I got back from my conference in Utah last night, and now have to catch up on all the work that I didn't do over the weekend, so this will be a brief post.
I won't be talking much about the details of the meetings, but it was quite worthwhile and enjoyable. There were five faculty attending, all of whom taught intro bio at the college level, along with a bunch of publishing people. It was great fun to chat with the other faculty about the challenges they faced teaching intro bio; I had some good discussions about how to best use in-class response systems, and will try to post an update on that soon.
The meeting was held at the Sundance Resort, where they'll remind you in all their printed literature that Sundance is the town Robert Redford built. The resort is in a wooded mountain valley surrounded by dramatic snow-covered peaks. The rooms are spaced out throughout the large resort area and there's lots of privacy; all three rooms I've stayed in had views looking out over wooded areas. The rooms themselves are quite luxurious, with many amenities (fireplace, lots of teas and hot cocoa, nice bathtubs, etc) and are decorated in a rustic style; I've never seen rustic decor done so well. The publishers provided most of our food, including taking us out to the two restaurants at the resort. Both were expensive, but the food was some of the best I've had (not that I eat out often, but still); roasted eggplant ravioli, goat cheese and artichoke heart fondue, fried aged feta cheese salad with roasted tomatoes, shrimp-crusted sea bass, and plenty more. There are a lot of nature-oriented activities, including hiking in the summer and skiing in the winter, as well as a spa and some neat-sounding art classes.
If you ever find yourself wanting a room that costs a few hundred dollars a night, look Sundance up. I stayed an extra night on my own dime, and it was well worth it.
I hope to post some pictures up once I get home tonight and can look them over.
Well, off to lecture planning and grading. More later!