Summer TERRAIN Update


On this last Friday of “summer,” I offer a brief summary of what we’ve been up to with TERRAIN:


Welcome TERRAIN testbed students!

We are very excited to welcome 64 first-year students to the TERRAIN testbed this fall! Most of the students have settled into Wood Hall, which will serve as home for the expeditionary community, but some of our TERRAIN students are living in other residence halls or even off-campus. The 64 students who have elected to participate in TERRAIN represent 12 different academic majors and hail from 12 different states (even as far away as Colorado and Florida). The TERRAIN team is eager to get to know all of the students and dive into the Wilderness and Place in Maine expedition.


That dive is going to take place quite soon, as the group will spend Tuesday through Friday of next week up at Sky Lodge, building their community and learning about the natural and social resources of the area. Over the past few days, the team has been working hard to finalize plans for this trip. We are learning that it really does “take a village” to accomplish an ambitious task like a learning expedition and have found colleagues across Unity College stepping up to support us, from the people who helped prepare the Teaching Fellows’ living space in Wood Hall to the OAC staff who are ensuring that we can provide students with a safe and supportive learning experience. THANK YOU TO EVERYONE!


Faculty Professional Development

During Faculty Professional Development on Thursday (8.22), faculty heard from colleagues who participated in the Summer Curriculum Design Institute. Kevin Spigel and Randy Colvin shared their work on the Physical Geology short course (Kevin) and the Amphibian and Reptile Identification short course (Randy) and several members of the Eating Sustainably expedition team (Sue Colvin, Jessica Herlich,  Jim Killarney, and Tom Whittaker) described the awesome learning experiences they have planned for students in that expedition as well as what they learned about the curriculum design process. Short courses and expeditions designed during this summer institute will be implemented in AY 20-21 when TERRAIN launches fully.


Also during Faculty Professional Development, Kate Coseo and Aly McKnight led a brief discussion with faculty about the fall testbed.


TERRAIN Teaching Fellows

I am extremely pleased to share that our first TERRAIN Teaching Fellow is now on board! Emily Goldthwaite (Unity College ’18, Adventure Therapy and Adventure-Based Environmental Education) will be supporting academic and co-curricular elements of the TERRAIN program. She comes to us with excellent field-based learning skills, having served as a NOVA Logistics Coordinator and led outdoor trips in the past. In addition, Emily has worked as a behavioral health professional and writing tutor. She brings tremendous energy and important skills to our team and we are grateful to have her aboard!


We anticipate hiring our second TERRAIN Teaching Fellow in a few days … stay tuned!


Again, thank you to everyone for helping to make TERRAIN testbed a reality. I am looking forward to learning with this wonderful group of colleagues and students.



— Jen



Jennifer L. Cartier, Ph.D. (she, her, hers)

Director of Curricular Innovation 

Professor of Education

Unity College

Unity, Maine 04998

(412) 215-6511 (cell, preferred)

(207) 509-7282 (office)


Office: Unity House, Room 2