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Course Description

This is a classroom and field course on the ecology, natural history, geology, history, and culture of the Hawai'ian Islands.  Basic ecological and geological principles will be learned in the classroom and used to understand observations made during travel in the islands.  These principles will be applied to the ethical and cultural dilemmas of life in a tropical islands.  Habitats unique to Hawai'i and culturally significant places will be studied.  The travel portion of the course will include 16 days in Hawai’i, from January 2nd through January 16th, 2002.

Course Information
Instructors Dr. Ann Throckmorton, Associate Professor of Biology
Dr. Ken Long, Professor of Chemistry


Biology majors or minors -- elective 
Environmental Science majors  -- elective 
non-majors -- Intellectual Perspectives Scientific Discovery

You will register for either Bio 520 or Gel 520 (two credits) in the Fall Semester and Bio 521 or Gel 521 (two credits) in the Spring Semester.  You must register in both fall and spring to get credit for the course.

Course Schedule


Geology and Ecology of Hawai'i:  Wednesday 6:30 to 9:00 p.m.

Travel:  January 02 to January 18, 2002

We may meet several times during the spring semester, informally, just to wrap up the course.



The cost of the trip is $3925.  This includes everything -- transportation from Westminster to Hawai'i, all interisland flights, all ground transportation in Hawai'i, lodging, meals, admission to all required activities, guides, and return to Westminster.  The only things that aren’t included are personal expenses and the cost of scuba diving and helicopters flights (which are optional). 

Half of the payment is due in the Business Office by September 15th.  The other half is due by October 15th.

You may be able to work the cost of the trip into your financial aid package.  If you think that you will need to do this, you should talk to Bob Latta in the Financial Aid Office as soon as possible (phone -7106).

In Hawai'i, we will spend 16 days traveling on four of the islands -- Kauai, Maui, Hawai'i, and Oahu.  During those 12 days, we will observe some of the finest examples of the area's unique ecology, culture, and history.  We will hike through rain forests, explore coral reefs, explore volcano craters, bask in the tropical sunlight, visit historical sites, observe endangered species, and learn about the people and cultures of Hawai'i.  This trip will give you an opportunity to experience things that most people will never see and to learn about the history and culture of a a unique part of our country. This will undoubtedly be an amazing climax to our classroom study of the geology and ecology of Hawai'i!

Detailed Itinerary

For more information


Dr. Ann E. Throckmorton 
Chair, Department of Biology 
Westminster College 
New Wilmington, Pennsylvania, 16172 

telephone: (724) 946-7209 
fax: (724) 946-7791 

Dr. Ken Long
Department of Chemistry
Westminster College 
New Wilmington, Pennsylvania, 16172 

telephone: (724) 946-7299 

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