Great Smoky Mountains
This is Professor Curtis from the Biology/Chemistry Department at Purdue North Central, and I’d like to tell you about a unique travel-study course that we offer through the Office of Graduate and Extended Learning here at PNC.
Natural History of the Great Smoky Mountains is a 3-credit course centered around a 1-week trip to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The course is typically countered towards a natural science requirement, and includes a laboratory component.
During the course, students take part in a consortium with students from other colleges and universities to explore and examine the history, environment, and ecology of America’s most-visited National Park.
The course is a truly immersive experience in which students spend time walking on trails, wading through streams, and learning firsthand what makes the Park such a special place.
We discuss the history of the Smoky Mountains and the people inhabited the area before the creation of the park and get a taste of mountain pioneer culture.
We learn about the important role of streams in creating and sustaining the landscape, and we get to know some of the organisms that call those streams home, including salamander populations for which the Smokies are famous.
We hear lectures and talks from a variety of local experts including Park staff who share their insights on animal control, and rangers who interact with the millions of people who visit the Park each year.
We cover the entire range of habitats from the forest of the mountain tops all the way down to the coves and hollows at the lower elevations.
Our experience is hosted by the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont, a non-profit outdoor education facility featuring an air-conditioned dormitory, lecture hall, laboratory, swimming hole, and dining hall that serves three delicious family-style meals every day. (Nobody has ever complained about the food!)
I hope that you’ll consider joining us for this unique experience. Many former students will testify that this is an amazing experience that alters the way they look at natural resources and the world around them.
Please contact the Office of Graduate and Extended Learning for this year’s dates, fee structure, and more information.