Brown Environmental Leadership Lab: Alaska - Program Overview
Alaska’s land mass is equivalent to 1/5 of the continental United States. In order to experience the state’s cultural and ecological diversity, students travel to a few locations.
Students will have the unique opportunity to learn Alaskan history from an Alaska Native perspective. Alaska became a US state in 1959 but its history stretches back centuries and includes a minimum of eight native cultural groups. Alaska Native elders and teens from Cook Inlet Tribal Council (CITC) will provide insights to cultural traditions and historical milestones that are rarely found in mainstream history books.
The Kenai Peninsula
At the end of the first week, students will travel south, down the Kenai Peninsula and take a boat across Kachemak Bay to spend two nights at the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies’ Peterson Bay Field Station. This remote science center is nestled in coastal woodlands, only accessible by boat, and provides access to incredible biodiversity.
Back on the mainland, students will spend the rest of the program in Soldotna at Kenai Peninsula College’s Kenai River Campus, a unit of the University of Alaska. This area is best known for salmon fishing so students will see salmon in the wild and consider its long-time economic and cultural value.
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 BELL, we help students define the issues that they are passionate about and construct an Action Plan to address them. This includes setting realistic goals, identifying mentors and resource people, and anticipating challenges.
We encourage students to think about some potential Action Plan topics before they come to BELL, but most students develop their ideas during the program. For example, past students have established community gardens, written a grant to install solar panels, and coordinated an e-waste collection. More Action Plan final reports can be found here: Action Plan library.
Your program fee includes:
- Tuition for the course
- All lodging as part of the course
- Breakfasts, lunches, dinners
- All transportation, field trips and site visits as described in the program description
- Transfer from/to airport on day of arrival and departure
Your Program fee does not include:
- Air travel to/from Anchorage, AK
- Classroom materials (textbooks, notebooks, pens, etc…)
- Pre/post-program accommodations