Non-credit course explores Niagara escarpment

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Wilfrid Laurier University alumni and members of the Milton community can now learn more about their own backyards with a new course from Laurier’s Association for Lifelong Learning.

The non-credit course will teach students about the history, culture and physical geography of the Niagara Escarpment.

The course, taking place at Milton’s Education Village Innovation Centre, is led by instructor, Warren Stauch, who will look into the natural features of the escarpment, such as the different species and natural habitat.

This has provided an exciting opportunity to present a relevant course on the Niagara Escarpment, offering a more in-depth look at a topic familiar to Milton learners,” said Lisa Fanjoy, manager of Laurier’s online learning and continuing studies department.

LALL, which will celebrate its 18th year next week, offers non-credit classes to the adult demographic, particularly retirees. LALL offers classes in the fall, winter and spring, with 10-12 courses per term.

According to Rebecca Kiesswetter, the marketing and communications co-ordinator for Laurier’s centre for teaching innovation and excellence, this is LALL’s first opportunity to provide courses in Milton as the university now has classroom space in Milton’s Innovation Centre.

LALL also performed “teaser talks” in the fall to see if there was an interest from individuals.

“It’s kind of a perfect topic for the residents of Milton because they live right there, so hopefully it’s an opportunity to learn and go out and do a little bit of exploring in their own backyards,” said Kiesswetter.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization designated the Niagara Escarpment as a world biosphere reserve in 1990. According to Kiesswetter, this is a great opportunity for students to learn more about the escarpment, considered to be one of the 16 biosphere reserves in Canada.

Kiesswetter explained the course was introduced on the Waterloo campus, but taking it to Milton seems more reasonable.

“We’ve done the Niagara course here in Waterloo, so it just seemed like a natural topic to maybe get us started in that area given that Milton is situated right within the escarpment, so that just seemed to make the most sense as a starting point for us,” said Kieswetter.

Kieswetter believes this is also an opportunity for retirees and older adults to keep their minds active and continue learning without the pressure of homework, exams or prerequisites. The course is $70 for six weeks.

“It’s just a chance to essentially keep learning, even maybe explore a topic or a subject that you couldn’t because you were working previously.”

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