Course code:

ES3089

Level:

M - Intermediate

Class size limit:

8

Typically offered:

Once

A “Geopark” is a designated area that features internationally significant sites of interest which highlight connections between geology and cultural heritage. Geoparks exist in over 40 countries, but currently there are none in the US. At present, a steering committee is in the planning stages of proposing one for our area of Coastal-Downeast Maine. Within this area there will be multiple “geosites”, chosen for their geology, cultural history, proximity to existing infrastructure, and potential for community engagement, will each feature interpretive signs and/or other materials enabling visitors to experience aspects of the geoheritage. To develop each geosite and educational materials, expertise is needed from multiple fields: geology, hydrology, geomorphology, human history, wildlife and plant biology, art history, and more. In this tutorial, students will work together with students in the Museum Practicum class to design one or more geosites for one of around five zones of coastal Maine stretching from Pemaquid Point in mid-coast Maine (southwest) to Cobscook Bay State Park near the Canadian border (northeast). Through individual meetings with instructors, small group meetings between students with and without instructors, and larger group meetings/presentations with instructors and visitors, students from both classes will be engaged with the overarching Geopark project throughout the term. The tutorial students will first research the local geology, biology, and human history and then synthesize and organize the information to highlight site-specific connections. The Museum Practicum students will consider site-specific characteristics and educational content suggested by the tutorial students to suggest options and prototypes for interpretive materials such as signs or online content. While each group of students will have separate topics to focus on, this will be very much a collaboration between the tutorial students and Museum Practicum students with one overarching objective to produce prototypes of the educational materials at geosites. Students in this tutorial will be assessed based on the quality and thoroughness of the topics researched and synthesized as well as their participation in the collaborative project with Museum Practicum students.

Prerequisites:

Introductory geology class and/or course in human history relevant to coastal Maine recommended but not required; permission of instructor.

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