OBU Biology Takes Field Trip to Hawaii in Spring 2006

Oklahoma Baptist University students who have a fascination with the “Rainbow State” have a chance for a hands-on education experience next semester.

During the 2006 spring semester, the OBU biology department is offering BIOL 432, “Natural History of the Big Island: Hawaii,” for three credit hours. The class will meet once a week before traveling to Hawaii for field work, March 9-17.

The class will spend time on the island hiking Kilauea volcano, viewing the volcano via helicopter, snorkeling and diving in the reefs, whale watching, hiking in a tropical rainforest, night diving with manta rays, and stargazing from the observatories atop Mauna Kea.

“Generally, people are most impressed with seeing lots of sea turtles,” said Dr. Dale Utt, associate professor of biology. “But seeing live-action lava flow is certainly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, too. We go to the big island because that’s where there is the greatest variety of activities that are natural.

“In the past, the students who took the class were all science majors,” said Utt, who has traveled to Hawaii with five groups of students since 1999. “This year the class is open to everybody, and it now fulfills a natural science requirement, so there has been a lot of interest among students.”

Expenses for the trip are estimated at approximately $2,000. Most of that cost goes to the flight to Hawaii and other traveling expenses.

For more information on the course contact Utt at (405) 878-2042 or at dale.utt@okbu.edu.

Located in Shawnee, Okla., OBU offers 10 bachelor’s degrees with 70 majors. The university has been rated the No. 2 comprehensive college in the West by U.S. News and World Report for the last five years and has been the highest rated comprehensive college in Oklahoma for 12 consecutive years.