Year 1 Expeditions

TERRAIN expeditions are designed to provide Unity College students opportunities to develop important foundational knowledge and skills and to prepare them for further study in all of the degree majors at the College.

Every first-year student must complete at least one expedition in each of three different lenses (Commerce & Enterprise, The Human Experience, Natural Resource Policy & Law, and Natural Sciences). This enables Unity College students to build a broad understanding of the different approaches to environmental problem-solving and an appreciation for the variety of environmentally-focused career options available.

While all of the expeditions are valuable and appropriate for any Unity College student, we have made some recommendations for students who are interested in particular degree majors (noted below).

Eating Sustainably

Commerce and Enterprise Lens

Eating Sustainably Between 2019 and 2050 the global population is projected to increase by a third. How will all of these people access a healthy, nutritional diet? And furthermore, how can this be done without further depleting natural resources and impacting natural systems? This expedition will explore the concept of the “sustainable diet,” as defined in a 2012 report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The determination of this diet considers many aspects of local, regional, and global food systems from food production, to the processing and distribution of foods, through to food consumption and waste.

Through the framework of planetary boundaries and the triple bottom line, students will make connections between the sustainable diet concept and agriculture, health, the environment, and food systems. A primary focus for students will be to realize and investigate ways in which food system enterprises operating in New England are taking on the challenge of delivering the sustainable diet while also positively addressing the financial bottom line.

This expedition is the recommended Year 1 expedition for students interested in becoming Sustainable Agriculture majors.

Fall Semester, First Six Weeks

  • WR 101: Writing & Rhetoric 1 or SA 100: Foundations of Organic Horticulture
  • MA 101: College Algebra or BI 101: Biological Diversity
  • SS 101: Sustainability & Social Institutions

Fall Semester, Second Six Weeks:

  • WR 102: Writing & Rhetoric 2
  • BI 101: Biological Diversity or CH 110 Chemistry 1 (Expedition)
  • SPH 103: Ethics of Eating

Spring Semester, First Six Weeks:

  • BI 102: Introduction to Evolution & Genetics
  • MA 102: Precalculus OR MA 200: Applications in Mathematics: Theme
  • BU 101: Principles of Project Management

Spring Semester, Second Six Weeks:

  • PY 102: Conservation Psychology
  • WR 103: Writing & Rhetoric 3
  • GL 111: Weather and Climate

 

Illegal Wildlife Trade

Natural Resource Policy and Law Lens

While international wildlife trafficking is often viewed as a serious transnational threat to the security, stability, and economy of entire nations such as Tanzania, Vietnam, or Brazil, it is a problem everywhere around the globe — and in our own backyard. In exploring this issue, we will seek to understand the key questions associated with wildlife trafficking: its scope, causes, consequences, and existing and potential solutions.

Our guiding premise is that understanding illegal wildlife trafficking requires engagement with multiple disciplines, from science, to sustainable development, to writing and law. As we dig into this complex problem, students will build skills across a range of disciplines and work with law enforcement and resource management professionals on some of the pressing environmental issues of our time.

This expedition is the recommended Year 1 expedition for students interested in becoming Conservation Law Enforcement majors.

Fall Semester, First Six Weeks 

  • WR 101: Writing & Rhetoric or AR 102: Photography
  • MA 101: College Algebra or BI 101: Biological Diversity
  • SO 101: Sustainability & Social Institutions

Fall Semester, Second Six Weeks

  • WR 102: Writing & Rhetoric 2
  • BI 101: Biological Diversity or CH 110 Chemistry 1 (Expedition)
  • HI 123: Animals in Human History

Spring Semester, First Six Weeks:

  • BI 102: Introduction to Evolution & Genetics
  • MA 102: Precalculus OR MA 200: Applications in Mathematics: Theme
  • PL 105: US Fisheries Policy and Ecology

Spring Semester, Second Six Weeks:

  • PY 102: Conservation Psychology
  • WR 103: Writing & Rhetoric 3
  • GL 110: Chemistry 1 (Expedition)

 

Animal Care

Natural Science Lens 

Whether in a zoological facility, a rehabilitation center, a farm, or a family home, everyone has had an experience with an animal in human care. Key areas, such as nutrition, proper housing, health maintenance, and behavior expression must be met to ensure animal welfare standards. As we continue to see more animals under personal ownership, as well as increased scrutiny on standards of professional animal care facilities, it is important for those working in the field to understand the complex nature of caring for animals.

The expedition will explore the multiple aspects of properly caring for animals housed in human care. Students will learn the importance of understanding animal classifications, natural habitat adaptations, and behavior. Building on these concepts, students will examine requirements for meeting animal needs in human care. Through observation and detailed record keeping, students will investigate proper techniques for feeding, housing, breeding, training, and maintaining health standards.

This expedition is the recommended Year 1 expedition for students interested in becoming Captive Wildlife Care and Education majors.

Fall Semester, First Six Weeks:

  • WR 101: Writing & Rhetoric I or AR 102: Photography
  • MA 101: College Algebra or BI 101: Biological Diversity
  • SO 101: Sustainability & Social Institutions

Fall Semester, Second Six Weeks:

  • WR 102: Writing & Rhetoric 2
  • BI 101: Biological Diversity or CH 110 Chemistry 1 (Expedition)
  • HI 123: Animal in Human History

 

Wildlife and Place

Natural Science 

What lives in the woods and mountains of western Maine? How have flora and fauna in these ecosystems evolved over time? In what ways have humans made sense of these complex organisms, and how do wildlife policies reflect these understandings? These questions lie at the heart of our expedition, which takes us to “wilderness” areas around the state where we will study the biology, ecology, natural history, and classification of regionally significant game species.

One of our central premises will be that all things are interconnected, and that we can learn a great deal about nature, biology, and policy by studying them together. As that study unfolds, students will have opportunities to work with professionals across a range of resource-management fields and work with wildlife data in real-world contexts.

This expedition is the recommended Year 1 expedition for students interested in becoming Wildlife Biology and Wildlife and Fisheries Management majors.

Spring Semester, First Six Weeks:

  • BI 102: Introduction to Evolution & Genetics
  • MA 102: Precalculus OR MA 200: Applications in Mathematics: Theme
  • HI 119: Environmental History of the Maine Coast

Spring Semester, Second Six Weeks:

  • PY 102: Conservation Psychology
  • WR 103: Writing & Rhetoric 3
  • GL 111: Weather and Climate

 

Living in Harmony with Nature

The Human Experience 

What does it mean to “live in harmony with nature”? What is an “Environmental Citizen,” and how does such a person interact with “nature” in various settings? In what ways do biological, ekistic, and interpersonal relations
influence your approach to the natural world or the people who inhabit it?

We will begin to answer these questions through experiencing “sustainable living” at a variety of scales. In the process, we will explore some of the wide-ranging considerations that inform Maine wilderness adventures. We
will also investigate how we position and define human and natural systems while seeking out models for more mutualistic ways of being, ultimately learning how to communicate about the natural world in ways that inform, move, and empower various audiences.

This expedition is the recommended Year 1 expedition for students interested in becoming Adventure-Based Environmental Education or Adventure-Based Therapy majors; it may also appeal to any student interested in becoming an outdoor professional.

Spring Semester, First Six Weeks:

  • BI 102: Introduction to Evolution & Genetics
  • MA 102: Precalculus OR MA 200: Applications in Mathematics: Theme
  • PY 211: Group Process

Spring Semester, Second Six Weeks:

  • PY 102: Conservation Psychology
  • WR 103: Writing & Rhetoric 3
  • GL 111: Weather and Climate