Eagle Bluff to host undergraduate J-term class focusing on Driftless Area

Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center in Lanesboro will host its first ever January interim course for college students Jan. 3 to 13. The class is open to undergraduate students from any institution and offers four credits through Hamline University.

In the new class, Driftless: The Anatomy of a Region, students will explore the area’s unique geology, geography, and biology through first-hand experience. Visits to local parks, businesses, and farms will bring Eagle Bluff’s experiential learning style to the college level, engaging students directly with their environment. Students will stay in Eagle Bluff's dorms and eat meals in their dining hall, except when staying offsite.

“Learning is best done outside, in hands-on, exploratory ways. Too often undergraduates spend most of their time in a lecture hall, not visiting places or meeting people who embody the ideas discussed in the classroom,” Eagle Bluff adult education manager Henry Whitehead said. “This class will give students the opportunity to use the outdoors as their classroom, and to make connections between people and place that would be difficult to do in a more traditional undergraduate setting. Our goal is for students to be able to take something from this class and apply it in their home communities.”

Course instructors will include several Eagle Bluff staff, as well as field visits to local experts. In addition, students will engage in the best outdoors recreation opportunities the region has to offer, as well as visiting culturally and naturally important sites in southeastern Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin. Students will also spend a portion of the trip staying in western Wisconsin and exploring critical issues facing the Driftless Area.

Applications for the course, which runs Friday, Jan. 3, through Monday, Jan. 13, at Eagle Bluff’s campus in Lanesboro can be submitted online at eaglebluffmn.org/jterm. Course cost is $1,110, which includes all meals, instructor costs, travel, and housing. Credits can be received through Hamline University for $780. Those interested are encouraged to seek more information at www.eaglebluffmn.org/jterm.

Located five miles northwest of Lanesboro, Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.