservoirs in the U.S., in the middle of an over-allocated river basin beset by increasing water demands during a protracted drought. Water and river management issues there presage challenges much of the western U.S. must address soon. Conservation in the canyon has a rich history, including ancient Indigenous legacies, opposition to dam construction, managing recreational uses, mitigating dam impacts, protecting endangered species, limiting invasive species, and reintroducing California Condors. Students in this course will learn about concepts defining these gradients, issues, and programs – and encounter them directly on a river journey through the canyon.
Contact: John McLaughlin
Exploring Great Cities: Sustainability in Paradise
4 credits - applied to Fall Quarter
Pre-departure Session Dates: Sat., Nov. 16, Sat., Nov. 23, Fri., Dec. 13, Sat., Dec. 14, 2019
Travel Dates: December 15-22, 2019
Join Dr. Patrick Buckley, WWU Department of Environmental Studies faculty, for this four-credit, winter-break course to Honolulu, Hawaii. After preparation at WWU (in person or by Skype), you will spend eight days and seven nights on this field methods course, examining sustainability in one of the world’s great cities and exploring concepts and themes in human geography and urban planning, of which provide a framework for the analysis of the human environments, as well as the forces and efforts that shape them.