Course Objectives & Requirements

HIST 630 Field Experience

Prairie Earth, Prairie Homes


The main concentration of work, obviously, is during the fieldwork phase, 8-15 July 2012. This is experiential learning on site, working on the restoration of the Hutmacher farmstead, and touring a variety of other earth building sites across western North Dakota. Prior to this, there is some preliminary study and online discussion, and after the fieldwork, we require participation online in assessment of the course. Further details are given in tables below.


Here are the objectives of the course. On completion, students should be able to


1.      Articulate the role and rationale for earth buildings in the historical culture of the Great Plains

2.      Identify and describe the five types of earth building traditions on the plains

3.      Demonstrate mastery of techniques for restoration of earth buildings


Requirements for 3 Graduate Credit Hours


Time Period



View & discuss DVD, Children of the Steppe, Children of the Prairie

1 June to 7 July

Online contributions to Facebook discussion board

Reflective review by Prof. Isern

Read & discuss Glassberg, Sense of History

Read & discuss selected literature from the course bibliography

Full participation in study tour, with accompanying lectures, of historic earth building sites across western North Dakota

8-15 July

Field journal, to be maintained in hard copy and submitted to Prof. Isern at end of experiential phase

Reflective review by Prof. Isern

Full participation in restoration activities at Hutmacher farmstead


16-20 July

Completion of online form assessing instruction & learning in the course

Not graded participation only



Prairie Earth, Prairie Homes