Throughout the world, approximately half of all people live
in coastal regions; in the United States, nearly half of the population lives
within 50 miles of an ocean or a Great Lake. And increasingly, coastal communities
face enormous challenges as their social, economic and environmental resources
are damaged or depleted.
Students participating in the Coastal Studies Semester (CSS)
will be immersed in a cross-disciplinary program, (which is open to all
students, not just science majors) which addresses the environmental, social and
economic challenges of our coastal regions. Participants spend about a month
traveling to marine field laboratories along the East Coast, stopping at each
for two to three weeks to explore the unique coastal environments from
scientific, literary, historical and cultural perspectives. Members of a
learning expedition, students form a close-knit, motivated community seeking
intellectual experiences, conscientious action and hands-on skills.
The program is offered every fall, and five interrelated courses are required for the semester. Interactions with scientists, authors and other environmental professionals in the region augment class discussions, laboratory investigations and fieldwork. An interdisciplinary research practicum weaves together scientific, historical and cultural threads to unify the semester-long experience. Students earn 16 to 17 semester hours of academic credit for the semester, with courses satisfying the Literature; Scientific Thought; and Society, Science and Technology requirements of the Core Curriculum for Hood students (students from other institutions should plan to transfer these credits to their home college or university). The semester plus at least one coastal studies field experience satisfies the requirements for a minor in Coastal Studies. Learn more about a Coastal Studies minor here.