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HONR 194K / HONR 194L - Geological Landscapes of Southwest Montana

Geological Landscapes of Southwest Montana and Literature and the Land

“Earlier in my life, I thought I was in love with the answers. I found out later that I was really in love with the questions . . . ” – Roger Dunsmore.

HONR 194K Geological Landscapes of Southwest Montana (Block 3)

As humans, we are influenced by the landscapes that surround us. Landscapes have the power to shape the societies and cultures that are built upon them. In this course we will gain an understanding of what has shaped the landscapes of southwest Montana by learning to read the stories told in the rocks and fossils preserved through the eons. To that end, we will begin the course through acquiring basic geological knowledge of rocks, minerals, fossils, plate tectonics, and surface processes so that by the end of the course each student will be able to go out onto a small piece of southwest Montana to acquire data and then tell the history of their small piece of the landscape.

Throughout the course we will improve our ability to make observations, increasingly using the language of geology to describe what we observe and using our own observations, with insights gained from prior scientific work, to interpret Earth. Each day we will be engaging with real Earth materials and real Earth data, including 4 – 6 days (weather dependent) out in the spectacular geology that surrounds the University of Montana Western. Field observations, written work and outside reading are designed to begin exploring how culture defines the land, and how land defines culture which will continue into the Literature and the Land Course.

HONR 194L Literature and the Land (Block 4)

In this course students will study a variety of literary works that intersect in various ways with the landscape and geology. Texts will range from Romantic poetry to contemporary memoir, with an emphasis on works that deal with the landscape of the American West. The course will take an interdisciplinary approach, blending history, literature, and cultural studies with the content from the linked geology course. Students will engage in both analytical and creative writing projects.

Honors First Year Experience: Linked Courses
The subject matter in these two courses will be interrelated and each course will substitute for general education requirements in each field of study. The purpose of Honors First Year Experience is to foster extended collaboration among students engaged in the study of ideas that transcend specific disciplines. These courses will emphasize active involvement and project completion. First Year Honors Linked Courses are an excellent way to begin your undergraduate explorations of Experience One. Students must register for both classes, one after the other during Blocks 3 and 4.


General Education in English: Lit 168: Literature and the Environment (Humanities: Literary and Artistic Studies)
General Education in Science: GEO 101/103/107

Instructors: Dr. Rebekah Levine and Dr. Ashley Carlson

Time: Fall 2018, Blocks 3 & 4,