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Backcountry Trips

Throughout the semester students take group trips into the backcountry supported by critical readings and discussions of environmental theory, philosophy and sustainability as a way to move beyond abstract academic lessons into the real life consideration of the world they explore. These experiences move back and forth between the conscious reflection of the self (mindfulness, as described by Gary Snyder) and full immersion (mindlessness, as described by Annie Dillard). These deep explorations of place provide inspiration for the semester's design/build project as well as provide context from which to base a developing mature worldview later in life.

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"To be whole. To be complete. Wildness reminds us what it means to be human, what we are connected to rather than what we are separate from."
- Terry Tempest Williams