Course code:



I - Introductory

Class size limit:


Meets the following requirements:

  • HS - Human Studies

Lab fee:


Typically offered:

Once every three years

Using Acadia National Park as a case study, this course will explore the various facets of “the national park idea” and what it means for Americans in terms of history and identity.

Through direct experiences in one of the “crown jewels” of the park system, the class will examine the historical, ecological, cultural, social, legal, economic, and spiritual context in which national parks are formed and continue to exist in the 21st century.

We will work with National Park Service professionals to look at various aspects of park management and day-to-day challenges of implementing the “national park idea.” Through weekly field trips, journaling, service learning opportunities, and projects, we will be immersed in the management and experience of Acadia.

We will explore, through reading and writing, the broader themes of wilderness preservation, attitudes toward nature, the history of conservation, and the commodification of nature. This experiential class is specifically geared toward first-year students and they will be given preference for enrollment.

Assignments will include journal writing, short exercises, a group project/service learning opportunity, short presentations, and papers.



Always visit the Registrar's Office for the official course catalog and schedules.