Cape Fear River Basin Studies Program
The Cape Fear River Basin Studies program is a uniquesequence of place-based courses. What is our place? The college, of course, and the city of Greensboro, built on the hills of the Piedmont, the flat coastal floodplain southeast of us, and the beach!
Our streams and rivers (and all we’ve added to them) run into the estuaries around Wilmington, NC and the Atlantic Ocean at Cape Fear. All of these places are one place, each a part of the whole river basin every one of us at Guilford College occupies, depends on, and impacts.
The courses in this program ask students to apply their minds and bodies to some of the contemporary and historical issues facing the Cape Fear River Basin using the framework of Principled Problem Solving. This framework was developed by the Center for Principled Problem Solving, out of the College’s core values and the Quaker testimonies.
We will also use the river basin as a means of complementing the academic experience and of understanding and articulating how your education (at Guilford and beyond) is relevant and applicable to the “real world.” Through a variety of field trips, lectures, and outdoor experiences, you will learn various ways to fuel your intellectual passions.
As the program is still new, all students will be co-authors of their class. Each student will pay particular attention to the possibilities of how we at Guilford College might expand place-based experiential education to incorporate other disciplines and departments while maintaining academic rigor.
The Cape Fear River Basin Studies Program as a First Year Pre-Orientation
This program is designed for students who are interested in water. Having fun in it, learning about it, understanding the complex environmental, political, economic, and social issues surrounding it. Students who choose to participate in the program will begin their Guilford experience with a 5-day Surf Camp on the North Carolina Coast, in the area where water in the scenic creek that trickles through our campus finally arrives at the Atlantic Ocean.
If you come with us on this adventure, you’ll spend your mornings learning how to surf in the crystal blue waters of Carolina and Wrightsville beaches. You’ll receive instruction from the professional instructors at WB Surf Camp, who excel at teaching the skills necessary to enjoy this outrageously fun way to learn from and play in water.
Your afternoons will be filled with service projects with the Surf Camp and the NC Coastal Federation, a visit the NC Aquarium and to the Sea Turtle Hospital on Topsail Island. Evenings, we’ll be getting to know one another around the camp fire at Carolina Beach State Park on the banks of the Cape Fear River.
Here you’ll have a chance to talk to and ask questions of older students, faculty and staff of the college. There will be some adversity (North Carolina claims the cardinal as its state bird but anyone who has camped on the coast in August will tell you the mosquito should have that designation) and a tremendous amount of fun.
There is a $750 pre-orientation fee to participate in this program.
Once back on campus, your First Year Experience course will include further study of issues affecting the Cape Fear River Basin in Jim Hood’s “What Should We Eat?” or Maia Dery’s “Reflecting Nature.”