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2015 Faculty Seminar in Yellowstone National Park

Announcing the American Democracy Project’s
2015 Faculty Seminar in Yellowstone National Park:
Stewardship of Public Lands:
Politics and the Yellowstone Ecosystem
July 27 – August, 1, 2015

How does a democracy manage competing but often equally legitimate positions over public resources? How are the rights of all citizens protected in conflicts over public lands? How do universities design courses and programs to help undergraduates develop the understandings and skills necessary to think about, and become engaged in, conflict management and resolution? How do we help undergraduates become more thoughtful, more engaged citizens for our democracy?

The American Democracy Project (ADP) is creating new strategies to answer these questions.

2015 marks the 11th summer of our Yellowstone seminar, part of the American Democracy Project’s Stewardship of Public Lands Initiative. The seminar, a partnership with the Yellowstone Association, is open to faculty members from any academic discipline.

For the last ten summers, we expanded the focus of the program to examine a variety of conflicts in the entire Yellowstone region, including bison and brucellosis, winter use, wolves, and grizzly bears. Our program is entitled Politics and the Yellowstone Ecosystem. In this program, we spend six (6) days in Yellowstone National Park in a combination of activities, beginning with a study of the science and history of the controversies, listening to scientists and Park rangers. Then we interview local citizens on both sides of the issues, including political activists, business people, ranchers, and other citizens.  At the end of the week-long program, we consider ways that faculty might develop programs on their own campus that focused on (1) national public resource issues such as wolf re-introduction and (2) local public resource issues such as oil drilling on national seashores, wind turbines in state parks, and restoration efforts in wetlands.

The goal of this project is to develop new strategies and new approaches that colleges and universities can use to help undergraduates become thoughtful, informed, and engaged citizens. In a political environment where special interest groups tend to push people to polarized positions, we often try to seek common ground.

The program, held at Mammoth Hot Spring Hotel at the northern end of the Park, begins late afternoon on Monday, July 27th and ends at noon on Saturday, August 1st. The cost of the program is $1,395, which includes five (5) nights individual room lodging at Mammoth Hotel (each participant will have a separate hotel room or cabin); all instruction and instructional materials, AV rental, classroom rental; in-park transportation; and reception and dinner the first night, as well as several other meals. Space does not allow for guest participation in the full program. However, family members or guests may attend some classroom lectures, a few field trips, and evening films and presentations.

Program Highlights:

  • A multi-disciplinary study of political conflict in the world’s first national park
  • Examine the political controversies over wolves, grizzlies, snowmobiles, and bison
  • Meet and listen to stakeholders on all sides
  • Learn how to design courses to help prepare informed, engaged citizens

To learn more, please visit http://www.aascu.org/programs/adp/SPL/.

To register, complete this downloadable registration form (pdf).

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