Necessity of Wilderness Archways Seminar Fall 2014

Dr. Dale M. Benham, professor of biology

Wilderness is “…an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain” (Wilderness Act of 1964), and I believe it must be experienced to be fully appreciated. In this course, we will explore the recreational, ecological, geological, historical and cultural values of wilderness and study the conservation and preservation movements for wilderness protection.

To begin this Archways Seminar, students spend six days exploring the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northeastern Minnesota by canoeing, portaging (carrying canoes, camping gear and food from one lake to another) and camping in this remote area.  This experience serves as our case study for an exploration into the necessity of wilderness in North America, which we investigate during the Fall 2014 semester.

This trip is a rugged wilderness experience with canoeing and portaging several miles each day, sometimes in difficult conditions (steep, rocky, muddy portages, carrying 50lbs of equipment or more). No prior camping experience is necessary; however, you must be in good physical condition with no physical impairments to prevent successful performance of necessary trip activities.

Course enrollment is limited to 14 students. The trip begins Aug. 10, two weeks before the first official day of class. Interested students must complete an application and send it to me (email is best: dbenham@nebrwesleyan.edu) by May 23 and I will select students by May 30. A fee of $300 (above other NWU fees) for this course, to offset trip costs, is due by July 15.