FLORENCE – Planning to take a trip this summer? Maybe three Francis Marion University professors have planned just the trip you need.
Jeff Camper, associate professor of biology, Travis Knowles, biology instructor, and Kathleen Pompe, associate professor of art, have planned a joint trip west for biology and art students during the first summer session for biology and photography students.
The two classes will travel together, camp together, and cook and share meals and clean-up. But when it comes to course work, students will participate in some activities jointly, and some separately.
For instance, biology students will compare Chihuahuan and Sonoran desert communities and live-trap and release small desert mammals. Photography students will visit the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson and the Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe.
Biology students will study adaptations of desert plants and animals, and participate in field research with biologists at the Welder Wildlife Foundation and at other locations in Arizona and Texas. Photography students will focus on photographing landscapes, people and the animals of the region.
Biology 314 students in the past have traveled to Costa Rica and to the mountains of North Carolina conducting field studies, but this is the first time Pompe has offered a field course in art. The groups will tour the Anasazi ruins, visit hot springs, camp in cool mountains forests and visit the Grand Canyon, White Sands, and Big Bend. Art 306 students will return after 22 days on the road to work in the photography lab developing their works. Biology 314 students will continue with their field studies in Texas, returning after 27 days.
Course size is limited, so register early for a slot. A deposit of $200 for the trip is due April 15. Cost of the course per student is currently estimated around $720 per student, not including tuition. The number of folks enrolling in the travel courses will affect the cost.
The trio hopes the blend of art and biology and traveling on location will enhance each course. Though some prerequisites apply to the courses, professors will work with anyone interested in traveling and studying.
Students will camp in tents at national and state parks with shower and bathroom facilities. For more information, contact Camper at 843-661-1418; Knowles at 843-661-1408; or Pompe at 843-661-1541.
Summer courses at FMU may be appropriate for entering freshmen, to better help the student bridge the gap between high school and college, for returning students or for transfer or transient students.