College of DuPage - Field and Experiential Learning/Study Abroad
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Contact the Field and Experiential Learning/Study Abroad office at (630) 942-2356
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THE JOHN MUIR TRAIL: YOSEMITE AND THE ANSEL ADAMS WILDERNESS
Following the Sierras and immersed in arguably the finest mountain scenery in the United States, the 210-mile John Muir Trail is the ultimate legacy to the renown naturalist who spent years roaming this wilderness. Join us as we climb out of Yosemite Valley, among massive waterfalls and the iconic Half Dome, past Cathedral Peak where Muir made a first accent in 1869 to the high country of Tuolumne Meadows. From here we cross 11,000 foot Donahue Pass into the Ansel Adams Wilderness where we will travel among photogenic alpine lakes through Muir's "Range of Light", and finish the trek at the geologically significant Devils Postpile National Monument. Prior backpacking experience and consent of instructor is mandatory. Students must be comfortable backpacking up to 12 miles a day at altitudes up to 11,000 feet, while carrying a 40 pound backpack. Those wanting to continue the trek can join us for Part 2 (John Muir Wilderness/Kings Canyon NP) in fall 2017.
Class: August 3, 2016 (6 to 8 p.m.)
Field Study: August 20 to 29, 2016
Fee: $1449 (includes air and ground transportation, lodging and camp fees group camping and backpacking equipment and some meals). Tuition for two credits is extra.
Register for code: PHYS 1800 FS010
AUTUMN IN THE COLORADO ROCKIES
Autumn in the Colorado Rockies means fewer crowds, blue skies, crisp, clean air, snow-dusted peaks, and mountainsides blanketed in aspen yellow. Hike under these golden canopies to spectacular vistas in Rocky Mountain National Park, Maroon Bells, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and much more. Explore abandoned ghost towns, soak in hot springs, learn how to safely and comfortably hike at higher altitudes, and discover the plants and animals that call this wild, rugged country home. Participants must be comfortable hiking up to 6 miles a day at altitudes up to 10,000 feet.
Class: September 7, 2016 (6 to 8 p.m.)
Field Study: September 17 to 24, 2016
Fee: $1480 (includes airfare, airport shuttles, ground transportation, hotel lodging and some meals). Tuition for one credit is extra.
Register for code: PHYS 1800 FS029
BACKPACKING: FALL COLOR IN THE SYLVANIA WILDERNESS
Learn introductory backpacking skills as we travel through old-growth forests and along the pristine lakes of the Sylvania Wilderness in Michigan during peak fall-color season. During this weekend adventure, students will learn backcountry cooking, map and compass navigation, Leave No Trace outdoor ethics and much more. This course is great for the first-time or more experienced backpacker. Participants must be comfortable backpacking up to 7 miles a day with a 30-pound backpack.
Class: September 14 (6 to 7:50 p.m.)
Field study: September 30 (8:00 a.m.) to October 2, 2016 (9:00 p.m.), 2015
Fee: $25 (includes ground transportation, group camping/backpacking equipment and camp fees/permits). Tuition for one credit is extra.
Register for code: PHYS 1811 FS001
APPALACHIAN AUTUMN: NATIONAL PARKS OF THE CAROLINAS
Travel along the renowned Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina and venture deep into Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Pisgah National Forest to explore waterfalls, colorful fall colors, mountain vistas, and remnants of early American life. Then we will cross the boarder into South Carolina to Congaree National Park. Here we will hike among some of the tallest trees in the Eastern United States. Participants should be comfortable hiking 5 to 8 miles per day.
Class: October 5, 2016 (6 to 7:50 p.m.)
Field Study: October 22 to 27, 2016
Fee: $1160 (includes airport shuttles to and from the College of DuPage, air and ground transportation, hotel lodging, park admissions and some meals). Tuition for one credit is extra.
Register for code: PHYS 1800 FS005
BELIZE AND GUATEMALA: RUINS TO REEFS
Join us winter break as we head to Central America for an active, multi-sport adventure. Trek to the summit of Mayan pyramids in Tikal and Xunantunich, snorkel among the hundreds of species of tropical fish on the second largest reef system in the world, hike and canoe among howler monkeys and toucans through lush jungles, and discover fascinating Mayan history as we explore the intricate cave system of Actun Tunichil Muknal. Learn about the ancient Mayan culture and the fragile coral reef ecosystem as you improve your hiking, canoeing, caving and snorkeling skills. Participants must be comfortable being active 6 hours a day.
Class: December 14, 2016 and January 30, 2017 (6 to 9 p.m.).
Field Study: January 7 to 14, 2017
Fee: $2680 (includes air, ground and water transportation, lodging, all activity fees and some meals).
Register for code: PHYS 1813 FS035
AURORA BOREALIS TO IDITAROD: ALASKA'S WINTER WONDERS
Situated under the auroral oval, Alaska's geographical location is perfect for viewing one our planet's most mysterious natural phenomenons – the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights. Join us as we head north to Anchorage, Denali National Park and Fairbanks, Alaska to experience these solar storms and other unique Alaskan events unattainable during the busy summer months. Partake in the festivities of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race, snowshoe among towering alpine peaks, try cross-country skiing, soak in natural hot springs, and much more.
Class: February 8, 2017 (6 to 8 p.m.)
Field Study: March 2 to 10, 2017
Fee: $2460 (includes air and ground transportation, hotel lodging, all entry fees, cross country skiing and snowshoeing equipment/fees, park admissions and some meals). Tuition for one credit is extra.
Register for code: PHYS 1800 FS036
BIKING: ACROSS MISSOURI ON THE KATY TRAIL
Spend your spring break biking across the state of Missouri on America's longest rails to trails project, the 237-mile Katy Trail. Follow the Missouri river much like Lewis and Clark did in 1804, and ride through small town middle America, all while improving your cycling endurance. Expect to ride 50 miles a day with the assistance of a support vehicle along the way.
Class: March 13, 2017 (6 to 8 p.m.)
Field Study: March 25 to 29, 2017
Fee: $550 (includes ground transportation, hotel lodging, support vehicle, and some meals). Tuition for one credit is extra.
Register for code: TBA
ANCESTRAL CLIFF DWELLINGS OF THE SOUTHWEST
Visit some of the best-known archaeological sites of the Ancestral Puebloans who lived more than 10,000 years ago in the Four Corners region of the United States. Travel to Bandelier National Monument, Chaco Culture National Historical Park and Canyon De Chelly National Monument to see and learn why these areas were settled, abandoned and now protected. The field study will conclude with a visit to Petrified Forest National Park where we will hike among 200 million year old fossilized trees and expansive badlands. Expect to hike 5 to 8 miles a day.
Class: March 15, 2017 (6 to 8 p.m.)
Field Study: April 2 to 8, 2017
Fee: $1410 (includes airport shuttles to and from the College of DuPage, air and ground transportation, hotel lodging, park admissions and some meals). Tuition for one credit is extra.
Register for code: PHYS 1800 FS038
BIKING: MINNESOTA'S BLUFFLANDS
Join us as we head to southeastern Minnesota for three days of riding among the rock outcrops, wooded valleys, streams and historic towns of the Root River and Harmony-Preston Valley State Trails. Improve your cycling endurance as we ride up to 40 miles a day while learning bicycle safety, basic bike repair and maintenance along the way.
Class: April 19, 2017 (6 to 7:30 p.m.)
Field Study: April 28 (departing in the AM) to 30, 2017
Fee: $25 (includes transportation, camp fees, group camping equipment, trail passes and park admissions). Tuition for one credit is extra.
Register for code: TBA
AUSTRIA AND GERMANY: BIKE THE BLUE DANUBE
Alongside the Danube River from Passau, Germany to Vienna, Austria lies the renowned and most famous cycling path in Europe. Discover the enchanting river landscape, picturesque villages, lush vineyards and countless cultural sites as we cycle comfortably, up to 40 miles a day, along the banks of the "Blue Danube". In addition to riding 300 kilometers across two countries, participants will also have the opportunity to explore the Bavarian metropolis of Munich and the "city of music" that is Vienna.
Class: May 3, 2017 (6 to 9 p.m.)
Field Study: May 20 to 30, 2017
Fee: $3425 (includes air and ground transportation, hotels, bike rental, luggage transfers while riding, Viennese concert and some meals). Tuition for one credit is extra.
Register for code: PHYS 1804 FS060
ALASKA'S NATIONAL PARKS: DENALI, WRANGELL-ST. ELIAS, AND KENAI FJORDS
Ditch the cruise ship and get your boots dirty as we get out and experience some of the very best that the great state of Alaska has to offer. Hike among the continents highest peaks in wildlife-rich Denali National Park. Explore the historic Kennecott mines in America's largest National Park, Wrangell-St. Elias. And take to the water and marvel at calving tidewater glaciers, puffins and whales in Kenai Fjords National Park. Expect to hike between 5 and 10 miles a day.
Class: June 7, 2017 (6 to 8:50 p.m.)
Field Study: June 22 to July 2, 2017
Fee: $3875 (includes airfare, land and water transportation, hotel lodging, park admissions, tours, and some meals). Tuition for one credit is extra.
Register for: PHYS 1800 FS062
ICELAND: EXTREME GEOLOGY IN THE LAND OF ICE AND FIRE
Located on the arctic circle, and straddling two of Earth's major tectonic plates, Iceland is the ultimate geology classroom. Join us this summer as we walk atop glaciers, soak in hot springs, climb volcanoes, marvel at waterfalls and study the science behind the danger and beauty of this land of ice and fire. Circle the country and visit locations such as Reykjavik, the Blue Lagoon, Þingvellir and Vatnajökull National Parks, Jökulsárlón Lagoon, Akureyri the Snæfellsness Peninsula, and much more during this 10-day volcanologic and glaciologic expedition.
Class: July 5, 12, 19 and 26 (7 to 9:50 p.m.)
Field Study: August 9 to 19, 2017
Fee: $4195 (includes air and ground transportation, hotels, entrance/activity fees, specialized equipment and some meals).
Register for code: EARTH 1800 FS063
CANOEING: VOYAGEURS NATIONAL PARK - JULY 2016
CANOEING: THE PERE MARQUETTE RIVER - JUNE 2016
BIKING: DOOR COUNTY - MAY 2017
CANOEING: THE PERE MARQUETTE RIVER - APRIL/MAY 2016
HOT SPRINGS AND WILD RIVERS: THE NATIONAL PARKS OF ARKANSAS - APRIL 2016
AURORA TO IDITAROD: WINTER IN ALASKA - MARCH 2016
PATAGONIA: TREKKING THE TORRES - JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016
HIKING: CLASSIC LANDSCAPES OF THE DESERT SOUTHWEST - OCTOBER 2015
BACKPACKING: FALL COLOR IN THE SYLVANIA WILDERNESS - SEPTEMBER 2015
ICELAND: TREKKING THE LAND OF FIRE AND ICE - JULY 2015
BIRTHPLACE OF CONSERVATION: THEODORE ROOSEVELT NATIONAL PARK - JUNE 2015
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How do I register for a Field Studies course?
The easiest way to register for a Field Studies course is to call Lynn Dudzik in the Field Studies office at 630.942.3763. Lynn is always willing to answer any questions you might have regarding registration and payments.
How many people do you take on your Field Studies courses?
I try to keep groups small so we do not have as big an impact on the environment. Also, because of many of the wilderness areas we travel to, restrictions are made on the number of visitors. Most courses have no more than 12 students, some no more than 10 and others, no more than 8.
Can I go on a field study without signing up for the course or courses?
No. All classes/trips must be taken for credit. There are no exceptions. However, many of the people taking these courses are not traditional students. Some people in my classes may not want the course credit, but they choose these course organized field trips because they want to learn about the focus of the field trip.
Can a payment plan be worked out so I don't have to pay all of the trip fee at once?
Yes. In most cases, students may register and begin paying for classes with fees of $500 or more. The office has a separate payment schedule set up for each course. Contact the Field Studies office at 630.942.2356 for payment schedules for specific courses.
What is the experience level required?
Unless it's noted, all courses are for beginners. Some courses combine options for students with different skill levels where experienced people have new options and beginners are introduced to the course skills. Some course descriptions have restrictions on student ability like "must be able to paddle 10 miles a day" or "must be able to hike 8 miles a day over rough, hilly terrain with a 35-pound backpack" because of the objective. Please contact me if you have questions about your skill level.
Will all of the students be 18 or 19 years old?
Though it's hard to predict the ages of students who will register in a class, the average age of students participating in our classes has been around 40 years old. I have even had classes with students aged 18 to 80 in the same class.
What equipment do I have to bring?
Different courses have different equipment needs. Most of the equipment is provided for Field Studies courses like tents, pots and pans, camp stoves, kayaks, canoes, paddling equipment, backpacking equipment, climbing equipment, etc. Students may be required to obtain some personal items for their course like special clothing, eating utensils, water bottles, headlamp/flashlight, etc. Most students have these personal items, and some borrow the equipment from friends or myself. Food is provided on some of my courses, but students must provide all of their meals for others. Contact me if you have equipment concerns for specific courses.
Can I sign up for a course before my regular registration appointment?
Particularly in the case of more expensive trips, students may usually begin making payments for the "trip" portion before their registration appointment date. In this situation, your down payment will guarantee your space.
Do these classes count for graduation credit?
Yes. All classes offered through this department count toward graduation credits, either as electives or required courses. If you are planning on transferring, please check with the institution you plan on transferring to.
If I really enjoy a certain class, can I take it again?
You may take as many courses designated 1800 as you'd like. As long as the class title is different, you will get additional credit for the class. You may even take the same class over, for example, Rock Climbing, Physical Education 1841; however, your grade will be recorded as "R" for repeat, and you will receive no additional credit for the course.
How much work is involved with the courses?
For most of these courses, students must show an effort to learn the associated skills. Certain classes may require more work.
What is your experience level?
I've been with the College of DuPage Field and Experiential Learning/Study Abroad department for over 20 years. Currently, I teach roughly 10 for-credit adventure courses a year, and am Coordinator of Experiential Education and Training. Over the years I have developed and implemented over two hundred successful adventure courses all over the world. I hold a Wilderness First Responder (WFR) certification and I'm also CPR certified.
College of DuPage
Field and Experiential Learning/Study Abroad
425 Fawell Blvd.
Glen Ellyn, IL 60137
Office: BIC 3509
I have been involved with Field and Experiential Learning at the College of DuPage for over 20 years. From dogsledding in the arctic of Alaska to tramping all over New Zealand, I have taught and led over 200 programs across the world. I am a trained wilderness first responder, avid photographer and happy father to twin girls. If you have questions, or would like to participate in any of my programs, please contact me.