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Cornell Wilderness Term - 2005

Low Lake from the Wilderness Field Station (credit: David Kesler)
Banner photo: Hegman Pictographs (credit: Heather Axen)

The Cornell Wilderness Term (CWT) is an off-campus program comprising courses in the sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities. Courses are taught during the first term of the academic year at the Wilderness Field Station on Low Lake in the Superior National Forest. The Field Station is within walking distance of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, described by National Geographic Traveler as "paradise found" and one of the "50 greatest places of a lifetime."

CWT provides students with unique opportunities for field, laboratory and other creative work, and for reading, writing and reflecting in a wilderness setting. Co-curricular activities--such as camping, canoeing and evening seminars--enable cross-disciplinary sharing of ideas. CWT courses are advertised each year in the TERM TABLE. Participation in the program entails additional costs that are not covered by regular tuition or financial aid, and include transportation, room and board, and use of Wilderness Field Station facilities. Click on details for further information about expenses, weather, and what to bring.

Courses Offered in September 2005

Note: All classes begin on campus. Students and faculty will travel together to the Wilderness Field Station at the end of the first week of Term I and return at the end of the third week.

BIO 1-321


Bob Black

Ecological theory. Why do individuals and species live the way they do, in the numbers they do, in the areas they do; and what environmental influences guided their evolution? (Laboratory Science)

Prerequisites: BIO 141, 142, and permission of the instructor.

BIO 1-337


Andy McCollum

Insects are, by many ecological measures, the dominant life forms on Earth. With nearly a million named species and probably many times that many yet to be discovered, they provide most of the planets biodiversity. They inhabit nearly every habitat; consume nearly every form of organic matter, living or dead, serve as food for other animals, and transmit some of the most widespread and debilitating diseases of humans, our crops and our livestock. They are also tremendously beautiful creatures with complex behaviors. After four days on campus learning many of the basics of insect biology, we will spend two weeks at the Wilderness Field Station and surrounding environs studying the biology of insects in nature. Field work will include insect sampling methods, behavioral observations on insects, and making collections to use to learn how to identify major groups of insects. Since the Wilderness Field Station is in land dominated by lakes, we will focus much of our attention on aquatic insects. The course will include a several-day backcountry canoe trip to collect and observe insects in different aquatic habitats. Canoeing and camping experience are not necessary – just curiosity, a spirit of adventure and a desire to observe organisms in as natural a setting as can be found in the United States today. (Laboratory Science)

Prerequisites: BIO 141, 142, and permission of the instructor.

ENG 1-374

Advanced Topic: Wilderness,
Language, and Metaphor

Glenn Freeman

This creative writing course will include a canoe trip into the Boundary Waters wilderness. We will focus especially on the intersections between landscape, interior experience and creative expression. Students will experiment writing in a variety of genres and will explore different techniques to use natural settings in their writing. Will also include the study of respected nature writers such as Barry Lopez, Edward Abbey, and Terry Tempest Williams. The Cornell Wilderness Term provides students with unique opportunities for reflection and creative work in a wilderness setting. Co-curricular activities—such as camping, canoeing and evening seminars—enable cross-disciplinary sharing of ideas.

Prerequisites: Writing-designated course and permission of the instructor.

The Cornell
Wilderness Term

The Boundary Waters
Canoe Area Wilderness


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