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ENVSTD 121 – Short and S.W.E.

Molly Dartez, Burke Hammond, Joey Martin, Ava Simonich, Mara Walls
Dr. Mari Rice – ENVSTD 121
Bogus Basin

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Learning Goals:Young children listening to a teacher

Our instructor had a variety of learning goals for us to accomplish while service learning. The main goal was for us, as students, to connect course concepts to real life applications. Making connections with non-profits and developing practical knowledge about environmental issues were goals that were heavily emphasized in the beginning of the year.

Course Concepts

Positive Feedback Loop, Ecosystem Services, Biogeochemical Cycles, Climate Change Impacts, Human Water Management,
Leave No Trace, S.W.E. (Snow Water Equivalent)

Service Connections: During Snow School, students were taught the importance of snowpack in our community. Snowpack is used as a vital resource in Treasure Valley as hydropower, irrigation, and household/drinking water. Service learning was focused around teaching these students how significant this environmental process is. The SWE samples gave students a good understanding of the percentage of water that is produced by snowpack, as well as how we can manage and plan for sustainable water usage for the future.


Burke: My thinking has shifted from the beginning of this project because I now have a deeper understanding of our local mountains and how the water cycle affects the Treasure Valley. This was important because giving future generations fun experiences and sharing passions with them can inspire and influence their future.

Ava: My service learning experience was a very positive experience. I was able to learn more about watersheds and how they support communities, as well as other important aspects of the water cycle. I also was able to see how organizations can generally create spaces accessible to all. I am now more aware of how I can better my community.

Mara: I thoroughly enjoyed getting the opportunity to be able to go out on the mountain and help give kids a day they will always remember. I learned so much by connecting the concepts I learned in class by connecting them to real life experiences. I will always remember this experience.

Molly: My experience throughout service learning was awesome. Relating course concepts to the hands on experience really helped better my understanding of how service learning applies to the real world. Definitely recommend this service learning experience!

Joey: From a perspective of pedagogy, my time as a service learner with Bogus Basin Snow School has helped me to learn various methods of teaching environmental concepts outdoors. It has shown me ways to make the interconnectedness of the environment fun and applicable to learn.

A group of young and old students listening to an adult

Community Partner: Bogus BasinĀ 

Mission Statement:

Bogus Basin’s mission is to provide affordable, accessible, and fun year-round mountain recreation and education to the Treasure Valley.

Project Purpose/Community Identified Need:

We offered extra pairs of hands to help teach large groups of students K-12 about the water cycle, local runoff patterns, and Bogus Basin as a whole.


A group of children hiking through the snow
  • Snowshoed
  • Dug snow pits
  • Measured snow temp and height
  • Took SWE (Snow Water Equivalent) samples
  • Talked about igloos, climate change, water cycle, water conservation, LNT, weather stations, trees, snowshoe hares


Every activity we did in snow school was to help educate the kids there. It is important that the younger generations understand that impacts of climate change so that they can be a part of the solution. Also, many of the kids were from Title I schools which was significant in including people of all social classes. At Bogus, they provide appropriate clothing for those who need, so everyone is able to have a good experience in the snow and enjoy learning.