The Power of Immersion: Why the Environmental Science Semester Works

People have heard of experiential education.  This is the educational practice in which learning is enhanced and made meaningful by engaging with and working with the subject matter, as opposed to just reading or hearing about a topic.  The Environmental Science Semester takes experiential education to a new level and requires a different name. We’re calling it immersion education–students are immersed off campus and in the field only in the study of environmental and marine science topics for ten weeks.  

Students will live and breathe glacial geology, climate science, marine ecology, and oceanography day in and day out.  It will seep into their pores.

The immersion educational experience has led previous ESS participants to report that they not only remember and understand so much more of what they’ve learned on the ESS compared to normal classes, but they can also remember when and where they learned most of it.  

When I return in October, I won’t return with the same students I left with.  They won’t be the same people – they will be transformed into confident students and practicing scientists who have shared an experience that bonds them to each other and to our team of faculty for a lifetime.  

We’re off on another ESS!  And I couldn’t be happier!

         Dr. Johan Erikson

 

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