Course: BIOL 223, Topics in Biology or IS 210, Topics in Culture and Civilization (three credits)
Instructor: Dr. Kirk Kelley, Professor of Biology
Support Person: Amy Gorowsky
Dates: June 26 - July 15, 2015 (subject to change)
Locations: Annecy, Chamonix and Paris, France
Price: $5,000 (tentative)
Application deadline: January 5, 2015
This is a course that strives to study the intersection between biology and the people and culture of the Western Alps. There will be two major components to this course. First, there will be an investigation of selected biological topics relevant to the Alps. In order to understand the ecology of the Alps, one must first have a basic understanding of the geology and climatology of the region. Once this foundation is established, students will begin to learn about the ecology of the region. The use of scientific method will play a major role in the understanding of these topics. Altitude plays a major role in alpine ecology. We will study the effects of altitude on growth patterns and distribution of plants and animals. Global climate change is a topic of world-wide importance and the recession of glaciers due to climate change affects plants and animals as well as the local tourism industry. Another topic we will explore is the effect of high altitude on the human body.
The second component will include a study of French civilization, culture, language, and people, especially relating to the Alps. The Alps serve as a unique physical barrier to language and culture between different countries. The region where we will study is very near the convergence of France, Italy, and Switzerland. This provides for a unique regional interaction of languages, cultures, and religion. Some of the activities are designed to bring students closer to the lives of French people and to the patterns of French living, thus gaining some sense of the rhythm of French life. We will visit a wonderful regional cultural museum where paintings and relics give one a glimpse of how alpine people lived in an earlier era. Of course, culture can also be experienced through the local cuisine. We will experience regional dishes that reflect the alpine lifestyle.
Naturally, no visit to France would be complete without time spent in Paris. The great "City of Lights" has long been recognized world-wide as a center for culture, education, music, art, and architecture. It is also unarguably the very heart of the francophone world. Students will experience this culture by visiting some of the world's most well-know sites and museums and from simply wandering through Parisian neighborhoods.
This course fulfills General Education requirements for 3 credits of natural science (BIOL 223) or humanities (IS 210), but not both.
Application deadline - January 5, 2015. No applications will be accepted after this date.
Step 1: Complete the online application.
Step 2: Fill out a Liability Form. Return your completed Liability Form to 313 Ambrose Hall.
Step 3: Submit a $500 deposit to the Study Abroad Office (checks payable to St. Ambrose University)