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new talent while also featuring some encore performances. The series returned to the MBR amphitheater for the remaining six concerts. Stargazing opportunities were available at the W.M. Keck Observatory following the performances. Grant supports environmental research O Michael Behrens, assistant professor of biology, examines pricklebacks in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. together to solve environmental problems,” Teska said. Faculty selects general education program T his spring, faculty voted to adopt a revised General Education Program, ending a four-year process. Q A PACI FIC LU T H ERAN UNIVERSI T Y CH RIST MAS CELEBRAT ION Q WONDROUS CHILD PACIFIC LUTHERAN UNIVERSITY'S popular Christmas concerts return with the Choir of the West, University Chorale and members of the University Symphony Orchestra presenting joyous anthems, processionals, carols, narration and audience participation. Tickets: $20 General admission; $15 Seniors (55+), students, PLU community and alumni; Children 12 and under free. Group rates available. All ticket sales are final; no passes or refunds. Tickets available November 1. CONCERT DATES PORTLAND December 5, 2008, 8 p.m. St. Mary’s Cathedral Q n a sunny day last May, a small group of faculty members and alumni donned waders and trudged into Clover Creek. Under the watchful guidance of environmental studies faculty, the group learned how to collect field data about the creek – the same type of work students in the “Environmental Methods of Investigation” course learn to do. The field trip was part of a three-day workshop to evaluate the environmental studies curriculum. The workshop was one of several projects funded by a $90,000 grant the environmental studies program received from the Wiancko Charitable Foundation in December 2007. It also supported three student-faculty research teams, a research retreat and provided mini-grants for environmental projects. “We want to use the funds in a way that makes the maximum impact for PLU, but also for the environment,” explained William Teska, professor of biology and chair of environmental studies. “We want to make the world a better place, and to make our region a better place.” The grant provides a unique opportunity to move the already strong environmental studies program to a truly superb one, while also building on its interdisciplinary nature, Teska said. This interdisciplinary approach was evident in the first round of studentfaculty research projects: one led by assistant biology professor Michael Behrens examining prickleback fishes; another by Claire Todd, visiting assistant geosciences and environmental studies professor, looking at climate change on Mount Rainier; and the third by philosophy professor Erin McKenna to study meat production and the environment. “We utilize interdisciplinary studies here because we truly want to come The program consists of academic elements all students must complete as part of PLU’s liberal arts education. According to the program’s description, it “prepares graduates to ask significant questions, engage relevant knowledge, and wrestle with complex issues.” It goes into effect for the 2009-10 academic year. Three faculty committees worked on the process, writing the principles of the program in the first year, then researching other institutions and creating guidelines the following year. The final two years examined various models for the program, said Erin McKenna, philosophy professor and former faculty chair. During the study, the committee sought feedback on numerous occasions from faculty, staff and students. Overall, the biggest refinements were made to the social science and religion SEATTLE December 6, 2008, 8 p.m. First Presbyterian Church TACOMA December 7, 2008, 4 p.m. Olson Auditorium, PLU 253.535.7787 HERE & NOW > PLU SCENE FALL 2008 5

Scene Magazine - Fall 2008

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