Northeast Community College Gets Out of the Classroom and Into the Wild

Student in Creek Taking Sample

Why not register for a course where every class takes a field trip?

A new Northeast State science course takes students out of the classroom and into the wild to learn more about the natural world of our region and how it can be conserved.

The Environmental Science (BIOL 1510) biology course is ideal for those students who love spending time outdoors. Offered for the first time in the upcoming Spring 2020 semester, the four-credit hour class is scheduled to meet every Thursday from 12 noon to 5:00 p.m.

Designed for non-science majors, the course combines classroom and laboratory study of environmental issues. Students get to explore local wilderness trails and a variety of habitats around the region. The course teaches subjects including the environment and sustainability; climate change; food production; water resources and pollution, and environmental economics. Students use hands-on field experiences and scientific approaches to study ecological principles, geophysical processes, and human population dynamics affecting the natural world.

Coursework requires students to keep a nature journal recording their observations and experiences using sketches, writings, or poetry. Students will need their own transportation to the trail, but travel time will be included in the class meeting time. The flexible schedule gives students the opportunity to take morning classes that meet Tuesdays and Thursdays. Students can expect to be back on campus by 5:00 p.m., on class days.

Course requirements include transportation to and from the trail (leave the Blountville campus at noon); a textbook; mobile internet access; a journal for sketching and writing; warm clothes and shoes for winter hikes; an enthusiasm for the natural world. Because a portion of class meeting time is used for travel, some course materials will be made available online.

Students interested in registering for the class may contact Prof. Michele Glass at or 423.354.2496 with questions.