The perfect opportunity to go abroad for the first time
Our students head out across the globe every Winter Term. We hope you’ll be one of them!
This fall 2015 we will post the 2016 Winter Term program descriptions; to participate in one of those trips, you will need to complete an application and fill out the certification. You’ll also need to get your passport and pay a deposit. Scholarships are available. We’ll help you through this application process.
2016 Program Descriptions
Professor Steve Denison
Many of the greatest scientific discoveries in history were made in England. Darwin wrote “The Origin of Species” at his home in South London. The structure of DNA was discovered in Cambridge and Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin in his laboratory at St. Mary’s Hospital in London. From our home base at the Eckerd College London Study Center on Gower Street, we will explore a wealth of resources in and near London in our study of the history of science. We will visit sites including the British Museum, Natural History Museum, Kew Gardens, the London Zoo and the Royal Observatory in Greenwich. We will also take trips to Cambridge, Charles Darwin’s House in Kent and Bletchley Park/National Museum of Computing. In addition, we will explore the arts in London by visiting the Tate Britain and Tate Modern Museums and attend two plays or musicals. Students will have time to explore London and will have a three-day weekend to travel. Costs DO NOT include airfare, round trip transport from the airport to the London Study Centre, personal expenses and entertainment not within the program design.
Professor Nathan Andersen
For the past several decades, independent film has played an important role in challenging the authority of the film industry represented by Hollywood, providing alternatives for viewers fed up with mainstream cinema. The increasing quality of digital video and the potential for online funding and distribution has provided more opportunities for filmmakers to tell their stories and make them available, but with so many films out there it is harder for the good ones to stand out. Film festivals, such as the Sundance Film Festival, remain vital for their role in getting the word out about what’s worth watching. In this class we’ll spend two weeks exploring the history of American independent film, from the ‘70s, when maverick filmmakers like Dennis Hopper showed the world a different side of America, to the unique styles of filmmakers like Stephen Soderbergh and Quentin Tarantino in the early ‘90s, to the radical changes in films of the last decade or so as a result of digital technologies and the internet. The class will culminate in a visit to the Sundance Film Festival, held in Park City, Utah, where students will be a part of the action, spreading the word about the latest and greatest, and posting images and videos of their experience, in an online course blog.
Professor David Gliem
In this course we will evaluate critically the role of the visual arts and architecture in the creation of America’s national identity. After the Revolutionary War, America’s artists used portraiture, history and genre painting, as well as the design of national monuments and government buildings to embody and communicate to those at home and abroad the values and aspirations of the new nation. The use of the arts for this purpose persists even to this day. After a two-week period on campus conducting research and engaging in discussion, we will spend seven days in Washington DC and Philadelphia exploring various historic sites and museums.
Professor Brian Ransom
After reading and discussing several articles which have been prepared from the newest and most salient sources, we will embark on a journey within which sights, smells, feelings, and experience meld together forming a tangible portal into pre-Columbian times in South America. Through visits to ancient architectural sites, museums, and curanderos (folk healers) in THE varied geographical spectrum of Peru, we will endeavor to build a construct which uniquely blends ancient and magical belief systems with the usual stylistic choices made by the indigenous peoples who inhabited South America since the last ice age.
Destinations will include the famous ruins of the Chavin, Moche, and Chimu in the North of Peru. As we travel we will visit notable museums and meet with prominent curanderos along the way. Several days will be spent in Lima, acclimating and seeing artworks. We will travel to a shaman’s village in the Peruvian upper amazon, then up into the Andes Mountains to experience the profuse number of Incan ruins there, including Machu Picchu, among others. Finally, we will wind our way southward down the Peruvian coast to visit the magnificent Paracas peninsula, and fly above the Nazca Lines, by far the best way to experience the monumentally-sized drawing which the ancients carved into the southern coastal pompa.
Professor Kirk Wang
Imagine going to a place of rich history yet frozen in time, or encountering people in a fishing village depicted in the books of Hemingway? This Winter Term course will explore the cultural, historical and social environment of today’s Cuba, by studying photography and photojournalism. We will visit places, such as schools, factories, stores, museums, public facilities, farms or fishing villages, etc., in Havana, the capital, and other urban and rural areas in Cuba. We will interact, research and document Cuban people in all walks of life, as well as scenes of streets and countryside, via photography or “visual essay/journals”. We will study the fundamental skills of photography, digital or film, while gaining a service-learning experience. By the end of the Winter Term, we will develop and create a photographic portfolio. If situation allows, we will exhibit the images of our discovery on campus when we return.
Professor Dave Duncan
Explore Hong Kong and experience the incredible natural and cultural diversity that make this one of the world’s most fascinating cities. Often referred to as the ‘Pearl of Asia’, Hong Kong has a complex history. Growing from a small fishing village to its status today as a Special Administrative Region of China (SAR), students will investigate the events that transformed it into a British Crown Colony, its importance during World War II, and its rise as one of the world’s great economic centers in the 21st century. Trips to the Hong Kong History Museum and Museum of Coastal Defense will create the framework for placing the cultural diversity of Hong into context. Students will visit Taoist temples (Wong Tai Sin), Buddhist temples (Temple of 10,000 Buddhas) and the oldest Anglican Church in Hong Kong (St. John’s Cathedral). A hike to the Po Lin Monastery and a visit to one of the world’s largest seated buddhas, Tian Tan, will be followed by a lunch served at the vegetarian only monastery.
Students will also participate in a traditional tea ceremony and enjoy a classic dim sum meal during our stay, as well as a hike through a traditional 13th century Tang village (Ping Shan) on the way to the Hong Kong Wetland Park and research center.
The environmental issues facing Asia as a whole are well known, and Hong Kong has been a leading proponent of environmental research led by our partners at Hong Kong Baptist University and their Croucher Institute of Environmental Sciences. Students will visit the Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir and Education Center, where Eckerd students have investigated the mangrove environments and cultural history (dragon boat races) of this small community. We will also visit Sai Kung Village, the starting point for a geological tour of the adjoining Port Shelter harbor where former Eckerd students have investigated coral distributions and the effects of changing climate on these important ecosystems. Evaluation of students will be based on a group project, a research paper, a daily journal, and participation. This trip is open to all majors.
Professor Gregg Brooks
Although Cuba is only 90 miles from south Florida, it is completely different from cultural, political and environmental perspectives. Environmentally, Cuba offers a wide variety of tropical terrestrial and marine environments including rainforests, canyons, rushing mountain rivers/waterfalls, unique rock formations (Mogotes), pristine coastal environments and spectacular coral reefs. This course will explore all of these environments, but will focus primarily on marine and coastal aspects, as well as how the Cuban culture has adapted to modern life while preserving their traditions and environment. We will spend approximately two weeks touring Cuba and offshore islands, experiencing its unique environments and cultures. It will be an active trip that may at times be physically demanding, including hiking and skin/SCUBA diving. Stops will include Havana, Vinales with the spectacular Mogotes rock formations (found in only a few places throughout the world), Bay of Pigs for extensive coastal environments and cultural/political aspects, and the Isle of Youth with its pristine coral reefs.
Course expectations include active participation including water activities (SCUBA available but not required), group projects dealing with aspects of marine and/or terrestrial environments and Cuban culture. Grades will be based on participation, a field journal, exams, and a written report/oral presentation on the group project.
Professor Bill Szelistowski
This project will incorporate students into research activities undertaken through the joint Eckerd College-Universidad de la Habana marine science collaboration. Students will participate in data collection for projects conducted in the marine environment of Cuba, working side-by-side with Cuban students, staff, and faculty from boats or from shore. Specific projects will be determined prior to course registration. In addition, students will have an opportunity to explore Cuban culture by visiting sites of cultural and historical interest. Good swimming ability and prior snorkeling experience required. SCUBA diving may be incorporated into the course for those students who are certified to dive.
Professor Laura Wetzel
This course presents a unique opportunity to explore and study one of the most geologically and biologically diverse regions in the world. While in Ecuador you will learn about volcanoes in the Andes Mountains and the Galapagos Islands while studying the unique natural history and culture of Ecuador. You will visit ecological reserves, encounter spectacular volcanoes, including Cotopaxi, Antisana, and Tungurahua, and spend a week exploring the Galapagos Islands by land and sea. Participants will hike through many terrains and must be in excellent physical condition.
Pre-departure classes and readings will prepare you for the trip. Evaluation will be based on participation, examinations and a final project.
Professor Jeannine Lessmann
This course presents a unique opportunity to explore and study one of the most biologically diverse regions in the world. While in Ecuador you will learn about the ecology of mangrove forests, tropical rain forests, and cloud forests. As well, you will study the unique natural history and culture of Ecuador. Participants must be in excellent physical condition; you will hike through mountainous terrain and mangroves, spend a week exploring the Galapagos Islands by land and sea, and camp in the Amazon rain forest.
Pre-departure classes and readings will prepare you for the trip. Evaluation will be based on participation, examinations and a final project.
Professor Nancy Smith
This course is designed to familiarize you with diverse environments of Roatán, Honduras, and to provide you with an appreciation of the complex, interdisciplinary nature of this fragile environment. The course will examine the integrated tropical ecosystems including coral reefs, sea grasses, mangroves, and rocky intertidal zones. The geological component will examine carbonate systems particularly as related to the unique geological features, and the role tropical shallow-water ecosystems play in the geological development of the region. This environment is an optimum site in which to see firsthand the interaction of geologic and biologic processes operating to produce this unique environment while requiring only a basic scientific understanding.
This course format will include preparatory lectures on campus, a field program at the Roatán Institute for Marine Sciences, a multi-night visit to historic ruins and a wrap-up on campus following return. The field portion will require, at times, long periods on and in the water making observations and collecting data. Consequently good swimming skills and snorkeling abilities are required. SCUBA certification is not required, but recommended. Non-divers are welcome. A significant portion of this program will also be dedicated to examining the Roatán culture and how the population interacts with the environment. Evaluation will be based on class participation, performance on research projects and presentations and examinations.
Professor Jeff Felardo
This course explores the important relationships between development, culture, and the environment. Students will explore these relationships through readings and travel in Southeast Asia. We will visit some of the most important cultural sites in Southeast Asia, and discuss the impact that culture has had on attitudes towards— and interactions with—the environment. There will be conversations with government officials, forest managers, and environmental activists. The course begins in the urban capital of Thailand, Bangkok, before traveling to Angkor Wat in Cambodia. From there we head north to rural Mukdahan and Kam Cha I in Northeast Thailand, and spend a day in Laos’ second largest city, Savannakhet. We will finish the class in the teak forest of Chiang Mai, part of northern Thailand. Here we will explore the urban area as well as Hmong villages located in the jungle. Evaluation will be on pre-trip quiz, discussions and journal. Presentation of project before College government and NGO officials.
Professor Tony Brunello
How do we balance the need for security with the vital human need for freedom, sustainable development and peace? Peace and human rights in the 21st Century are constantly in tension with war, poverty, and environmental deterioration. How effective is the United Nations in building trust and relationships of cooperation in international relations?
At the United Nations in New York City students will learn about the work of the UN through discussions with UN Staff, delegates from Member-States and representatives of non-governmental international organizations. The main topics of the course include the UN role in peacekeeping, human development, environmental sustainability, human rights, and collective security. The students stay in midtown Manhattan near Central Park, Rockefeller Center, and other attractions at the heart of a great city. Students study at first-hand how the UN fosters paths to peace, security and human development in global affairs. We will have meetings with the Missions of the permanent members of the Security Council, and the work of other committees involved in the post-2015 Millennium Development Goals. We will also study the role of the UN in many ongoing crisis situations from Syria to the Congo and around the world. The primary objective is for the students to personally participate in discussions concerning how the UN works toward a future of trust, peace, and common decency.
Evaluation for the course is based on completion of assigned readings, attendance at all briefings in New York, the keeping of a daily New York journal, and a final paper. Students will arrive in New York City on January 6, 2016, and will depart on January 21, 2016. Costs do not include round trip airfare from home to New York or return to Eckerd Campus.
Professor Ed Grasso
Explore ancient civilizations and world class organizations on this once in a lifetime adventure. The countries of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos have exhibited high levels of economic growth, business development, and cultural changes over the last decade and are designated as the new Asian Tigers or the next Mini Dragons. We will compare and contrast the management strategies and leadership styles of organizations in each country while exploring their historical and cultural treasures, and interacting with students and faculty at major universities, embassies and consulates.
In the Socialist Republic of Vietnam we will explore the Cu Chi Tunnels near Saigon, visit clothing manufacturers in Hoi An, and walk the grounds of the Forbidden Purple City in Hue, the former imperial capital of past Vietnamese dynasties. In the capital city of Hanoi we will visit Ho Chi Minh’s House, the Temple of Literature and enjoy “Roi Nuoc” a traditional water puppet show. In Laos we will visit the ancient temples of Luang Prabang and the caves of Pak Ou, stuffed with Buddha images of all styles and sizes, along the Mekong River. While in Cambodia we will ride elephants and explore the more than 100 sacred temples of Angkor Wat built between the 9th and 13th centuries in honor of the Khmer Kings. Evaluation will be based on group project, paper, journal and intercultural interactions. Open to all majors.
Professor Peter Hammerschmidt
This off-campus Cuban Winter Term will explicitly compare and contrast the USA economic system oriented toward capitalism with the Cuban economic system oriented toward socialism.
Specific attention will be given to the history/development of these systems, issues of efficiency, equity, income distribution, government involvement, and resource ownership. The overall goal will be to directly experience the virtues and flaws of each system. Specifically students will investigate the above by exploring, comparing and contrasting the following economic sectors in Cuba: healthcare, agriculture, education, sports, business, housing and tourism. No prerequisites.
Professor Frank Hamilton
This course will immerse you in the bustling street market life of London, one of the most exciting and lively cities in Europe. You will have the opportunity to visit some of the many street markets in London and observe the behavior of Londoners as they buy and sell products from fresh produce to flowers, antiques, books and a wide variety of products. Street markets occur daily in different parts of the city. With over 100 markets to choose from, students will be divided into teams to visit and sample different markets and observe consumer behavior and selling techniques. Additionally, we will visit sites such as the Museum of London, the Docklands Museum, the National Gallery and the Tower of London, all of which will provide the historical context of the street markets. Visits to Stonehenge, Salisbury and Battle are planned, all the while you will learn how to hone your skills in making sense of, evaluating, documenting and writing about these experiences to share with your travel mates and others.
No prerequisites. Costs DO NOT include airfare, round trip transport from the airport to the London Study Center, personal expenses and entertainment not within the program design.
Professor Antonio Melchor
Learn Italian (and earn a semester of language credit) in Florence, the birthplace of Italian culture and one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Florence is the city that gave us writers like Dante and Boccaccio, and artists like Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Botticelli (and many more too numerous to mention). You will be learning Italian in the city where it originated, and putting it to use every day. And while Florence is a city full of cultural treasures, many of which we will visit, it is also a lively university town rich in the art of living, a magnet for young people from Europe and beyond. In addition to living in Florence, you will also travel to Rome and Venice, two cities as extraordinary as Florence, yet as different from it – and from each other – as possible. Rome is the city of emperors and popes, the home of the Coliseum and the Sistine Chapel, as well as a bustling, multicultural metropolis that epitomizes the Italy of the twenty-first century; Venice, on the other hand, is a startling urban creation, a city precariously standing in a lagoon in the northeastern reaches of Italy, a traditional port of entry into Europe of luxury goods and dreams of the exotic. These three cities will give you a glimpse of the richness and variety of il bel paese, the beautiful country. Don’t miss this opportunity.
Professor Yanira Angulo-Cano
Take advantage of a unique opportunity to study and learn Spanish while living and exploring one of Spain’s most historic and celebrated cities, Salamanca. Attend intensive classes (four hours daily) taught by the staff of Hispano Continental School. Exposure to and knowledge of Spanish history and culture through discussions and lectures. Students live with local Spanish families, which greatly facilitates the learning process. Students are tested upon arrival and placed in appropriate language levels for classes. Evaluation by written test and oral interviews. Successful students will earn a full semester language credit. Excursions to nearby cities include LaAlberca, Pena de Francia, and Avila-Segovia. Also included in the program are a tapas party, dinner at a Zamora winery, cinema, dance lessons and horseback riding.
Professor Ashley Scheu
Montpellier’s stunning Place de la Comédie at the city’s center encapsulates the heart of this culturally vibrant city on France’s Mediterranean coast. Nineteenth-century buildings and the central fountain of the Three Graces give a nod to the city’s rich history while sleek trams and students bustle below, an indicator of Montpellier’s modern upgrades and university culture (students account for about one third of Montpellier’s population). As the city also boasts of reputable language schools, there is no better place to immerse yourself in French language and culture. Upon your arrival, you will be placed in an intensive course at the Institut Linguistique du Peyrou (ILP) where you will study French every morning. True beginners to advanced students are welcome. In the afternoons, you will learn about French culture through activities ranging from cooking classes with a French chef to a session on French music at the ILP and a visit to the grounds of a local chateau and winery. On some afternoons, we will gather in a local café to sip coffee, eat pain au chocolat, and discuss French culture. This winter term also includes excursions to Avignon, Arles, and Aigues-Mortes. Students will further improve their knowledge of French language and culture by living with host families near the city’s center. Successful completion of this winter term will fulfill a global perspective and will count as one semester of French language study.
Professors Crystal Young-Erdos and Kristina Wenzel
Ikaria, a Greek island in the Aegean Sea, is known for being home to people with some of the highest life expectancies in the world. This longevity has been attributed to their diet, focus on social relationships and daily moderate physical activity. In this course, students will learn how various biochemical, lifestyle and relational characteristics impact health and longevity. After exploring historical landmarks and learning about the Mediterranean Diet and longevity from experts in Athens, we will travel to Ikaria where students will be immersed in the Ikarian lifestyle. In addition to visiting a local beekeeper, traditional winery and olive grove, students will learn the Ikarian approach of farm to table cooking and enjoy late evenings by the fire listening to live music, socializing with local Ikarians and discussing longevity. Throughout these experiences, students will observe the communal relationships embedded in the Ikarian culture. As we travel through Greece, students will keep a food and activity journal to capture their biochemical and social experiences as we seek to understand the secret to a long and happy life.
Ghost Ranch is a working ranch located in the uniquely beautiful high desert of northern New Mexico. Participate in a regional orientation program and enroll in one individual study project. Students travel on their own. Participants in this program should plan to arrive in New Mexico on Sunday, January 3, 2016 and to depart on Sunday, January 24, 2016. Additional travel information will be furnished at the time of registration.
Costs do not include airfare. Costs are, however, inclusive of all fees and include round trip transportation from the Albuquerque Airport. Weekend and evening activities, dances, movies, and worship services are included. Enrollment is limited by Ghost Ranch – apply early.
NOTE: Students will spend an additional estimated $100-$200 after they start the class for silver and stones depending upon their desired number of pieces.
This is a hands-on course in the basics of silver jewelry making and lapidary. Techniques are demonstrated but learning comes from actually doing the work. Problem solving is a significant part of this learning process. Studio work will be supplemented by demonstrations, discussions, guest instructors and gallery visits. You will leave with multiple pieces of wearable art and a discovery of your own creative potential.
Five-gallion tin cans, often for lamp oil storage and brought to New Mexico in the late 1800’s along the Santa Fe Trail, were recycled by Spanish craftsmen into works of art — crosses, candelabras, frames for mirrors, sconces and intricate jewelry (earrings, brooches, necklaces, hair pins, and pendants). You will learn the skills of tinworking from a master artist and with hammer, tin shears, soldering iron, and punches as simple as a nail, create your own intricately designed and worked necklaces, sconces, and mirror frames from tin. Use of turquoise and retablo paintings (small oil paintings of the saints on tin, wood or copper) have now expanded the beauty of this art. Field trips to tinwork collections and artists’ studios round out this class.
The rich earth of this mysterious and sacred landscape is the starting point for this class – the brilliant geological formations, the earth’s clay, the yucca paintbrush. After thanking the earth and gathering the clay, you will learn how to prepare it and coil it into pots, then fire your pots in ways traditional to the Pueblo potter. Join in the rare opportunity to experience the potter’s relationship to the earth, which is rooted in respect and honoring, and carry the earth of northern New Mexico back to your homes as micaceous pots.
Learning from a master weaver in the Southwest Spanish tradition, you will return home with completed pieces of your own and understand how textile arts have been a way of life in northern New Mexico for generations – for survival, creative expression and connection to the Earth and one another. Enjoy field trips to museums and private studios to meet with weavers native to this area taking you into the depths of northern New Mexico through the lens of the tapestries, rugs, horse blankets and sarapes and the people who wear them.
A paleontology retreat. An outdoor adventure to hike first-hand the geology, paleontology and archaeology of northern New Mexico, for all of which the Ghost Ranch area is internationally known. The class includes field trips to the spectacular geology of the Colorado Plateau, Rio Grande Rift, and Jemez volcanic field (the first week), the dinosaur quarries of the Ghost Ranch (paleontology, the second week), and ancient village ruins of the Southwest (archaeology, the third week). This is an opportunity to explore the ancient worlds of cliff dwellings and kivas and the primordial worlds of oceans, volcanoes, Coelophysis and Effigia.
G16S111 Expanding Spiritualities: Learning from the Spiritual & Religious Communities of Northern New Mexico
Northern New Mexico draws an abundance of spiritual communities of different faith traditions to its canyons and mesas. This class is about cultural immersion and engagement by meeting and talking with members of different communities –Moslems, Sikhs, Benedictine brothers, Rio Grande Pueblos as well as by visiting other communities nestled along wild and scenic rivers, on high mesas, or in the deep canyons of northern New Mexico. Engage in expanding spiritualities in an open, informed and generous way with people holding different beliefs who are following a diversity of spiritual practices.
Using digital photography, learn about the mystical aspects of the desert – the stunning geological formations of Ghost Ranch and the awe-inspiring landscapes, rivers and villages of northern New Mexico. Much of the time is spent outdoors, with background sessions on both color and classic black and white photography. This class is an intense experience into the world of seeing and the rewards and results will be astonishing.
Required Equipment: A digital camera with adjustable exposure modes (P, TV, AV, M), a tripod and a laptop computer with photo editing software (Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, or similar).
G16SW111 Thriving in the High Desert: Sustainability, Preserving the Present, & Protecting the Future
Build a beehive, construct a 3-bin composting system and make a waffle garden. Visit a wild plant farm and ancient farming sites from the 1300’s and 1400’s and learn what plants tell you about the health of the ecosystem and sustainability, preserving the present and protecting the future. Understand biodynamic, organic, no-till and permaculture farming and be prepared to plant cool season crops in the greenhouse and cook New Mexican foods. Learn about saving seeds and growing your own food. Visit a Farmers’ Market, a greenhouse in production and build soil. These are some of experiences offered as you meet traditional and organic farmers and become better stewards of this Earth we call home.