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Coastal Studies Semester

Hood’s Coastal Studies Semester takes place during the fall semester (August to December). The curriculum combines the study of culture and society with science and technology for a truly multidisciplinary approach to learning about environmental science and coastal issues. Interactions with scientists, authors and other environmental professionals in the region augment class discussions, lab investigations and fieldwork. An interdisciplinary research practicum weaves together scientific, historical and cultural threads to unify the semester- long experience. Students earn 14 to 16 semester hours of academic credit through successful completion of courses. The courses offered may vary from year to year.

The following list represents a sample of possible course offerings:
  • The Culture and Literature of Coastal Environments (3 credits)
  • Coastal Community Ecology (4 credits)
  • The Chesapeake Bay: Human Impacts on a Natural System (3 credits)
  • Coastal Oceanography (4 credits)
  • Coastal Studies Practicum (2 credits)

Throughout the semester, students and faculty travel throughout the mid-Atlantic region and use nationally known coastal research facilities as a base of operations for one- to two-week intervals. The facilities used may vary from year to year and may include:

  • The Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, Solomons, Md.
  • The Marine Science Consortium at Wallops Island, Va.
  • The Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences’ Eastern Shore Laboratory, Wachapreague, Va.
  • Hood College, Frederick, Md.

Short stops of one to two days at various other locations of interest, such as the historic St. Mary’s City, Jamestowne, Williamsburg or Horn Point and Oxford Laboratories, are an integral part of the semester.

Students can also obtain a minor in coastal studies by successfully completing the fall semester and participating in Coastal Studies Field Experiences, which are three-week courses that are offered during January and summer semesters. The Coastal Studies Semester and an additional Coastal Studies Field Experience course comprise the largely travel-based minor, which is designed to provide students with both textbook and first-hand knowledge of environmental challenges currently facing coastal regions. Consult the Minors section of the catalog for specific information.

Contact the coastal studies semester coordinator in the Department of Biology for more details.