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FIGs program deepens learning for first-year students

Freshman Nicki Truby will never forget the 10-day winterbreak trip she took to Ecuador this year, along with leader Catherine Woodward (a botany faculty associate) and other freshman members of a First-Year Interest Group called Tropical Ecology and Conservation.

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e were studying the eating habits of woolly monkeys,” Truby recalls. “That was complicated. Monkeys are on the move and you have to move with them. We relied on compasses and marking tape to keep from getting lost in the jungle. There was no cell coverage. The research station was very isolated.”

A FIG is a group of about 20 freshman students who register for the same three classes linked by a common theme. They are led by instructors in seminar courses that help students discover interdisciplinary linkages during the course of a semester. The idea is to deepen the learning experience. It also turns out to be a lot of fun, says Truby. “We studied together, we got dinner after tests, we talked about how the things we were learning intermingled with one another,” she says. “The cohort is just awesome for making friends and launching your UW experience.”

L&S Annual Review 2015-2016

L&S Annual Review, 2015-16  

The Annual Review for the College of Letters & Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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