Explore the History and Natural History of the James River

Introducing a new summer course! Footprints on the James: Human and Natural History of the James Rivera BIOL 391L/HIST 391 course.

VCU’s departments of History and Biology are developing a new course in partnership with the VCU  Outdoor Adventure Program that will explore the history and natural history of the James River. As part of the five-week course, students will travel along roughly 200 miles of the James River via boats, camping out at state parks, private land, islands in the river, and organizational property, including the VCU Rice River Center in Charles City County.

The course, which is tentatively titled Footprints on the James: The History and Natural History of the James River, will run from May 19 to June 19. History Professor Brian Daugherity, Ph.D., will co-teach the course and is currently solidifying the curriculum, seeking partnerships and recruiting students.

“This course will allow VCU students the opportunity to learn about America’s founding river and its connections to human settlement in a totally unique way,” Daugherity said. “I hope the journey teaches them to understand and to appreciate the undeniable relationship between past, present, and future.”

Interested students can contact Brian Daugherity at or 828-4498.