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Study Away

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Total Immersion Floodplain Management

The total immersion study away program allows students to see multiple sites around the Southwest and gain firsthand knowledge of their importance.  Traveling to these eclectic areas demonstrates the wide variety of issues professionals face in the field.

Learning Objectives

  • Explain the function of a watershed
  • Explain the history and significance of Hoover Dam to the economic growth of the southwestern U.S.
  • Describe various methods of financing flood control and explain the advantages and disadvantages of each
  • Explain the concept of multi-objective floodplain management and cite several examples
  • Explain the functions of a flood control district
  • Explain the special hazards associated with alluvial fans, closed basin lakes and beach erosion
  • Cite types and the importance of flood outreach as practiced by flood control districts


(Subject to change)

  • January 2 – Travel to Las Vegas
  • January 3 – Las Vegas; Red Rock Recreation Area
  • January 4 – Travel to Page, AZ; Glen Canyon Dam
  • January 5 – Page, AZ; Antelope Canyon
  • January 6 – Travel to Flagstaff, AZ; Grand Canyon
  • January 7 –Grand Canyon; Travel to Boulder City
  • January 8 –Hoover Dam; Boulder City
  • January 9 – Return to Nashville

This schedule is subject to change due to the educational opportunities that may arise unexpectedly, the vagaries of weather, and other factors beyond the control of the course instructors and staff.      



Program leaders may determine stricter eligibility requirements, but at a minimum, all applicants earning credit in a program would meet these requirements: 

  • Current WKU student eligible to enroll in WKU courses OR students from outside WKU may participate as visiting student,
  • Good academic standing as defined in the Undergraduate Catalog or Graduate Catalog,
  • A minimum of 16 years of age at time of departure (parental/legal guardian expressed, written consent required for those under 18 at time of departure) Refer to program green sheet for program specific details,
  • No current disciplinary sanctions as verified by the Office of Student Conduct,
  • Students who become ineligible to attend the program after applying due to disciplinary sanctions will be subject to standard program cost penalty rates. Students are responsible for notifying the Office of Study Away when they become aware of this ineligibility. For eligibility questions pertaining to disciplinary sanctions, students should contact the WKU Office of Student Conduct.
  • Complete Study Away application and pay deposit,
  • Possess a valid form of Government issued identification (i.e. driver’s license) as required to fly within the United States,
  • Complete pre-departure program,
  • Full payment prior to departure, and
  • Permission of instructor.

If a student completes a program without full payment prior to the departure, the student should receive an incomplete until the obligation is paid.  The Office of Study Away will inform faculty leaders if a student is in this situation prior to the Study Away term grade deadline.

Logistical Considerations

  • WEATHER WARNING – This program will be traveling in desert, the mountains, and coastal areas in January.  In the desert, temperatures in January can reach the 90s, and in some areas the temperature can drop below freezing.  Be prepared for a wide range of temperatures.  Also, rain is possible, but will not stop the class.  Bring rain gear.
  • Some class excursions will involve hiking, sometimes in rough terrain.  Participants should be in good physical condition and prepared to hike.
  • Program will be traveling in areas where wildlife that can be dangerous.  These include poisonous snakes, large animals such as desert rams, and large predators.  Participants should be alert on field trips, and stay with the group.

Program Package

See program details for all information


A non-credit option is available.

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  • CE 475
  • GEOG 475
  • GEOL 475

Faculty Leader


  • Las Vegas
  • Page, Arizona
  • The Grand Canyon
  • Hoover Dam
  • Glen Canyon Dam


  • Winter 2018
    January 2 - 9, 2018


  • $2.,069


  • Application deadline (coming soon)


Non-Credit Option

  • American Traveler Reigstration Form (upon request)


  • Syllabus (coming soon)


Western Kentucky University and its associates are not responsible for any loss due to theft, personal injury, flight or weather delays, negligence, or default of suppliers, or suppliers changing of itineraries. They and their associates are not responsible for any loss due to travel/flight delays or changes in travel plans due to Acts of Nature or other unforeseen circumstances, nor are we responsible for accidents and medical care. Tour services are furnished by independent contractors who are not agents or servants of Western Kentucky University. Refunds are not available for unused portions of the package.


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 Last Modified 9/12/17