Alternative Fall Break Programs

2010 Participants: Fill out our outcomes survey. Click here!

Checkout a slideshow (pdf format) of our 2010 program! Click here!

In 2007, a variety of faculty and staff from the divisions of Academic Affairs and Student Affairs initiated a service-learning program during fall break. The intent was two fold: 1) to celebrate the 100th birthday of Rachel Carson by following in her footsteps through service to Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, and 2) to provide educational opportunities for students to learn about Rachel Carson's commitment to conservation and learning about the environment. The 2007 program (see below) was very successful and resulted in a number of collaborations and partnerShips. In 2010, we are once again planning for another AFB program that builds on our committment to providing students opportunities to explore environmental issues from a range of perspectives via service-learning projects. Our program for 2010 is focused on providing service opportunities that help with recovery efforts in the Gulf Coast region which is still rebuilding from recent hurricanes, as well as cleaning up from the recent oil spill. See below for AFB 2010 planning details.

Gulf Coast Relief: 2010 AFB Program

As you are reading this, faculty, staff, and students are busy working to develop a successful 2010 Alternative Fall Break program. Due to an extended travel component (to the Gulf Coast of Mississippi), getting this project off the ground is an intensive one. We not only have to develop the program goals and itinerary for working with community agencies in Mississippi, but we also have to work collaboratively to raise the funds to make this endeavor possible. Our immediate goal is to raise AFB_2010_Logoenough funds to support travel for 50 students to go to the Gulf Coast (Gulf Port, Biloxi, Ocean Springs Mississippi region) so that they can provide meaningful service to communities, scientists, and the environment. Most of these funds have to be raised by mid-September in order to ensure our travel.

In order to make this recovery support possible, we must raise enough funds to cover the cost of transportation, food, and housing. So please take some time and help us with: 1) fund raising initiatives (and ideas for fund-raising), 2) planning the trip and activities, and 3) providing educational service to our on-campus learning community, the greater Shippensburg community,as well as the communities of the Gulf Coast. If enough funds are raised, a limited number of students from a variety of majors, and backgrounds, will be able to travel to southern Mississippi.We are looking for both community and student partners to make this possible.

Any individual interested in participating in fundraising for AFB 2010, should indicate their willingness by submitting their name and contact information (click here). In addition, those students who are interested in participating in the trip should submit an application for participation (available here). All applications will be reviewed by faculty and staff and students will be notified of the status of their application in advance of travel.Please note, students who would like to travel are advised that they must participate in fund raising activities as well as post-trip activities that help bring our experiences back to Shippensburg for the benefit of everyone.

If and when selected for travel, students will need to submit an individual contribution toward the cost of the trip. This amount will ensure your space on the roster and demonstrate your motivation and intention in support of the program and its activities. Please note, students may have the opportunity to fund-raise their expected contribution or they can cover the amount out of pocket. Currently, we expect the amount to be in the vicinity of $100.00. As was the case in 2007, there will be a good deal of student interest so spaces will fill and a wait list will be started if necessary.

If you are a community partner and want to help financially to our program or through other in-kind support, we encourage your contributions. Please feel free to contact Dr. Ben Galluzzo (@, Dr. Sean Cornell (@, or Dr. Jose Ricardo (@ at your earliest convenience.

If you have any questions, please let us know. In order to make communication easier, you might want to join our FaceBook fan page. Click the image below and join our fan page today!


Faculty/Staff Involved:

Conservation in Action... Carson style! 2007 AFB Program

Shippensburg University has organized an alternative fall break service learning opportunity for students in honor of Rachel Carson’s 100th birthday and more importantly, in honor of her contributions to science, conservation, and society.

Alt Fall Break Image 1Through this program undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty, and staff from disciplines across the University will be spending their Fall Break (October 5-9) retracing the footsteps of Rachel Carson along the Atlantic Coast and Chesapeake Bay. This program has partnered with several worthwhile organizations, including the: US Fish and Wildlife Service, Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, Assateague National Seashore, Maryland Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Division, Marine Science Consortium at Wallops Island, Va,Assateague Coastal Trust, Waterkeeper Alliance, Chesapeake Watershed Archaeological Research Foundation, and Franklin County Conservation District, in order to actively engage students in service learning programs that focus on conservation.

Whether through scientific, social, cultural, archaeological, or political perspectives, our objective is to immerse students in discussions about the issues behind conservation yesterday, today, and in the future. Moreover, and most importantly, we hope that students will outline for themselves the important connections and responsibilities they have at home in central Pennsylvania to what goes downstream to the Chesapeake Bay and indeed into the Sea Around Us.

Alt Fall Break Image 2Shippensburg University would like to recognize and thank the organizers of the Rachel Carson Centennial Book Club including Nancy Pollot and Anne Roy of the FWS, as well as author, of The Highest Tide and guest moderator, Jim Lynch for suggesting this field notes blog as a platform for sharing our experiences in conservation. They are also to be recognized for their spirit and vision for integrating this field notes blog into the book club's discussion for October on Carson's book The Sea Around Us.

Be there no doubt, Carson's voice and vision for the future is still alive and well. It is in no small part because of the dedication of the amazing people who share her visions and have made this centennial celebration possible. We welcome you all to please share in this vision. Feel free to contribute your comments and enrich the discussion with your rich perspectives.

This program is made possible by the Women’s Center at Shippensburg University, in coordination with the University Honors Program, the Departments of Geography-Earth Science, Political Science, and Sociology-Anthropology.

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Headwaters 2 Oceans
Field Studies

Department of Geography & Earth Science
Shearer Hall
1871 Old Main Dr.
Shippensburg, PA  17257

Maintained by S. Cornell