Hamline University 2015 Courses

For over 15 years, the Audubon Center of the North Woods has been offering
graduate level environmental education courses and teacher trainings through
Hamline University. Our unique location in east central Minnesota offers a wonderfully
diverse area to learn about the environment, and our comfortable accommodations
make the experience even more enjoyable.

Check out our 2015 course offerings below.

Click here to register through the School of Education's
Graduate Development Program (Continuing Studies)
or download and fax or mail this registration form

Hamline University

Pothole at Banning

"There are so many aspects of the week that stand out in my mind as a 'favorite'. I have so much to learn but I gained a wealth of knowledge last week and I can't wait to find applications in my personal life and in my classroom!"

J term 2012

"I absolutely loved the course, and it reinvigorated my love of exploring the outdoors in addition to highlighting some best practices for teaching in and about the natural world."

J term 2012

"I loved this class because I ended the week feeling so inspired by who I’ve met and what I’ve learned and done."

Water Chemistry Group

"This class is a course that actually teaches us about and shows us the environment that we are trying to preserve. This class really helped to remind me why I am in this program in the first place, and it gave me new reasons as well ."


" The history of Minnesota is an important aspect to teaching biology.  I think it gives students context and also helps them become better conservationists because they have more of a connection to the land they live on.  To help my students achieve this connection, I will be telling some of the stories I heard, explaining and demonstrating the uses of various plants, and trying to pass on a more tactile sense of the biology in Minnesota." 

Bird scoping

"This class has built an enormous base of knowledge that I hope to build upon even further and to use in the classroom!"

Biomes boggers

"To have the opportunity to explore the natural world with such knowledgeable guides reignited my own curiosity about the complexity of and interaction between geologic, climatic, plant, and animal systems, and it inspired me to learn more about the biomes both in my old stomping grounds and my new home."

Biomes 2012

"I absolutely loved the course, and it reinvigorated my love of exploring the outdoors in addition to highlighting some best practices for teaching in and about the natural world."

Winter Ecology   

February 6-8, 2015
SCED 7670 (Spring 2015)
2 credits… $85 course fee

Understand the unique winter environment of the north country, where all life is judged by its ability to adapt to cold, snow and limited sunlight. Prepare with readings online. Then strap on the snowshoes and take off into the winter world. Look at tracks, plants, birds, landscapes, rivers, ice and all the unique properites of the Minnesota winter.

Minnesota Forests   

March 13-15, 2015
SCED 7671 (Spring 2015)
2 credits… $85 course fee

Minnesota is famous for its forests, as it home to the convergence of the northern conifer forest and the eastern deciduous forest. During this weekend course based at the Audubon Center, students will spend time in a number of habitats and learn basic tree identification, features, patterns and forest types. Students will also learn about different forest management practices, past and present, which continue to shape Minnesota’s forests today.

Energy & Food Systems 

April 17-19, 2015
ENED 7739 (Spring 2015)…
2 credits… $100 course fee

This course looks at how humans use energy and ways we can reduce our environmental impact through energy conservation, efficiency and renewable energy production. During this weekend course based at the Audubon Center, students will gain firsthand experience with these areas by examining measures that the Center takes on these fronts. This course also looks at the environmental and economic impacts of food systems of society.  We examine how we can move to sustainable food systems through behavior changes towards local, organic and community shared models, and visit local farms.

Spring Flora    

May 8-9, 2015
SCED 7685 (Spring 2015)…
1 credit…  Course fee $50

Spring in the eastern deciduous forest abounds with color and beauty thanks to the amazing wildflower display that takes place. This weekend course based at the Audubon Center will get students outside to learn wildflower identification, terminology and features. Students will investigate several habitats as they identify and understand the beauty of spring through its flora

Birds of Minnesota   

June 5-7, 2015
SCED 7602 (Summer 2015)
2 credits… Course fee $100

Late spring is a time for witnessing the influx of hundreds of species of birds through Minnesota. During this weekend course based at the Audubon Center, students will be introduced to basic bird identification techniques, including field markings, vocalizations and behaviors. Students will spend the weekend becoming familiar with the bird species found in Minnesota through outside investigation and identification.

Stories In the Rocks:
Minnesota's Geology    

June 12-14, 2015
SCED 7683 (Summer 2015)…
2 Credits... Course fee $85

Geology is the foundation upon which all life has been built and is a science of stories. Geology determines bedrock and soils and in its processes has given us the substrate on which our plant communities grow. Essential to understanding Minnesota's three major biomes is the geologic story. In this course we will identify the major rock types and learn their fascinating stories: when and how they were formed, what kind of environment they formed in, how they impact the land and where these rocks can be found in Minnesota.

Lakes, Rivers & Wetlands     

June 29—July 1, 2015
SCED 7026 (Summer 2015)
2 Credits... Course fee $85

Fresh water makes up only 3% of the earth’s water yet creates the basis of life as we know it. Minnesota abounds with fresh water resources and is home to 11, 842 lakes, 70,000 miles of rivers and streams, and over 10 million acres of wetlands. During this course, we will explore and experience examples of each of these systems and discover the significant ecological roles they provide, as well as discuss protections.

Ecological Systems: Biomes   

July 20-24, 2015
NSEE 8200 (Summer 2015)…
3 credits* 

This course examines the three major biomes that intersect in Minnesota:  deciduous forest, coniferous forest, and prairie.  During this course, students will study and identify key features found in each of the three biomes.  Participants will also study the ecological relationships between organisms that are typically found in each area.  Students will travel throughout the state to experience each of the biomes firsthand, camping at various locations throughout the week.

*For this course students must be enrolled in the Natural Sciences and Environmental Education masters program to participate. Contact Hamline University's Master of Arts in Education program to enroll: http://www.hamline.edu/education/maed-nsee/

Boundary Waters Field Studies     

July 26-30, 2015
SCED 7023 (Summer 2015)…
2 Credits... Course fee $350

The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCA) is not only the largest wilderness east of the Rockies, but it is one of the three most recognizable natural assets in MN and forms a meaningful experiential basis for many Minnesotans. It is a land of 1,300 lakes, moose, wolves and loons. The area has significant biology and geology features that can only be experienced by canoe. Paddling, camping, observations of rock, plant and animal make this a true wilderness field course and an in-depth study of the boreal ecosystem.

Reading the Landscape    

November 6-8, 2015
SCED 7679 (Fall 2015)…  
2 credits…  Course fee $85

The landscapes around us are filled with stories of why they look the way they do. During this course based at the Audubon Center, students will examine the “why” of what is around them, and start discovering the clues to piece together an area’s story.  These skills have universal application.  Students will learn how to identify common Minnesota plants and trees and how disturbance on the landscape affects plant communities, patterns and distribution.  They will apply research and observation skills to interpret various stories on the landscape, enabling them to put together stories of “what happened here.”

Register for these courses:
through Hamline University

download and fax/mail this registration form

Audubon Center of the North Woods Home

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Audubon Center of the North Woods
PO Box 530
Sandstone, MN 55037
320.245.5272 (fax)