A semester in the Southwest will give you a unique glimpse into the American Southwest's living desert. You will discover the desert to be alive with plants and animals like coyote, javelina, mountain lions, peregrine falcons, mesquite, and cactus. The different sections on this semester will take you from the rushing waters of the Rio Grande to the ponderosa pine forests of the Gila Wilderness. You will find yourself jamming your fingers and feet into granite cracks and using a compass to find your way in the vast wilderness. Along with natural history, you'll also discover the desert's rich human history and have plenty of time to travel through the areas once inhabited by ancient cultures, discovering drawings and other traces left behind by our ancestors. In this land of constant sun, backpacking, climbing, caving, and canoeing will prepare you for the independent student expedition that is the grand finale of your semester.