From Maya to the Matrix

From the verdant rivers and summits of the east coast to the rocky deserts of the western United States, the US National Parks are filled with geologic wonder. In the course you will learn about these protected lands as we investigate their geology while acknowledging the native and indigenous peoples who were stewards of this land for thousands of years before us. We will split the US National Parks into regions: 1) The Pacific NW, 2) Intermountain West, 3) the Midwest, 4) East, 5) Islands, and 6) Alaska. While we will not have formal lecture on the geology of all of the national parks, you will have multiple opportunities throughout the semester to research national parks of your choice and deliver a presentation using a variety of methods. Throughout the course you will have opportunities to explore our natural world on and off campus. We will use our neighboring national park – The Blue Ridge Parkway – as a place to learn about local geology. We will hear from park staff and researchers. We will take advantage of the local community offerings for recreating in the outdoors – guided hikes, trips through ASU’s Outdoor Programs, etc.

Course Details
Course Number: 
Section Number(s) and Day/Times Taught: 
TR: 8:00-9:15am
TR 9:30-10:45am
Spring 2023
Global Issues

Nicholas Rudisill

Nick Rudisill splits his time between teaching First Year Seminar and working as an Academic Advisor in University College. Born in South Carolina, he wanted to attend Appalachian ever since he realized there was a college so close to all of the skiing and camping he loved as a kid. He transferred to Appalachian State after almost failing out of the College of Charleston in the early 90's and earned a BA in English with a minor in History. After graduation, he moved to Oregon and travelled extensively throughout the Western United States, eventually returning to Boone and his home in the southern Appalachians. He earned his Master's Degree in English and taught writing courses and the original Freshman Seminar class for many years, before becoming an Academic Advisor and instructor in the new and improved First Year Seminar. He loves working with App State students and exposing them to challenging new ideas in his Maya to the Matrix class. When he's not teaching or advising, you can find him hiking, climbing, skiing, or camping in the mountains that have always been his home.