SSU geography professor offers field course in Western Plains Studies

Chris Dunham

December 10, 2012

Shawnee State University is offering a class, “Western Plains Geographic Field Experience” (Geography 3999) spring semester with a field trip during the first summer intersession in May with geography Professor Tony Dzik, Ph.D.

Students of all majors will have an opportunity to take a multi-disciplinary field course in Nebraska and South Dakota where they will experience aspects of the physical, historical and cultural geography and history of the High Plains.

Many famous sites will be on the agenda, including Chimney Rock, Scottsbluff National Monument, High Plains Homestead, Oglala National Grasslands, Wounded Knee Massacre Site, Wind Cave National Park, Mari Sandoz Center and Geology Museum at Chadron State College, and Agate Fossil Beds.

While researching for a book he co-authored with his son, Vincent, Dzik traveled the Badlands with his son, taking many pictures. The book, “Badlands of the American West: A Primer” presents an introduction to the Badlands environment in plain language and it is fully illustrated with 36 full-color photos, diagrams, and maps.

“In preparing for a new multimedia course on the geography of the Great Plains, I travelled to a few places that I had somehow managed to miss during previous research expeditions,” Dzik said. “One of these was the Paint Mines Badlands on the western edge of the Plains near Calhan, Colo.”

In an article for the Center for Great Plains Studies at Emporia State University, he described the landscape appearing much like a half-eaten melting multi-syrup ice cream sundae from the local Dairy Queen.

For more information on the class, call Dr. Dzik at 740-351-3326.

Source: Shawnee State University