In the Field: Update from the Wilderness & Place in Maine (TERRAIN testbed) Team


This week the TERRAIN students used Wednesday (usually devoted to off-campus excursions) to share their Personal Place speeches. In addition to faculty member Josh Kercsmar and instructional fellow Emily Goldthwaite, who provide CCI instruction for TERRAIN students, other members of the instructional team came to hear the speeches and lend support. The TERRAIN team was proud of how students supported one another and were moved by the thoughtful and personal stories that they shared.


As noted last week, the presence of multiple faculty members and instructional fellows enriched the learning experience. For example, a student who experienced intense anxiety related to public speaking was able to receive focused coaching from one team member while other team members continued to facilitate the group session. Ultimately, the student overcame their initial panic and successfully delivered their speech, yet another example of how TERRAIN students encounter and grow through challenge. It is evident that many students appreciate the attention they receive from their instructional team. Wednesday evening, one faculty member received e-mails from six different students thanking her for coming to the speeches and supporting them.


Fellows Emily and Chelsea organized an opportunity for Unity College student Kevin Richards to present his internship work on Moose tracking in northern Maine during an evening session at the CLC this week. Several TERRAIN students took advantage of this opportunity. Kevin’s presentation was highly engaging and TERRAIN students asked many questions. They shared that they appreciated learning about this kind of work, were interested in having these opportunities themselves, and took notice of Kevin’s advice about building professional relationships with Unity professors.


Next week the TERRAIN team will be heading to a fish hatchery to learn about Atlantic salmon recovery strategies and field techniques (including fin clipping).


Behind the Scenes


This week we dove into curriculum design for Years 3 and 4. During faculty meeting, I shared planning templates and documents summarizing the planned TERRAIN expeditions and Year 1 and 2 short courses. Throughout the month of October, faculty members will draw on these resources to outline curriculum plans for their degree majors that build on the TERRAIN foundation.


In Sustaining the Flagship meetings, we have devoted considerable time to learning more about the systems we currently use in dining (for meal planning, food purchasing, etc.) and brainstorming ways to more efficiently prepare meals for students participating in excursions, recognizing that there are different caloric needs for higher activity excursions (e.g., canoeing and hiking trips) versus lower activity excursions (e.g., next week’s planned visit to a fish hatchery).


—- Jen



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

Dean of the School of Environmental Citizenship

Professor of Education

Unity College

Unity, Maine 04998

(412) 215-6511 (cell, preferred)

(207) 509-7282 (office)


Office: Constable Hall 201