Westminster Expedition Students in the Open American West

During the 2017 Fall Semester, 14 students, two professors, and a program coordinator will load books, camping gear, and themselves into a couple of vans and hit the road for a semester-long tour of the American West.

The trip is designed as an exploration into the issues at the heart of the contemporary West. Students will earn 16 credits in environmental studies and history as they study Environmental Cooperation and Conflict, Landscape and Meaning, the History of Public Lands, and the Native West.

This prolonged journey into the field will allow us to learn directly from landscapes and ecosystems, as well as from people who live, work, and study in those places. Together, we expect to build a cohort of impassioned scholars with a particular breadth and depth of experiential knowledge who are equipped to build a better future for the West.

We will visit iconic, protected sites like Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks, contentious places like the Little Bighorn and the Malheur Wildlife Refuge, working landscapes like the Butte Copper Mines, and communities from present-day Native nations to "New West" towns like Bend, Twisp, and Moab.

Meet the Expedition

Learn More About the Students and Faculty on the Expedition

Read the Latest Journal Entry

October 20, 2015

October 20, 2015

Dear Colleagues,

I hope you had a wonderful time over Fall Break and that you had the chance to do something fun and out of the ordinary. I spent my Friday off with Sandy and seven grandchildren at WitchFest in Gardner Village, so I'm feeling full of Halloween spirit!

Giovale Library

Campus Updates

Just before Fall Break, we held our All College Meeting, which had the highest attendance in recent years. Thank you to everyone who was able to join us to hear about campus culture, fundraising, budget, and the high priority we are placing on meeting spring enrollment goals. We will spend the next two months working on our financial plan for the next year. If you didn't get a chance to stop by the meeting, I encourage you to take a look at the presentation slides we sent after the meeting for all the information we covered.

This Wednesday, we will host our annual Scholarship Luncheon to honor over 200 scholarship donors and recipients. This is a great opportunity every year to reconnect with and thank our many generous supporters for their commitment to student scholarships and learning. We will be specially recognizing three of our most dedicated donors: Sue and Frederick Duthweiler, Nick and Penny Rose, and Grant Thornton/Westminster Tax Institute.

Between last week and this week, I have had the privilege of meeting with our Congressman (Chris Stewart), the president of BYU (Kevin Worthen), the president of the World Peace Centre in Pune, India (Dr. Vishwanath D. Karad), and a Salt Lake City Council Member (Lisa Adams) on behalf of Westminster. In each of these meetings, we focused on new opportunities for funding, partnerships, and collaboration, and I have high hopes for Westminster's future cooperation with these important leaders.

Upcoming Events

This week, we will finish hearing presentations from branding firms, which brings us one important step closer to a revitalized brand that will help us to better reach our target market and to improve the relationship between our identity as a college and the image we present to prospective students.

From November 2–5, we will be undergoing an OCR Audit. For more information about what this visit entails, go to the overview page on our website.

New Staff Appointments

  • If you see these three on campus, welcome them and congratulate them on their new roles!
  • Nichole Greenwood is the new Director of Institutional Research, Planning & Assessment.
  • Brianna Koucos is the new Director of the Career Resource Center.
  • Dr. Christie Fox is the new Director of Student Success and Retention.

Thank you all for your ongoing hard work. I sincerely appreciate each one of you and the important work you accomplish every day, and I am proud to be part of such a talented and dedicated team of people.

Warm Regards

View All Journal Entries →

Expedition in the News

Two people on a canoe
Group of Students around Campfire

The Route

Our proposed route is an enormous figure eight, heading northwest first (because of potential early winter weather) and including Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Arizona, and Utah. Course-related sites include sites of environmental/cultural conflict or cooperation (e.g., Malheur National Wildlife Refuge; East Tavaputs Plateau tar sands; Klamath River dams; the Berkeley Pit, the Nevada Test Site, Owens Lake); National Parks (e.g., Yellowstone, North Cascades, Olympic, Redwood, Grand Canyon, Great Basin); wilderness areas (e.g., Bob Marshall, Glacier Peak); Native nations and sites (e.g., Burns Paiute, Coast Salish, Miwok, the Nez Perce trail, Colville, Pyramid Lake, Hopi); dam sites (e.g., Teton, Grand Coulee, Hoover, Hetch Hetchy, Snake River); and relevant towns/cities (e.g., Bozeman, Bend, Cody, Moab, Winthrop, Page).

Expedition Route

Course Descriptions

Follow the Expedition's Progress