Through an immersive experience in the spectacular landscape of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, this course will introduce you to two closely related topics: (a) the natural and cultural history of Canada's Rocky Mountain National Parks, and (b) the principles and practice of effective "heritage interpretation" (i.e., communication strategies directed at visitors to educational, natural, or recreational sites).
Over the course of nearly three weeks at the peak of the summer season, you will travel through Banff, Jasper, Yoho, and Kootenay National Parks. The program will begin with two half-day workshops (led by professional Mountain Park interpreters), which are designed to equip you with a basic understanding of the Mountain National Parks' ecosystems and cultural history, and also the principles that guide effective interpretation. Over the following weeks, you will participate in activities that range from hiking into the back-country (to see 505-million-year-old fossils!), canoeing on glacial lakes (in some of Canada’s most iconic settings!), and from white-water rafting (through class-5 rapids!) to riding on gondolas (above the area's top grizzly habitats), taking a glacier tour (on a giant "Snow Coach" bus) and, in the interest of rejuvenation, soaking in several luxurious natural hot springs.
- Content: Understand the key elements of the natural and cultural history of the Canadian Rockies
- Principles: Understand the basic principles of heritage interpretation
- Practice: Put into practice the knowledge you have gained to:
- Analyze and assess the interpretive programs/displays you encounter
- Develop interpretive materials that you can present to your peers, instructor, and the USD community
July 24-August 13, 2018
ENGL 492 Glaciers, Grizzlies, and Gondolas: The Nature and Culture of Canada's Rocky Mountain National Parks, 3 credits (syllabus)
- ESCI 492 Glaciers, Grizzlies, and Gondolas: The Nature and Culture of Canada's Rocky Mountain National Parks, 3 credits
- HIST 492 Glaciers, Grizzlies, and Gondolas: The Nature and Culture of Canada's Rocky Mountain National Parks, 3 credits
- SPCM 492 Glaciers, Grizzlies, and Gondolas: The Nature and Culture of Canada's Rocky Mountain National Parks, 3 credits
- SUST 492 Glaciers, Grizzlies, and Gondolas: The Nature and Culture of Canada's Rocky Mountain National Parks, 3 credits
Participants will camp for several nights; other nights will be spent in hostels arranged by the program.
Wondering how much it's going to cost? See Budget Sheet for information about total program costs, payment schedule, and the withdrawal and refund policy.
Scholarships and Financial Aid
How am I going to pay for it? See our Financial Assistance page for a list of USD and external scholarships.
To inquire about using federal financial aid to help toward the expense of this program, contact the Office of Financial Aid as early as possible (non-USD students should contact the financial aid office at their home institution). NOTE: To be eligible for federal financial aid, you must be enrolled in a minimum of 6 credits during the summer or 12 credits during fall/spring semester.
Applications—including all required pre-decision materials and recommendations—must be submitted online by the deadline specified in the Dates/Deadlines section on this page. Incomplete applications cannot be considered. To start an application, click the Apply Now button on this page. If the Apply Now button does not appear, applications are either not open yet, or it is past the deadline.
If you have started an application already, use the LOGIN (USD applicants) or NON-USD LOGIN (non-USD applicants) link on this site to return to the materials.
This program is open to students of all majors.
This program is open to applicants from any institution, although preference will be given to USD students.
All applicants must be in good academic and judicial standing at their home institution. For other eligibility requirements, including minimum GPA and any language prerequisites, refer to the Fact Sheet on this page.
Heather Love is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English at USD. She grew up in the Canadian Rockies and has worked as a seasonal (summer) employee since 2001 for Parks Canada, where her responsibilities have centered on interpretation (presentation of natural and cultural history to the public in a variety of formats, ranging from theater performances and guided hikes to developing text and design for printed materials).
Carter Neal is a Lecturer in the Department of English at USD. He has lived and traveled broadly in the Canadian Rockies for major parts of four summers. He has taught undergraduate courses on ecocriticism and specifically on the environmental literature of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina.
For general inquiries, contact the faculty director (Heather.Love@usd.edu) or the Center for Academic & Global Engagement (email@example.com).
To schedule an advising session with Søren Peterson in CAGE, go to http://tinyurl.com/USDabroad-smp.
For information about immunizations and health precautions, refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). After you have been admitted to this program, you will be required to complete a travel physical with a healthcare provider such as Sanford Vermillion.