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Honors Experiential Spring Break: Olympic National Park

Jan 11, 2010

The University Honors Program is excited to present a new and innovative experiential spring break opportunity in Olympic National Park. Working in partnership with the National Park Service and UW faculty and researchers, the Honors Program advisers will lead this exploration of the unique relationship we have with ONP.

Tentative dates: March 22-March 27

Described by the National Park Service as "a land of contrast and variety", Olympic National Park reveals diversity in all forms. In this experiential spring break program students will explore the dramatic physical diversity of the park while examining the diverse ways in which humans interact with this space. We will move from the rugged Pacific coastline to the dramatic Hoh rainforest and perhaps even on to the sweeping alpine vistas of Hurricane Ridge-depending on snow levels, of course! With a particular focus on the ways in which the University of Washington community interacts with the park, students in this program will engage in a variety of projects, from avian mortality surveys of the coast to tree core surveys, outdoor education mentoring with local teenagers to gauging snow pack levels in the high country.

Underlying and intertwined with these projects is the unique natural history of the park, and participants will examine how Olympic National Park is meeting the demands of its own popularity by discussing some important questions: What are the major challenges that face Olympic National Park, and what does it consider its most significant accomplishments? How does the park balance the diverse interests of the urban and industrial areas surrounding its borders? How has the social and scientific research conducted in the park contributed to this understanding? And why is understanding this diversity essential for understanding the future of this important place?

Over the course of one week students will move together throughout the park, meeting with park officials, University faculty and researchers, artists, and everyday citizens who care deeply for Olympic National Park. Through service, research, discussion, hiking, questioning, teaching, and reading, we will above all explore why this place matters in our culture and to our future.

Interested students should attend an information session at 12:00pm on Wednesday, January 13 in the Honors Seminar Room, 211B MGH. A short application for this program can be found at https://catalysttools.washington.edu/webq/survey/uwhonors/90275. Applications are due January 15, 2010.

Apply for the Honors Experiential Spring Break 2010 »