COMM 3090 - Experiential Writing in the Yucatan: Environmental and Cultural Communication

(crosslisted) PLSCI 3090  
(CU-ITL, CU-SBY)     
Winter. 3 credits. Letter grades only.

Prerequisite: completion of at least one college-level writing course. Permission of instructor requried. Offered on the Yucatan Peninsula. Students and instructors will meet prior to the trip. The number of assignments and course content is typical of what would be covered in a full semester writing course.

L. Chambliss, D. Wolfe.

The natural and cultural experience of ten days in the Yucatan will serve as the inspiration for compelling written communication. Students will master writing for diverse audiences, from an academic journal to popular media. Keys to successful communication include: grabbing and maintaining the reader's attention while synthesizing complex or controversial material; developing narrative; and not distracting the reader with weak writing, lack of clarity, or poor structure. Through readings and field trips, students will explore ecosystem conservation, botanical, and cultural issues in a rich and diverse landscape. These experiences will be the basis of the written assignments, augmented by research. This course is a demanding educational experience. Classes are full days with homework overnight. Some course work must be completed in advance of the first day of class.

Outcome 1: Students will be able to demonstrate mastery of written communication skills across multiple media.

Outcome 2: Students will be able to communicate complex or controversial information.

Outcome 3: Students will be able to integrate personal experience and scholarly research for effective online writing.

Outcome 4: Students will be able to interpret trade-offs between economic development, conservation and food security.

Outcome 5: Students will be able to develop a deeper understanding of historic and present-day Mayan culture, including complex socio-economic challenges.

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