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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Carleton programs travel to the Galapagos, Israel, and China

<jority of students headed home over winter break this past December, three different groups of Carleton students and professors embarked on educational adventures to the Galapagos Islands, Israel and China.

Each of these trips was offered through the office of Off Campus Studies in collaboration with a related class. In the case of the China and Galapagos programs, participants were also required to take a subsequent class offered this term in order to analyze the data gathered on the trips.

As for the Israel program, which ran from Dec. 6 to Dec. 20, half of the students took a religion class in preparation for the trip, and the other half took a literature class. The students spent one week in Tel Aviv, the second largest city in Israel, and one week in Jerusalem. Essentially, the trip was about discovery and observation as the students attended talks, visited museums, and walked around the two cities.

When asked about a highlight of the trip, Scott Fox ’12, a participant in the Israel program, replied, “We had the chance to meet with Israeli novelist A.B. Yehoshua, whose work we had read in class. He was so impressed with our observations and questions about literature that he said he wanted to come visit Carleton.”

In contrast to the trip to Israel, the programs to China and The Galapagos were both more research based.

The China program was tied to an Environmental Studies class that emphasized comparative agro-ecology. These students spent much of fall term learning about different methods of measuring sustainability on farms. Additionally, they visited several local farms to gather data on regional sustainability to make comparisons with their findings in China.

The group of students continues to work together in a 3-credit class this term, compiling their data and deciphering shifts and patterns in the system of Chinese agriculture. At the end of the term the class will deliver a formal presentation and explain their findings.

The third Carleton group focused their study on animal behavior in the Galapagos Islands, which are privy to some of the rarest and most extraordinary species in the world. Leading up to the trip, the students took a biology class fall term, which concentrated on the study of the animals they hoped to witness. This term the students will work together to present their findings in a documentary.

The students carried a camera with them every day of the two-week trip, making sure to capture as much footage as possible of every sort of animal interaction.

“We had the camera on constantly because it was impossible to know what we were going to witness every day and what sort of patterns would emerge from our observations,” Sean Roberts ’12 said.

Most winter break trip opportunities are offered on a bi-yearly basis, and thus these particular trips are not likely to be offered next year. However, the Off Campus Studies office will soon be revealing the newly approved trips for winter break of the next school year.

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