One of the premier environmental colleges in the United States is offering a wide range of courses for both college age and adult learners this summer.
Unity College, widely known as America’s Environmental College, is offering academic courses for credit which also may be taken for non-credit learning purposes. The offerings are open to the general public will full registration information here.
In June, a season long Summer Farm Intensive Field Experience internship will begin. The three college credit bearing internship is co-sponsored by the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA). The Summer Farm Intensive Field Experience is a co-sponsored, immersive education program for students seeking academic credit from Unity College while experiencing a MOFGA apprenticeship in sustainable production agriculture.
The faculty mentor for this course is Professor Doug Fox, who has been teaching agriculture courses—from landscape horticulture to arboriculture to organic gardening to forestry—at Unity College since 1991. His passion is to help students realize a partnership with nature so that they both can thrive.
A course in creative writing entitled A Sense of Place will be offered from June 15 - 21. This creative writing workshop invites writers of all levels and genres to spend a week in intense observation of their surroundings. The course is taught by Unity College Assistant Professor Zach Falcon. He is a writer and educator with a background in law and policy. He is a graduate of Columbia University, the University of Michigan Law School, and the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he was an Iowa Arts Fellow and the recipient of the Barnes Prize for Excellence in the Short Story.
Professional development will be the focus of a course entitled Landing a Job, which will be held June 27-28. The course will cover the importance of obtaining solid internship experience and developing job hunting skills to stand out in today’s highly competitive world. This workshop will help better prepare the participant to acquire an internship, strengthen job hunting skills, and enter the professional work environment. This course is being taught by Nicole Collins, Director of Career Services at Unity College. She works to connect college students with purposeful careers, and regularly teaches college-level professional development courses. A member of the Executive Boards of the Maine College Career Consortium and the New England Association for Experiential Education and Field Experience, she oversees a vibrant and successful internship program at Unity.
The Maine International Film Festival (MIFF), Engaging Film Critiques and Discussions will be the focus of a course slated for July 13-19. Participants will watch high quality films of every genre and from around the world, meet directors and participate in thought-providing discussions with other movie aficionados. Topics include cultivating a sense of wonder, exploring what it means to be human, and factors that form identity and sense of place. Participants will engage in broad-based inquiry into the disciplines that make up the humanities: literature, history, philosophy, and critical studies, all within the framework of film media. The course will be taught by Unity College Professor Pat Clark, who has been a regular at MIFF since its inception.
A one credit course entitled Birding in Maine - Techniques in the Environmental Sciences will be offered from August 7 – 10. Maine has more than its share of signature avian wildlife, and whether birding in the Acadia National Park or the Rangely Lakes Region, the landscape is as gorgeous as the plumage. Join seasoned wildlife biologist and Unity College Associate Professor Brent Bibles on a comprehensive tour of many birding hotspots in Maine. The course will feature a Puffin and seabird tour of Penobscot Bay. Participants will also receive an introduction to avian-related wildlife techniques including bird banding and mist-netting.
Visual Media Storytelling – Community and Environment will be offered from August 10-16. A three credit course, this one-week immersive experience is an exploration of industry tools, technology, and the craft of visual storytelling with word and image. Utilizing digital media to highlight and communicate stories of community, environment, or campus research, participants will work with local organizations, new classmates, and Unity instructors to develop and build skills with Canon HD camera gear and Adobe media production software in Unity’s new Media Lab. The course will be taught by Unity College Adjunct Instructor Deanna Witman, a visual artist, educator, and explorer who works in photographic media. She holds a M.F.A. in Photography and a B.S degree in Environmental Science. As an educator, she strives to impart her passion for discovery and creating. She currently teaches at Unity College and Maine Media Workshops. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and has been widely published in BETA developments in photography, Le Journal de la Photographie, and Lenscratch.
Society and Sustainability – Biking Maine will run from August 16-22. Students in this three credit course will explore alternative ways of living, feeding, and travel while biking in Waldo County, Maine, an international hotspot for organic farming, alternative energy, and sustainable communities. Participants will not only pedal through some of the most scenic vistas in Maine, but develop an insider’s perspective on The Belfast Co-Housing project, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, Maine Farmland Trust’s Veggies for All program, the Belfast Co-Op., 350 Maine, the Waldo County Trails Coalition, and more. They will learn on site and by bike from the professionals who are growing some of the most sustainable communities in the world. Participants should be capable of riding 20-40 miles a day. The course will be taught by Unity College Adjunct Instructor Jim Merkel, author of The Global Living Handbook (2000), Radical Simplicity (2003), and Simplicidad Radical (2005). Previously, Merkel was an engineer and moved from involvement in the military industry to pioneering in sustainability. He currently writes, lectures and consults with campuses and municipalities on sustainability initiatives. He initiated the "Cycling for a Sustainable Future" speaking tour that has logged over 17,000 miles delivering lectures and workshops at over 40 colleges and universities. Merkel has led over 1,000 workshops and has lectured at dozens of universities on personal and institutional sustainability. Jim is a homesteader, bike commuter and thrift store patron.