The Lake District National Park has been inhabited and cultivated by humans for more than 1000 years. In such an environment, what does the term “natural” mean? The area is a region of supreme natural beauty and has inspired generations of authors to reflect on the qualities of nature. Geologic events and climatic conditions cast the foundations for the development of complex interactions between humans and the environment that resulted in this serene landscape. Modern demands are forcing changes to the land. Society recognizes the value of planting more trees, but the shepherds need open space to graze their sheep and tourists value the unobstructed view. A rewilding movement seeks to promote natural ecosystems, but that begs the question, “What is natural?” By cross referencing the two fields of biology and literature, we hope to uncover how humans’ attitudes towards nature have impacted the actual decisions made regarding the land. Together, as an abroad, we will search for evidence for the definition of “natural” by observing the ecosystem, researching stakeholder perspectives, and by reading from the works of Lake District authors past and present.

Spring Semester 2019

SPST 285: Country Studies: England
This course provides an interdisciplinary survey of contemporary issues within the destination country. These issues may include geography, cultural history, politics, economics, religion, foreign relations, environment, the arts, etc.

Summer Break 2019

BNR 362: Conservation: Lake District England
This course focuses on how natural resources of a given country are managed. Students study conservation management strategies of representative ecosystems as well as species management and the interface of native culture and resource conservation. There is not a prerequisite for this course.

ENGL 220: Environmental Literature
This course focuses on the ways in which the environment has been portrayed in English language literature and the relationship between that portrayal and treatment of the environment. The course may focus either chronologically or regionally. Students are also introduced to theories of environmental aesthetics and their ethics.

PE 085: Hiking/Backpacking
Instruction on hiking basics, including training and preparing for long
distance walking, preparation for weather conditions, proper clothing and footwear, trail etiquette, and navigation.

Fall Semester 2019

SPST 281: Reentry Seminar: Lake District England
The reentry seminar is an opportunity for students to articulate the personal and academic learning gained from their study abroad program experience. Students share their growth and experiences through reflection, writing assignments, and the creation of a documentary presentation for the community.