ENED 3341 (3 credits)

Wednesdays 2- 5 pm

Sports and Health Center Room 9



Tom Beery

235 Engineering



Course Description:

This course is designed to provide the foundational skills, techniques, and knowledge involved in interpreting the natural history of the autumn and early winter environment, on and around the North Shore of Lake Superior and Northern Minnesota. This course will cover basic geology, geomorphology, tree & plant identification, raptor identification and interpretive skills.




This course will help the participants to:


A.  Effectively use field guide resources to identify and understand natural resources.

B.   Interpret general landforms of Minnesota using appropriate terminology and descriptions.

C.   Identify migrating raptors and describe their fundamental ecology (such as life history, nesting, feeding, and behavior).

D.   Identify forest trees and plants in the context of NE MN forest ecology.

E.   Discover resources which will aid in interpreting the natural and cultural environment.

F.   Implement fundamentals of field interpretive methods such as site assessment, lesson plan construction, teaching, audience awareness, and use of equipment.


Tentative Schedule



Location and Topic


Sept. 5

SpHC 9/Bagley

  • Course Introduction
  • What is interpretation? How is it used?
  • Grasshopper and drought phenology…explanation of Phenology Journal
  • Field Projects discussed
  • The best dressed interpreter—expectations
  • Start Phenology Journal after first class.


Sept. 12

Tischer Creek Hike

  • Phenology sharing
  • Exotic species introduction
  • Themes vs. Topics
  • Tree ID—using a dichotomous key
  • Phenology
  • Read 99-129 in MNH
  • Reading: Invader from the Sea and Survivors and Strangers in Waters
  • Sea Grant website review:  Aquatic Invasive Species (there will be a quiz!)
  • Practicing thematic interpretation (on website)

Sept. 19

Hawk Ridge (meet to carpool, library circle)

  • Raptor identification and ecology
  • Fundamentals of bird identification
  • How to use a bird field guide
  • Read Wings Along the Coast in Waters.
  • Raptor overview due
  • Phenology

Sept. 26

Hawk Ridge (meet to carpool, library circle)

  • Hawk presentations
  • Tree ID (bring tree guide)
  • Hawk outline and presentation
  • Phenology


Oct. 3


  • Exotics presentations


  • Exotic species outline and presentation
  • Phenology—turn in journals for check (checked and avail. at my office on 10/5)

Oct. 10

Park Point Airport (meet to carpool, library circle)

  • Sand spit ecology--succession
  • Sand spit geomorphology
  • Tree ID (bring tree guide)
  • Birds of the Twin Ports (binocs. and bird guide)
  • 61-65 in Minnesota’s Natural Heritage (MNH)
  • Phenology journal

Oct. 17

Olson’s Bog (meet to carpool, library circle)

  • Bog Ecology
  • Read 182-190 in MNH
  • Phenology

Oct. 24


  • Midterm



Oct. 31


  • Cultural History Interpretation introduced…
  • Reading the landscape—the history of Bagley!
  • Beaver ecology—a link to our cultural history
  • Cultural history lesson assigned
  • Reading:  Bringing the Past Alive (on website)
  • Read chapters 2, 3, 4, 8 & 10 in Waters.

Nov. 7

Leif Ericson/Lester Park (meet to carpool, library circle)

  • Volcanic Geology of Duluth and Northeastern Minnesota
  • Read chapters 1 & 5 in Waters
  • Phenology

Nov. 14

  • Geology Part Two—Glacial geology of the LS watershed
  • TBA

Nov. 17


Jay Cooke State Park

  • Cultural history presentations
  • Read 253-255 in MNH
  • Read chapter 6 in Waters

Nov. 21

No class scheduled


Nov. 28

SpHC 9

  • The Process of Interpretation—Neil Howk Presentation (Apostle Islands National Lakeshore)


Dec. 5

Marshall School (meet to carpool, library circle)

  • Phenology in action—a visit to a Phenology-based dynamic classroom.
  • Read:  (Larry Weber article)
  • Read Northwoods Companion, 97-113
  • Turn in Phenology Journals

Dec. 12


  • Review for Final Exam


Dec. 20



  • Final exam 4-6 PM







    1. Raptor Overview: Familiarize yourself with the major groups of raptors in your field guide to birds - turn in a write up of the general characteristics in identifying the following groups: accipiters, falcons, buteos, eagles, and vultures—3 or 4 general identifiers per group, and at least one specific identifier per species.
    2. Raptor Presentation:  Research your assigned hawk. Your job will be to teach your small group about that hawk—physical description, migration patterns, habitat, what it feeds on…Use at least one prop during your 10 minute presentations. Turn in outline of your presentation (see template).




    1. Exotics Lesson:  You will be teaching peers about one of the exotic plants or animals in this area. You must be able to teach the identification of the species at Bagley and provide at least one visual aid; for example, provide a picture of the exotic in a different season. You will have 10 minutes for your presentation.  Turn in outline of your presentation (see template).


    1. Field Project—Hawk Ridge or Great Lakes Aquarium, see additional hand-out.  NOTE, trainings: September 11 and 12, both at 6:30pm.  9/11 is at Hartley ( for directions) 9/12 is at Hawk Ridge ( for directions)




    1. Cultural History PresentationsNortheast MN cultural history topics:  Ojibwe migration, Early French exploration, Voyageur history, or Logging history. Once assigned, you will work together to brainstorm, research the components to the topic, develop a lesson plan, and practice. Presentations will take place at Jay Cooke State; you will be required to make at least one field trip to scope your lesson site.  You will have approximately 45 minutes for your presentation.  Make your presentation engaging, interesting and interactive!  We want your peers to learn this stuff! A rough draft lesson plan will be due on Nov. 7 and returned on Nov. 12.  A final lesson plan is due on Nov. 17. 


    1. Phenology JournalThe purpose of a phenology journal is to facilitate your observation of nature and to assist your development of an understanding of natural occurrences as they relate to our climate. Here’s how you should do this:


1) Observe nature - you may be able to do this from your dining room window during breakfast or get outside and walk and observe what is happening around you.

2)  Description: describe what you see as accurately and objectively as possible. What is it? What is happening?  What are its features? What does it do? How does it look, feel, taste, smell, move, sound, behave, etc.?

3) Relationships: Why is it here? Who are its neighbors? How did it get this way?

4) Speculation: What does it have to teach us? How does it speak to the human world? Why does it fascinate or repel me?

5) You need to have at least 4 separate entries per week (4 different days).


·         Please use a dedicated spiral-type” rite in the rain” notebook to record your observations and include drawings where appropriate.

·         A “to-date” journal must be turned in on October 12.

·         Final Journal is due on December 7.


    1. Superior Hiking Trail in Duluth Reflection.  Pick one of the hikes in our Natural History and Geology text (pages 25-43).  Complete the hike and describe the experience in detail.  Provide a phenological introduction (date, time, location, weather conditions).  In addition, provide other natural and cultural observations.  Provide two specific references to the text.  Finally, reflect on the trail, hike, sites and sounds—what does it mean to you?


Books, Supplies, and Fees:


Required text:

  • Peterson, R.T. A field guide to the birds. Houghton-Mifflin Co. Boston, MA.


  • Field Guide to the Birds of North America. National Geographic Society. Washington, D.C.


  • Green, John (2007).  Natural history and Geology along the Superior Hiking Trail through Duluth, Minnesota.  Minnesota’s Lake Superior Coastal Program:  Duluth, MN
  • Rathke, David M. (1996). Minnesota trees. Minnesota Extension Service. St. Paul, MN
  • Waters, Thomas (1987). The Superior North Shore. University of Minnesota Press. Minneapolis, MN.


Reference Materials (available in the library):


•Green, John C. (1996). Geology on display: Geology and scenery of Minnesota’s North Shore state parks.

Department of Natural Resources. St. Paul, MN.

•Ham, Sam (1992). Environmental interpretation: A practical guide for people with big ideas and small budgets. North

American Press. Golden, CO. (ISBN 1-55591-902-2).

•Matsch, C. & Ojakangas, R. (1982). Minnesota’s Geology. University of Minnesota Press. Minneapolis, MN (ISBN 0-8166-0953-5)

•Tester, John R. (1995). Minnesota’s natural heritage. University of Minnesota Press. Minneapolis, MN. (ISBN 0-8166-2133-0) ON RESERVE


Supplies:  Students will need to have a pair of binoculars, a hand lens, and proper clothing to go out in all conditions. You should gain access to a pair of rubber boots for the bog and beaver pond outings.


Fees: The only additional fees for this class are associated with obtaining proper supplies and sharing gas costs for car pooling.



Attendance is very important. You are responsible for all information given both indoors and outside. Points will be given based on the following criteria:

• For written work, effort and quality are the criteria - all work, other than the Phenology Journal must be typed and follow the given guidelines, must have all components assigned (i.e. lesson plans must have each portion), and be well written with appropriate effort.

• For participation, you will be awarded 5 points per class period for which you are fully participating. If you show up unprepared for the conditions or activity (i.e. you didn’t bring boots, you forgot binoculars...), you will lose points for that day.

• Specific assignment requirements will be provided as necessary.


Points for assignments:


  • Raptor notes                                     10
  • Raptor presentation/                        25

Exotic presentation

  • Phenology Journal 1                      50
  • Phenology Journal Final               50
  • Teaching NS cultural history/        50

Interp. field experience                  

  • Superior Hiking Trail reflect.          25
  • Mid-term Exam                                 75
  • Final Exam                                       75
  • Class Participation                          80


TOTAL                                                      440


Grading Based on % of Possible Points:


92% - A          90% - A-

82% - B          80% - B-

72% - C          70% - C-

62% - D          52% - F


An on-going grade update will be available via e-gradebook; please check grades regularly to confirm that the information entered is accurate—report any problems regarding your grade to T. Beery.


Note: Individuals who have any disability, either permanent or temporary, which might affect their ability to perform in this class, are encouraged to inform the instructor at the start of the quarter. Adaptations of methods, materials or testing procedures may be made as required to provide for more equitable participation.


In addition, field experiences are an essential component to the outdoor education we must acknowledge the inherent risk of field program participation. Leaving campus presents risk management concerns including transportation and field site based dangers.  In order to avoid problems and strengthen our risk management awareness, it is each student’s responsibility to behave in a manner that promotes personal and group safety while in the field.  Any questions, concerns, specific medical information, etc. should be directed to the instructor as a part of a shared effort to ensure a safe and optimal learning environment.