To the Editor,
We, the members of the Bucknell on the Susquehanna (BotS) program, would like to address some inadequacies in the article run about our program on Sept. 17. While the piece explained the basic itinerary and description of our “domestic study-abroad” course, it neglected to reflect any of the views of students who are actually participating and unfairly represented the ultimate goal of this experiential learning opportunity.
Rather than defining it as a form of study abroad, it may be more accurate to call the program a semester-long series of field trips and exercises.
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn [about our area] hands-on, outside of the classroom,” Joanna Freeman ’12 said. Most mornings at about 9 a.m., the “BotSMobile” waits outside O’Leary to take us off to a wide variety of sites around the watershed of the Susquehanna River. So far already we have spent a week in the Chesapeake Bay area, toured quarries and a coal mine, observed the impacts of logging and mining on the watershed today and many more experiences.
The program is designed to create an altogether unique experience of total immersion in the complex and diverse geographical feature that is the Susquehanna River watershed.
“After going abroad and comparing BotS to that experience, BotS is not a substitute for a study abroad,” Rebecca Coldwell ’11 said.
Returning from a study abroad in South Africa last semester, Coldwell described this fall’s program as “a completely different experience … a chance to learn about the land you spend four years on, how we affect it and learn to appreciate it.”
The BotS program also extends beyond local day trips.
“Every day is an adventure! We aren’t just focusing on the Susquehanna, but the entire watershed from Cooperstown, NY to Oyster, Va.,” Morgan Davis ’12 said. “We then travel to the west coast and compare both watersheds on a geologic, ecologic and political level. Awesome!”
On behalf of the Bucknell on the Susquehanna Program,
David Manthos ’11