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From the Faculty Directors of the College Park Scholars-Earth, Life, and Time Program

To the Students and Supporters of ELT, Past & Present,

In the spring of 1999, College Park Scholars began to advertise a new program centered in the Department of Geology and focused on the Nature of Science and the Science of Nature: Earth, Life & Time. For the last ten years the ELT faculty have led over 600 students in an exploration of understanding ourselves and the world around us from the perspective of the long view of deep time.

In the spring of 2009, as a result of the new University Strategic Plan a new Scholars program centered on the study of Science and Global Change (SGC) has been created. This program will focus on exploring the foundations of scientific practice; the evidence, causes, and implications of past and present global change; and the importance of that understanding when making decisions for the future. As you are probably aware, the University is a world-leader in global change research.

In order to develop and run this program the College of Computer, Mathematics & Physical Sciences and the Department of Geology require the services of Scholar's most experienced team of instructors, Holtz and Merck. Unfortunately, in order to run the SGC program, we will have to bring ELT to a close. So the current cohort of freshmen (who entered in Fall of 2008) will be the last group of ELT students.

(Entering Class of 2008, do not worry: we will be with you through the end of your four semesters in the program! But rather than have an Entering Class of ELT in 2009, Merck and Holtz will be directing the inaugural class of Science and Global Change.)

If circumstances were different, we would both love to have continued the Earth, Life & Time program for another ten years. But the priorities of University need a different focus for our talents, and so we look forward to the intellectual challenge that the new program will bring.

You will still have an important place in our hearts and thoughts. We have many memories of the ELT students of the past ten years—in class and in the field; in good times and bad; on Service Days, Metro Scavenger Hunts, and Academic Showcases; in the halls of the American Museum of Natural History and the slopes of Sideling Hill; and in the depths of the Grand Canyon and on the summit of Bartolomé in the Galápagos Islands. We will continue to meet with the graduating seniors to toast your successes and futures. And we look forward to hearing from you on your progress and journeys in the future at the University and beyond.

We hope that you, too, remember us and our lessons. To paraphrase Sherlock Holmes, "You know our methods; employ them."

On behalf of all the participants in the program, we want to thank you for a wonderful time.

With best wishes for the future,


Dr. Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Dr. John W. Merck, Jr.

17 February 2009

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Last modified: 13 February 2009