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University of Maine at Augusta Teaches Beyond the Basics in Acadia National Park

The University of Maine at Augusta, host to a national program, Partners in the Parks, in cooperation with the National Collegiate Honors Council, and supported by a generous donation from L.L. Bean, involves honors students and faculty from all over the country, and the world - as far away as Viet Nam and Azarbaijan.

group of volunteers at work

Honors students and faculty have gathered in Acadia for interdisciplinary instruction on a variety of topics including Environmental Philosophy, Sustainable Architecture, Fire Ecology, Maine Literature, Photography, Archeology, Biology, and Astronomy. Instructors have included professors from University of Maine at Augusta, University of Maine, the Island Astronomy Institute, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Park Service in a collaborative educational experience which involves hiking, boating, camping, and civic engagement.

The outcome of this important project has many facets. In addition to experiential learning, a partnership with the National Parks Service has been established with top university students learning in an unusual academic environment. Instruction takes on many forms when combining leadership and team building with camping, cooking and menu management, as well as topical discussions on a variety of subjects.  Utilizing the opportunities the National Park Servicehas to offer gives students a broader understanding of their environment and the preservation of the valuable resources available to them. For more information go to

group of volunteers

Partners in the Parks, the only nationwide project featuring a partnership with higher education that has been accepted by the National Park Service for the 2008 Centennial Challenge, was recognized by Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne and National Parks Director Mary Bomar as an opportunity to protect the parks and to cultivate a new generation of visitors.

The University of Maine at Augusta is proud to be a part of this project with plans to continue partnerships that embrace higher education at its best - collaborating with the myriad of valuable resources available in this state, involving top instructors, and motivating students by addressing their varied learning styles and introducing them to their full potential for optimal citizenship.