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Students to visit local farms in new three-week Spirit of the Land course

Students to visit local farms in new three-week Spirit of the Land course

Course has been modified to take advantage of the new Augustana calendar

Next fall, the Spirit of the Land course will be offered as a three-week course in the new Augustana calendar, commonly known as 3-11. Students will have the opportunity to experience time in nature and learn about ecology, sustainability, local farming practices and reconciliation.

Dittmar Mündel, religion and global and development studies professor at Augustana, and Rajan Rathnavalu, supervisor of the Spirit of the Land project, will be involved in facilitating the land-based Road Scholar course over the three-week session.

“The first week will be about analytical thinking and learning about sustainability in rural farms and communities. Students will engage in independent work and collaborative work, with tasks such as tree of life analysis and photo journaling,” said Mündel.

Mündel said that the second week will be about contemplation. Students will have the chance to spend time outside and visit the land to become more engaged with nature.

“In the third week, we will shift to more practical elements of the course, potentially engaging in workshops about ways that students can apply their new knowledge. For example, learning how to grow microgreens or working with solar panels,” said Mündel.

In the current schedule, students meet once a week for a soup supper, and go on several evening road trips to local farms. In the 3-11 structure, Spirit of the Land will be an immersion experience that is “truly land-based,” said Mündel. “We won’t spend much time on campus and we’ll be able to spend full days on the land.”

“Students will engage in discussion with each other, learn about the environment, go on day trips to farms and visit Maskwacis,” said Mündel.

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