Ecology of the Southwest

Students study in the Southwest during J-term 2016.

This course focuses on the ecology of the Southwest desert, particularly on the adaptations of organisms to arid conditions and ecological aspects of human water use. The trip takes place primarily in southern Arizona, with a few stops in Colorado, Utah, and northern Arizona.  Activities will include hiking in the Grand Canyon, camping in the Sonoran desert, learning the common plants and animals of the desert, discussing current environmental challenges and solutions, and carrying out a field project.

"Copper - most of which is shipped away for rapidly-developing industry in China - makes up much of the technology that makes up our modern world. But it is devastating to its local environment. Later this afternoon, we each came up with research project proposals that will keep us busy for the last leg of the trip... We had our discussion tonight, and popped outside to watch the moon rise over the mountains behind Florida Canyon. The stars are prime for watching, cards ready for playing, and hot cocoa ready for slurping!" —Maddy Kofoed, J-term blog 2014