4,323 miles later, our trip has come to an end.  From the mountains of Appalachia, to the marshes of Southern Louisiana, there isn’t much ground we haven’t covered.  As much as I am looking forward to never setting foot in a van again, there is something strange about being back on campus.  The events of the past three weeks have returned us to campus a changed group — exhausted, outraged, and inspired.  Of the many eye-opening experiences we’ve had, we are now armed with the knowledge to make a difference and share our views with others. 

 

I couldn’t imagine a better trip or semester for that matter.  We are so lucky to have been a part of this class.  It is one thing to spend time sitting in a classroom listening to lectures; it is an entirely different thing to go out and experience what you’ve learned.  We had the opportunity to live what we learned and that has made all the difference.  The theme of this semester was, “Everyone is a textbook.”  From the store clerk in Clarksdale to Nancy Rabalais, the executive director of LUMCON, we had something to learn from everyone.   And learn we did.  We would not have been able to fully understand or appreciate the complexities of the issues we have discussed without interacting with the people, the culture, and the environment. 

 

This trip will be a major milestone in all of our educations and lives.  We will remember this semester for many reasons.  For some, it was the taste of their first oyster, for some it was the experience of seeing the devastation and the resilience of New Orleans; for others it was dancing zydeco with locals at the Blue Moon, and for others it was sampling in the disappearing marshes, using a fishing rod or a research trawl — whatever it is, this trip has been an unforgettable experience.

 

Thanks Candie and Heiman for a great trip!

 

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Group hugs after we unload from the vans in front of Kaufman Hall.
 

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Over and out!