For English professor Ann Lundberg, her upcoming year on sabbatical will provide a mix of travelling, teaching, learning and exploring.
One highlight will likely come next April when Lundberg will travel to New Zealand. Lundberg will teach an intensive environmental literature course for the Creation Care Studies Program in Kaikora on the South Island of New Zealand. “This is my first year doing it,” Lundberg said. “Dr. Laurie Furlong hooked me up with the powers that be.”
To her excitement, the program will take Lundberg back to her educational roots.
“At least theoretically, environmental literature is my field,” Lundberg said. “That’s what I study, and it’s part of my graduate training. It will be nice to both travel to New Zealand and teach that literature to a small group of people.”
Before next April, Lundberg plans to work on, revise and update her work on Henry David Thoreau. “A simple summary of what I do is looking at the study and use of geology in his major works, at the metaphorical narrative and philosophical use of geological sources,” Lundberg said.
She said that she knows a lot of what Thoreau read but hopes to read more of his sources, in particular the literary geology of the late 19th century, and publish her own journal article on the topic.
Another thing Lundberg plans to do for certain is make time for family.
“I will be visiting my 94-year-old father as much as I can,” Lundberg said. “One of my sabbatical goals is to spend time with him in Colorado.”
Although Lundberg has a couple concrete plans, she is waiting to hear about other opportunities.
“I hope to participate in a Public Information Officer course through the Federal Emergency Management Agency,” Lundberg said. “It is a one week course in Maryland for my work with the fire department.”
Lundberg also said that the course involves rhetoric, which incorporates some of her field of expertise.
Her most hopeful prospect, which is pending confirmation, is working for the National Park Service this summer as a park ranger.
“I’ve done that at five parks in the past,” Lundberg said. “I love being outdoors, I love teaching people about the natural history, especially the geology of the places.”
Lundberg has submitted applications for Bryce Canyon in Utah; the Agate Fossil Beds in Nebraska, which contain geology in Native American history; and at a number of other parks, including Lassen Volcanic National Park in northeastern California.
“I’m just going to keep putting them out and see what happens,” Lundberg said.
Lundberg said that her time on sabbatical is coming at a perfect time, and clearly she has a number of projects to keep her busy and exploring.