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The Honors Ecology & Legacy Integrated Minor focuses on the important topic of human and nonhuman relationships in their ecosystems, and how these complicated entanglements manifest across place, population, and time.

Students pursuing a career in the sciences will be equipped with a more humanistic perspective on ecology and environmental issues, while students pursuing career paths outside of science will be able to engage with issues of ecology in their discipline and/or professional area. Learning how to approach ecological relationships from both the humanities and the sciences, students will bring critical and systems-based thinking to their broader work.

The program is directed by Dr. Sylvia Torti, Dean, Honors College and Juliana Chow, Assistant Professor, Honors College.

The Honors Ecology & Legacy Integrated Minor includes three distinct tracks: Patagonia (including a 6-week summer experience in Argentina, Montana, and the Great Basin), East Africa (including a 6-week summer experience in Kenya), and Utah (including a 1-week semester break experience).

If you are an incoming or current Honors College student and are interested, apply to the Honors Ecology and Legacy Integrated Minor (application includes a short essay).

 

Patagonia


Make comparisons between the ecologies of the Great Basin, Montana’s Centennial Valley, and the Patagonian steppe. Compare grassland ecologies and species interactions. Study southern right whales and other marine life. Experience American and Argentine culture through politics, literature, and landscape art, while learning about the social and cultural dimensions to global environmental change.

Who: 15 Honors students, open to all majors

What: Download curriculum overview

  • 1 course Fall 2023: HONOR 2109 IT through an Ecological Lens
  • Spring 2024: Pre-trip Meetings for Summer Field Experience
  • 6-week summer intensive: HONOR 2700 Comparative Ecology + HONOR 2110 IT through an Ecological Lens II + HONOR 3820 Critical Landscapes
  • 1 course Fall 2024: HONOR 2211 Honors Writing
  • 1 elective (any semester)

Where: Field work in Montana, Utah, and Patagonia, Argentina

Cost: $8260 plus airfare (approx. $1750-$2500), with need-based scholarships available.

APPLICATIONS NOW FOR 2023-24

“To say this program changed my life is an understatement. Ecology and Legacy marks a pivot point for me because it redefined how I want to approach my career in materials science and engineering.”

– Danielle Beatty, Honors Bachelors of Science, Materials Science Engineering

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Honors students in the field in Utah 2022

Utah


Utah has 3,000 species of plants, 1000 species of North American bees, and millions of migrating birds. We are also home to a growing, dynamic population, representing a wealth of indigenous, historic, and contemporary cultures. In this minor, students study Utah’s desert ecosystems, learn how cultures, histories, and ecologies interact, and engage with issues in environmental justice and sustainability.

Who: 21 honors students, open to all majors

What: Download curriculum overview coming soon

  • 2 courses Fall 2024: HONOR 2109 IT through an Ecological Lens + HONOR 2300 Wilderness with Honors: Outdoor Recreation and Leadership
  • 2 courses Spring 2025: HONOR 2110 IT through an Ecological Lens (Utah focus) + HONOR 2700 Comparative Ecology
  • 1 course Fall 2025 HONOR 2211 Honors Writing
  • 1 elective (any semester)

Where: Field work throughout Utah, one of the most biodiverse states in the country

Cost: No costs in addition to typical semester tuition, fees, etc.

APPLICATION CLOSED. CHECK BACK IN 2024

“When you open my journal from the Ecology and Legacy Minor, the first line of almost every entry is ‘Today was the best day of my life.’ As an undergraduate at such a large university, it is easy for education to become impersonal. This minor gave me a support system and a family at the University of Utah.”

– Jaya Muehlam

East Africa


Experience the ecology, culture and history of Kenya’s Ewaso ecosystem, and study the animal behavior of elephants, zebras, and giraffes while living and working alongside the region’s diverse ethnic communities.

Who: 15 honors students, open to all majors

What: Download curriculum overview

  • 1 course Fall 2023: HONOR 2109 IT through an Ecological Lens
  • 1 course Spring 2024: HONOR 3602 IT: Africa
  • 6-week summer intensive: HONOR 2700 Comparative Ecology + HONOR 3372 Conservation and Land Management + HONOR 2890 Creative Writing
  • 1 course fall 2023: HONOR 3200 Honors Writing

Where: Fieldwork at the Mpala Research Centre and Nairobi, Kenya

Cost: $6720 plus airfare (approx. $1800-$2500), with need-based scholarships available.

APPLY NOW FOR 2023-24

Students in East Africa 2022

“Ecology and Legacy wasn’t a class so much as a set of various lenses for looking into the world and coming back with a more comprehensive picture.”

– Xavier Matheson

Apply Now