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Brunnenburg

Fall Semester 2017

The UMM Brunnenburg semester will offer students the unique opportunity to experience and study the environmental challenges of living sustainably in the Italian Alps. Students will live and take classes in the compound of a 13th century castle located above the town of Merano, Italy. The semester will consist of a full course load (including courses on Geology, Environmental Science, Agro-Archeology, Glacial Geology and the History and People of the Tirol) and opportunties to complete internships in sustainable agriculture on the working farm and vineyards of Brunnenburg Castle. Courses will be taught by UMM faculty and by faculty at Brunnenburg. All classes will involve excursions throughout the eastern Alps and to several cites nearby (Venice, Bolzano and Munich).

Existing UMM courses:

  • ESCI 2201. (ENVT) Field Experience in Environmental Challenges of the Italian Alps. Study of the impact of geologic processes such as tectonism, mass movement, and ooding; understanding climate change through the observa on of vegeta on changes and glacier uctua ons; soil and water resources and the archaeological record of the nature of human se lements in the Alps.
  • Geol 4140– Advanced Glacial and Quaternary Geology – Topics will include - the glacial record of the Italian Alps, modern glaciers and recent changes in the glacial environment.
  • Geol 23XX (SCI) Geology of Italy (Tentative). Rocks, minerals and fossils of the Northern Italy. Geologic History of Italy and the geologic origin of the Italian Alps. Economic Geology of Italy.

Courses previously taught by Brunnenburg Faculty:

  • Agro-Archeaology. An introduction to the history and pre-history of agriculture, drawing from the resources of the Tyrolean Alps. An examination of of the impact of changes in agriculture on the social and religious realm.
  • History and the Philosophy of Science. This course promotes reflection on on science and its history with a focus on Tyrolean pioneers and how the South Tyrol itself influences science.
  • Practicum in Sustainable Agriculture. This course develops skills and knowledge in sustainable agriculture through prac cal experience in Brunnenburg’s vineyards, orchards, and permaculture garden, and working with their heritage breeds of farm animals.

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More information (including course details, application deadlines, program fees, and itineraries)

Faculty Profiles:

James Cotter is a Morse-Alumni Distinguished Teaching Professor of Geology at UMM. His area of expertise is glacial geology. He has studied glaciers, glacial deposits and glacial landforms in the Alps, the Rocky Mountains, South America, Antarctica and Minnesota. He has brought students to the Italian Alps to study and complete research since 2001.

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