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Linfield College Adult Degree Announces Environmental Studies Field Courses on Oregon Coast and Mountains

Star fishMcMinnville, Ore – April 22, 2014 – In honor of Earth Day, Linfield Adult Degree Program announces upcoming nature-focused field study courses. Students will receive college credit as they explore beautiful natural environments in these short-term courses this June and July.

One of Earth Day’s goals is to increase awareness of and appreciation for our planet’s environment, and the Adult Degree Program (ADP) environmental studies field courses do just that. This year’s courses expose students to the diverse ecology of Oregon ranging from the shoreline to the mountains.

These field study courses are one of the ways Linfield enhances the Adult Degree Program’s online format. Though 99% of the ADP courses are designed to be taken online, these short term field study courses have a strong following because they are a refreshing change of pace, and they almost feel like going on vacation while learning and earning credits. The travel course credits count as fully accredited online college courses for ADP bachelor degrees in Accounting, Marketing, Management, Business Information Systems, and RN to BSN.

For students pursuing a minor in Environmental Studies, these field studies courses are an invaluable part of their practical and experiential learning. Students often report the field experience greatly enriches their education beyond their online classes.

Dr. Ned Knight, Adjunct Professor of Environmental Studies, observes that these hands-on courses affect students’ perspective on the natural world and their role in it. They gain “not only an appreciation for the amazing diversity of organisms in the coastal terrestrial and marine environments but also a realization of the genuine stewardship taking place by many people to preserve those habitats.”

In Dr. Knight’s course, Shoreline Ecology, students see textbooks come to life as they explore the ecology of where the ocean and the land meet. After a weekend on campus in late June, students travel to the Newport shoreline for five days in mid-July. In the outdoor classroom of the Oregon shoreline, students can touch the creatures and vegetation they described in their textbooks and they learn how others are working to restore and protect this ecosystem. Students stand to gain a lifelong appreciation for the amazing natural system of the shoreline.

In the June course Fire History of the Cascades, students visit the Deschutes National Forest in the Cascade Mountain range, where the massive B&B Complex forest fire burned in 2003, to learn firsthand how forests regenerate after a fire. In addition, they learn about the human controversy around forest fires, ranging from prevention and property protection to post-burn scavenging. For example, in past years students have assessed sapling growth to determine whether salvage logging delays forest generation.  The instructor of the course, Dr. Peter Shoonmaker, says that students “get a real feel for the controversy about forest fire. They develop an understanding from the ground up, that this is a more complicated issue than just what they see in the news.”

Registration for the field-based courses is straightforward and can be completed online.

About the Linfield College Adult Degree Program

Chartered in 1858, Linfield College is one of the first colleges in the Pacific Northwest and is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. The Adult Degree Program offers adults the opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree or certificate online in ten fields of study.

Online programs offered by Linfield College Adult Degree Program include an online management degree, business information systems degree, accounting degree, online marketing degree, RN to BSN degree and international business degree and certificates in human resource management, post baccalaureate accounting, computer information systems, and marketing.