Course Information and Outline 2007

A full syllabus will be available after May 1; dates and times of specific events, meetings and activities are based, in part, on scheduling with Isle Royale National Park Staff and Wolf-Moose Research Team availability.

ENED 5343 will explore Isle Royale using techniques and methods to interpret the natural and cultural history of this unique field site. The course will emphasize specific, in-depth topics of natural and cultural history. Techniques for field site investigation and field based interpretation as an educational approach will be investigated.


Students will be able to:

  • Interpret the general history of Isle Royale National Park, both from a natural and a cultural perspective.
  • Understand the wolf-moose dynamic of IRNP.
  • Identify migrating songbirds and describe their fundamental ecology.
  • Identify northern forest types-northern hardwoods and boreal forest.
  • Identify northern forest wildflowers and their general ecology.
  • Identify cultural landscape relics and relate them to the cultural history of IR.
  • Identify various physical landforms and relate them to the formation of Lake Superior and IR.
  • Backpack travel safely and efficiently, using recreation as access to cultural and natural wonder.


Instruction, investigation and hands-on field experience will focus upon the following specific topics:

1.Backpacking basics—field travel skills emphasizing Leave No Trace skills.

2.Interpretation of Isle Royale cultural history

  • Native Americans and IR
  • Copper mining history
  • Commercial fishing history
  • Lighthouse/shipping history
  • National Park history

3.Interpretation of Isle Royale natural history

  • Geology of IR
  • Spring ecology of IR-featuring wildflowers and migrating songbirds
  • Wolf-Moose Dynamic of IR
  • Forest community study-northern hardwoods and the boreal forest

4.Synthesis-pulling the IR story all together

5.Use of appropriate techniques to effectively teach relevant course content in a field setting.

COURSE SCHEDULE with basic logistics (go to: for a map of the below noted locations).

  • May 14-18: Class meetings on UMD Campus-time/place TBA.
  • May 18: Drive to Grand Portage. Camp at Grand Portage.
  • May 19: Early AM departure on the Voyageur II for Isle Royale. Camp at Washington Creek (Windigo). Tentative meeting with park interpretive staff. Hike toward Huginnin Cove.
  • May 20: Hike to Island Mine. Explore the Northern Hardwood forest type. Camp at Island Mine.
  • May 21: Explore Island Mine site. Hike to S. Lake Desor along the Greenstone Ridge and over the highest point on IR. Camp at S. Lake Desor.
  • May 22: Hike to Todd Harbor with a short stretch on the Minong Ridge. Camp at Todd Harbor along the shore of Lake Superior.
  • May 23: Hike to McCargoe Cove. Explore the Minong Mine Site. Camp at McCargoe Cove.
  • May 24: Hike up and over the Greenstone Ridge to Daisy Farm. Camp at Daisy Farm. Tentative meetings with park research teams.
  • May 25: Tentative meeting with wolf-moose research team. Boat trip to Edison Fishery and Rock Harbor Lighthouse. Camp at Daisy Farm.
  • May 26: Hike to Rock Harbor along the Greenstone Ridge via Mt. Ojibwe and Mt. Franklin. Camp at Rock Harbor.
  • May 27: Early AM Departure on Voyageur II to Grand Portage. Drive to Duluth.