Rivers: A Wilderness Odyssey

Rivers Through Time

Rivers Through Time

Please note: Rivers:  A Wilderness Odyssey will not be offered in 2015. 

At College of the Atlantic, we believe that students learn best when they get as much individual attention from faculty as possible. This program is limited to 8 students.

Over the course of twelve days you will:

  • Spend a full week exploring the Allagash Wilderness Waterway.
  • Explore the complexity of managing a wilderness waterway.
  • Use scientific inquiry to examine amphibian abundance and diversity.
  • Learn the history of the people who lived in and shaped the Maine Woods.
  • Think about what wilderness means and how humans relate to nature. 
  • Experience how the environment changes the color and shape of your thoughts.
  • Reflect on the interactions between sensations, perceptions, and conceptions.
  • Become competent in wilderness camping, paddling, and river navigation.
  • Challenge yourself, both intellectually and personally, through hands-on group experiences, study, and reflection.

Program Overview

The course begins on the COA campus with an introduction to the history and policy of the northern Maine Woods and the idea of wilderness. While on Mount Desert Island, students will explore Acadia National Park, which provides a connection to the outdoors for millions of visitors each summer. These experiences and observations will be contrasted with the experience of a downriver canoe-camping expedition on the Allagash Wilderness Waterway in northern Maine - one of the last remaining premier wilderness waterways in North America. This expedition will serve as our laboratory to experience and explore the nature of wilderness, the role of science in understanding the biology of wilderness, as well as the transformative power of shared adventure.

Rivers Through TimeThroughout the course, students will work directly with College of the Atlantic faculty, conduct group projects, and write extensively about their experiences. Upon returning to campus, students will use their group project results, writing excerpts, and photographs and/or illustrations to produce a final group presentation for their professors, peers, and the public at the end of the session.

3.3 Semester Credits


Program faculty will include:

Ken Hill, Ph.D. - Educational Psychology - Read Faculty Bio
Chris Petersen, Ph.D. - Aquatic Biology and Policy - Read Faculty Bio
Sara Hall, Ph.D. - Earth and Planetary Sciences - Read Faculty Bio

Not offered in 2015

Rivers: A Wilderness Odyssey will not be offered in 2015.

Contact Information

Marie Stivers, Coordinator



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