Brown Environmental Leadership Lab: Alaska - For Accepted Students
Emergency Contact Information
Families may contact us at any time during the program in the event of an emergency. Students should bring a copy of these emergency phone numbers while they are traveling as well as leaving a copy with their parents/guardians.
Brown University On-site Director
Brown University Department of Public Safety
Non-emergency assistance and information
Congratulations on your acceptance!
We are looking forward to your participation in this unique and engaging program. We have compiled some important information for you; please review this carefully with your family and don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Travel Dates and Times
Sunday, July 26 - Saturday, August 8, 2015
We encourage you to purchase your plane tickets as soon as possible.
Airport: Anchorage International Airport (ANC)
Arrive: Sunday, July 26 between 10 AM and 3 PM Alaska Standard Time (AKST)
Depart: Saturday, August 8 between Noon and 4 PM Alaska Standard Time (AKST)
Please contact us at 401-863-7900 or email@example.com before making a reservation if you can not find a flight within these time frames. Once you have confirmed you flights, please fill out your itinerary here.
Airport Pick-Up and Drop-Off
Brown staff will meet you at the Anchorage airport and transport you to the University of Alaska, Anchorage, where we will begin the program.
At the end of the program, we will provide transportation to the airport. Students will be responsible for managing their flight departure but staff will be available if assistance is required due to flight delays or unexpected concerns.
For your reference, Student Code of Conduct
Once you've paid the deposit, don't forget to submit all required forms through your connect.brown.edu account.
An online program orientation is scheduled for for both you and a parent or guardian- Thursday, June 11 at 8pm EST. To participate in this orientation, you will need access to a computer and speakers (no webcam or microphone required).
Additional information on how to access the WebEx conference will be emailed in the days prior to the orientation.
Pre-program required reading
We ask you to complete some pre-work so we can launch into the program having a shared foundation. The information ranges from videos to fact sheets to news articles. These will be posted a month before the program starts.
Please be very conservative in packing and bring only essentials. There is very limited luggage capacity in our transportation vans and where we are staying. If you can’t carry it by yourself, you have too much!
Note: most airlines charge extra for luggage weighing over 50 lbs.
If you would like to check the weather prior to packing, check forecasts for both Anchorage and Valdez. Depending on where you live, it may seem strange packing a fleece hat and gloves in July but some evenings during the program may dip into the 40s.
Being so close to the Arctic Circle, it will also be light until about 1am with only about 2 hours of darkness before dawn. Please bring a sleeping mask to create a darker environment if you have trouble sleeping in light.
- (1) Suitcase or duffle bag that will hold all of your packed belongings, including sleeping bag. If you can’t carry it, it is too big and/or too heavy!
- (1) Sleeping bag
- (1) bath towel
- Reusable Water Bottle (It is very important that you stay hydrated)
- Small bowl and utensils (example: spork, in order to reduce waste at breakfast)
- Small day/back pack that can be used on hikes and as a carry-on for plane ride
- Sturdy, closed toe shoes that can be worn for hiking (hiking boots not required)
- Sweatshirts/polar fleece
- Long sleeve shirts
- Any prescribed medications and a copy of original prescription
- Government-issued photo ID
- Blank journal
- Small flashlight
- Toothbrush and toiletries (we recommend using small sample sizes that can be purchased at drug stores or using items provided by hotels)
Required, specifically for Alaska
- Mosquito nets (such as ones pictured here)
- Antihistamines (such as calamine lotion, Zyrtec, Claritin, Benadryl for inevitable mosquito bites)
- Sleep mask (optional if you have trouble sleeping in light)
- Good raingear (both rain jacket and rain pants)
- Warm coat
- Warm hat
- Light gloves
Other Recommended items
- Pillow (or to reduce bulk, bring a pillow case and stuff it with your clothes)
- Bug Repellant
- Phone charger
- Plastic bags to store wet or dirty items
- Polypropylene/Gore-tex long underwear
Accommodations and Meals
We will be sleeping in college dorms most nights where students will be housed with 1-3 other students of the same sex. Our hosts will be University of Alaska- Anchorage, Kenai Peninsula College- Kenai River Campus, and Prince William Sound Community College. Students will have access to communal showers and toilets.
For two nights at the Peterson Bay Field Station, we will be sleeping in yurts without running water or electricity. However, there is a permanent lodge visible and in walking distance of the yurts with standard bathrooms and a group space in case of bad weather.
In Anchorage and on the Kenai, students will eat in a college cafeteria with multiple meal choices. However, at the Peterson Bay Field Station and in Valdez, only one meal will be provided for the group.
We will be glad to make accommodations for dietary restrictions and allergies but please let us know well in advance of the program’s start date so that we can inform all relevant parties. Please fill out the Guest Allergy Form with any dietary concerns. Snacks will also be provided during the day.
Program staff live on-site and are available to students 24 hours a day to provide support and supervision.
Laundry machines will be available at Kenai Peninsula College. However, there will be little time use these facilities. Students should pack enough clothing for all 13 days of the program.
Internet, Mobile Phones, and Electricity
As a general rule, we try to stay tuned in to each other and to our natural surroundings throughout the program so cell phone use will be limited to free time in the evening. Letting go of the frequent connection to phone, internet and social media helps us form a community and adjust to a new environment and culture more quickly. Depending on your carrier, you also may find mobile phone coverage spotty. Please do not bring laptops, ipads, or e-readers.
Communication with Families
Throughout the program, the staff will try to send updates to parent email addresses we have on file.
All your food and housing costs, as well as entry fees to various sites, are covered in the program fee. You will only need money while you are traveling to and from Alaska and for purchasing souvenirs.
Note: Shopping time will be very limited as the focus of this trip is on Alaska’s industry, environment, and traditional culture.
Personal Health and Medical Emergencies
The BELL Alaska program is physically challenging and involves frequent outdoor activities. For your safety and comfort during the program, we expect participants to fully disclose any and all pre-existing medical conditions in required medical forms.
Mosquitoes are an inevitable nuisance during Alaskan summers. Please make sure you bring a mosquito net, long sleeve shirts and long pants, and antihistamines to keep you comfortable for days when they are particularly bothersome.
In a medical emergency, you will be transported to a nearby hospital. All of our activities take place within 2 hours from a hospital. For minor problems, we have a well-equipped first aid kit with all staff certified in first aid, as well as a wilderness first responder (WFR).
There will be approximately 20-30 students from all over the U.S and the world in the program. Usually there are slightly more girls than boys ranging from grades 10-12.
There is no homework in the traditional sense. For the most part students will be doing experiential learning together with some journal writing. Students will be required to present a short oral presentation related to their learning at the end of the program.
Your Action Plan
We believe that it is not enough to understand complex social issues. Instead, effective leaders ask themselves, "What will we do with what we know? How will we serve others? How might we work for long-term social change?"
At the Leadership Institute, we help our students define the issues that they are passionate about and construct an Action Plan to address them. We work with you to set realistic goals, identify mentors and resource people, and anticipate challenges.
We encourage you to think about some potential Action Plan topics before you come to BELL, but most students don't actually know what their Action Plan will be until they start working on it at BELL. Your instructors will help you design an Action Plan that fits your interests and skills.
Examples of BELL Student Action Plans:
- Received a grant to install solar panels on a High School
- Developed composting systems or recycling programs
- Constructed a wind turbine at school
- Eliminated Styrofoam in county buildings
- Published an educational article in an online teen magazine
- Coordinated an e-waste collection
- Implemented Meatless Mondays in a school cafeteria