Draft Animal Power System III: Farming with Draft Horses

Draft Animal Power Systems III allows students the opportunity to explore the challenges associated with farming systems where horses are the primary source of traction power. In small learning groups, students actively use horses to manage the College’s working landscape including gardens, fields and woodlot. Students become familiar with reduced tillage practices associated with Bio-extensive gardening principles, front-end suspension logging arch, mowing machinery and other field implements. Field trips to area horse powered farming operations complement the course.

Restorative Forestry

Due to past forest-product harvesting systems the need to restore habitat and rebuild forest ecology structure and function is recognized throughout the southern Appalachian region as a significant component of sustainable forest management. This course allows students the opportunity to survey numerous approaches to forest management that a landowner in consult with an area forester in Henry County, Kentucky has undertaken for the past 20 years while familiarizing themselves with small-scale re-forestation of recently degraded agricultural land. From these baseline concepts students actively engage in aspects of woodland operations designed to regenerate vibrant forest ecology and produce marketable timber by implementing a component of the forest management plan via a small logging job. Working closely with the landowner, students develop a deep understanding of the landowner’s management goals and expected outcomes. Course faculty guide students through a rigorous chainsaw safety and use protocol including directional felling techniques, logger first-aid, tree selection and harvest, draft animal husbandry and use as a log extraction system, and direct marketing timber to a local mill. Students engage in conversation with local proponents for the rejuvenation of a local forest economy in Henry Co., Kentucky by visiting several persons engaged in woodcraft and local small-scale sawmill operations focused on niche markets.

Essentials of Bicycle Touring

This two week course is designed as an introduction to bicycle touring. Week one will include an introduction to the mechanics of a bike, bike mechanics and repairs, obtaining a proper fit, route planning, gear and tool management, and fitness. Week two will consist of a 5 day, fully supported trip traveling through northern Vermont and New Hampshire. The trip will begin and conclude at Sterling College. During the trip stops will be planned to explore local, cultural, and natural history with a potential service project. Assigned readings will review the spiritual nature and mechanics of bike touring, personal narrative, and vagabond philosophy. Students are responsible for supplying a personal bicycle, panniers/trailer, sleeping bag, and bicycle clothing.

Nordic Skiing

An introduction to recreational Nordic Skiing including both classic and skate skiing for groomed trails. Ski waxing, equipment and proper clothing will be address as well as technical skiing skills. This course will include on snow instruction with video tape feedback focusing on body position and biomechanics. We will explore local trails including the Craftsbury Outdoor Center network, a long tour from the Highland Lodge, and a day of backcountry skiing on the Catamount trail. Ski specific core training and skiing outside of class to practice skills and build strength are an intregral part of the course. As part of our immersion into the ski culture  we will read stories and help with the local ski race. Instructional video viewing and race videos will aid in understanding technique.

Livestock Project

Individual project under the supervision of a faculty member. A proposal must be submitted to and approved by the student’s project advisor prior to the start of the semester in which the project is to take place.

Garden Project

Individual project under the supervision of a faculty member. A proposal must be submitted to and approved by the student’s project advisor prior to the start of the semester in which the project is to take place.

Wilderness First Responder

This course is a comprehensive and in-depth look at the standards and skills dealing with backcountry emergency care. The Patient Assessment System is the foundation from which we learn the skills to manage injuries and illness. Classroom sessions include lecture, discussion, and practicing basic skills and more advanced skills, such as traction splinting, blood pressure, long-term care, and spinal cord considerations. Outdoor sessions include scenarios and a mock rescue. Leadership skills, rescue skills, and writing accurate field reports are included. Successful completion results in Wilderness First Responder (WFR) certification through S.O.L.O., and the registration fee with S.O.L.O.

Independent Study in Applied Science

Independent studies are available to students who have completed 45 credits. Advised by full-time faculty, these provide students the opportunity to pursue in more depth a focused topic not otherwise available in the curriculum. Independent studies may be proposed at the 200, 300, or 400 level for between 1 and 12 credits. Independent studies go through a rigorous approval process and must meet specific criteria in order to be approved. Proposals for independent studies of two or more credits must be approved the prior semester. Proposals for independent studies of one credit will be considered until the first day of an intensive session or the first week of a long-block session. For more details about the independent study proposal process, see the online submission form.

Please note that independent study is not available for topics already offered through classes.

Advanced Rock Climbing

This course challenges students to integrate and build upon all of the skills learned in AS190 or AS225. Students in this class will further develop their rock climbing techniques, rope management skills, safety and rescue protocols and site assessment. Exposure to multi-pitch climbing and management may be reached by the end of this course. To supplement work in the field, students will explore the current structure of mountain guiding in the United States as compared to around the world.

Introduction to Ice Climbing

The course begins with an indoor introduction to the tools of the trade: ice tools, crampons, climbing boots, and ice screws. We cover proper clothing and comfort in the cold and sometimes wet environment of ice climbs. The outdoor sessions begin with a review of knots, climbing signals, belaying, and site safety. Climbing techniques on varied terrain are demonstrated and then practiced by students. By the end of the course, students will have climbed several hundred vertical feet of class III ice. More difficult climbs are possible if skill levels and time permit. Students are expected to become familiar with terms and techniques explained in readings and other media.

White-Water Canoeing

Paddling starts as soon as ice is off the rivers, usually the last week of March. Students must provide adequate cold weather and splash resistant clothing.  Initial training with strokes and maneuvers takes place on moving water and class 1 rapids. As the class’s overall proficiency increases more challenging sections of local rivers are utilized. One or two weekend sessions may be required for rivers that are farther away. The paddling curriculum matches closely with ACA standards. Written assignments emphasize good judgment and active risk management.

Advanced Flat Water Canoeing

In this intensive summer course, participants will enter into a conversation about North Country paddling—throughout the course students will study the region’s paddling history, its watersheds, and explore local rivers and lakes; realize the treasures in our back yard and environmental issues affecting them. Students will be guided to and work toward mastering basic paddling skills; paddle a canoe straight tandem and solo, mastering the J stroke. Highly motivated students will be able to build their own wooden canoe paddle before the longer trip.

Participants will start exploring some local lakes and rivers, but the bulk of this summer’s course will be a 20-day overnight canoeing expedition down the Vermont/New Hampshire section of the Connecticut River. Discover the wide range of flat water paddling and understand boat characteristics; racing, solo and tandem, canoes and kayaks. Sterling is proud to partner with the Northern Forest Canoe Trail and the Craftsbury Outdoor Center to help further the organizations’ missions to educate the public about northern New England waterways, riparian ecosystems, and watersheds. In the context of this experience, participants will engage in a range of activities that draw attention to the interconnections inherent in watershed ecosystems across the region. Participants will leave with a set of practical skills, a new understanding of and appreciation for North Country rivers and lakes. They will build relationships that bring one back to the water time and again for years to come.

In Summer 2018 this course has a co-requisite of NS205 Environmental Science.