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Field Schools

One of the best ways to get familiar with environmental issues and potential careers is through an immersive learning experience–either in the summer or a semester. Examine endangered species policy while backpacking in Montana; Learn applied biology while snorkeling in Belize; Acquire field mapping or hydrology skills in Mackay or outdoor education techniques in McCall. There are lots of opportunities, all over the world. Talk to your mentors and advisors about which of these experiences align with your degree goals and career aspirations. And then get out there and get acquainted with the fields available to you.

 

Swan Valley Connections

Website: https://www.swanvalleyconnections.org/
Location(s): Swan Valley, Montana
Key focus areas and topics: Conflict management, social and ecological systems, community-approach to conservation, policy
Cost: Dependent on program
Program(s): Wildlife in the West, Livelihoods and Landscapes
Scholarships/financial aid available: Yes
Program length: 1-3 months

Concordia University

Website: https://www.cu-portland.edu/
Location(s): Pacific Northwest, Hawaii, Alaska, Grand Canyon, Florida, Australia, Belize, Guatemala, Bhutan, Nepal, Tibet, Germany, Italy, France, New Zealand, Iceland, Scandinavia
Key focus areas and topics: Biology
Cost: Dependent on program location
Program(s): Field Studies
Scholarships/financial aid available: No
Program length: Dependent on program location

National Outdoor Leadership School

Website: https://www.nols.edu/en/
Location(s): North America, International
Key focus areas and topics: Outdoor leadership, public lands management, science education, trail restoration
Cost: Dependent on program
Program(s): Outdoor leadership semesters
Scholarships/financial aid available: Yes
Program length: Semester

Colorado State University Mountain Campus

Website: http://mountaincampus.colostate.edu/academic-programs
Location(s): Larimer County, Colorado
Key focus areas and topics: Outdoor skills, environmental ethics, watershed, forestry, wildlife
Cost: Colorado resident $557.85, non-resident $1536.95 (per credit rate)
Program(s): Field courses
Scholarships/financial aid available: No
Program length: Summer

Idaho State University

Website: https://www.isu.edu/geosciences/fieldcamp/
Location(s): Lost River Field Station (Mackay, Idaho)
Key focus areas and topics: Sedimentology, petrology, quaternary geology, field mapping, rock description, GIS/GPS techniques
Cost: $5362
Program(s): Geology Field Camp
Scholarships/financial aid available: No
Program length: Summer

University of Pennsylvania

Website: https://www.sas.upenn.edu/earth/content/envs420-regional-field-ecology-3
Location(s): Northeastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey
Key focus areas and topics: Geology, topography, hydrology, soils/vegetation/wildlife
Cost: Check University of Pennsylvania credit rates
Program(s): ENVS 420 Field Ecology
Scholarships/financial aid available: No
Program length: Summer

McCall Outdoor Science School

Website: https://www.uidaho.edu/cnr/mccall-outdoor-science-school
Location(s): McCall, Idaho
Key focus areas and topics: Science communication, ecology, social/ecological issues of rural Idaho
Cost: Dependent on program
Program(s): Graduate degree in outdoor education, University Scholar Program, Wilderness Medicine
Scholarships/financial aid available: Yes
Program length: Dependent on program

BYU Idaho

Website: https://www.byui.edu/geology/degrees/geology
Key focus areas and topics: Resources, environmental hazards, water
Cost: Check BYU Idaho credit rate
Program(s): Geology
Scholarships/financial aid available: No
Program length: Summer

University of Minnesota

Website: https://sites.google.com/a/umn.edu/hydrogeology-field-camp/
Location(s): Akeley, Minnesota
Key focus areas and topics: Water quality sampling, stream gauging/water surface monitoring, groundwater flow and pumping, identification of quaternary glacial deposits, drill rig observations, application of LiDAR data
Cost: Check University of Minnesota credit rates
Program(s): Hydrogeology Camp
Scholarships/financial aid available: No
Program length: Summer

Evergreen State College

Website: https://www.evergreen.edu/catalog/offering/alaska-wrangell-mountains-summer-field-studies-26988
Location(s): Alaska
Key focus areas and topics: Backcountry backpacking, geological/biological/cultural change, Alaska geology, policy
Cost: $9,950
Program(s): Alaska Wrangell Mountains Summer Field Studies
Scholarships/financial aid available: No
Program length: Summer

Wild Rockies Field Institute

Website: https://www.wrfi.net/
Location(s): Colorado, Montana
Key focus areas and topics: Philosophy and ethics, human behavior, ecological processes, economic and sociopolitical factors in conservation, combination of natural, social, physical sciences and humanities
Cost: Montana resident $435 per credit, nonresident $1230 per credit
Program(s): Colorado Plateau, Cycle the Rockies, Environmental Ethics, Montana Afoot and Afloat, Restoration Ecology in Greater Yellowstone, Wild Rockies
Scholarships/financial aid available: Yes
Program Length: Semester, summer

School for Field Studies

Website: https://fieldstudies.org/about/
Location(s): Australia, Cambodia, Costa Rica, Panama, Bhutan, Kenya, Peru, Chile, Tanzania, Turks and Caicos
Key focus areas and topics: Rainforest management, community-based conservations approaches, ecological restoration, environmental policy, endangered species management, watershed management, indigenous communities and conservation, national parks, human-wildlife conflict management, conservation and development, habitat fragmentation, ecotourism
Cost: Dependent on program location, refer to SFS admission costs for more information
Scholarships/financial aid available: Yes
Program length: Semester, summer

Wildland Studies

Website: https://www.wildlandsstudies.com/
Location(s): Australia, Banff, Belize, Big Sur, Botswana, Channel Islands, Chile, Equador, Iceland, Indian Himalaya, Nepal, New Zealand, Peru, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand, Yellowstone
Key focus areas and topics: Ecological assessments, ecological history, mapping techniques, culture and conservation, wildlife research
Cost: Dependent on program location
Scholarships/financial aid available: Yes
Program length: 2-6 weeks

Lehigh University

Website: http://www.ees.lehigh.edu/content/lehigh-university-field-camp
Location(s): Wildhorse Valley, Idaho
Key focus areas and topics: Geological mapping, terrestrial ecosystems, computer-based field data collection, geology of North America (plate tectonics, landforms, soils, sedimentology, stratigraphy, rock formations)
Cost: $4500
Program(s): Field Camp
Scholarships/financial aid available: Yes
Program length: Summer

Albion Geology Field Camp

Website: https://www.albion.edu/academics/departments/geological-sciences/field-opportunities/field-camp
Location(s): Wyoming, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons
Key focus areas and topics: Geologic mapping, GSP-assisted digital mapping, measurement of stratigraphic sections, geologic reports, geologic cross sections
Cost: Check Albion College for credit rates
Scholarships/financial aid available: No
Program length: Summer

Alaska Semester By the Bay

Website: http://semesterbythebay.org/
Location(s): Homer, Alaska
Key focus areas and topics: Cold water marine habitats, marine mammal biology, nonprofit and government organization partnerships
Cost: $11,433
Program(s): Marine mammal concentration, environmental conservation concentration
Scholarships/financial aid available: No
Program length: Semester

Tatoosh School Field Studies

Website: http://tatooshschool.org/
Location(s): Southeast Alaska
Key focus areas and topics: Natural history, ecology, community and civic engagement, outdoor leadership, biogeography/geography, forest management, Pacific Coastal Ecoregion, policy
Cost: varies depending on class
Program(s): Community ecology, case studies for a changing world, salmon class
Scholarships/financial aid available: Yes
Program length: 2-6 weeks

Rocky Mountain Field Institute

Website: https://www.rmfi.org/earth-corps
Location(s): Colorado
Key focus areas and topics: Environmental restoration, public land management, trail building/critical high-altitude trail project, backcountry living skills, natural resource management
Cost: $1,500
Program(s): Earth Corps
Scholarships/financial aid available: Yes
Program length: Summer

Wallacea

Website: https://www.opwall.com/
Location(s): Bay Islands, Croatia, Fiji, Honduras, Malawi, South Africa, Borneo, Dominica, Galapagos Islands, Indonesia, Mexico, Transylvania, Ecuador, Guyana, Madagascar, Peru
Key focus areas and topics: Working with local and national governments, community/economic development, dive experience/ dive qualifications, biodiversity and conservation management, tropical fieldwork
Cost: Cost dependent on program, search Wallacea expeditions for more information
Program(s): Undergraduate research assistants, expeditions
Scholarships/financial aid available: No
Program length: 2-8 weeks

Black Hills Natural Sciences Field Station

Website: http://geologyfieldcamp.sdsmt.edu/
Location(s):Black Hills (SD, WY), Death Valley, CA, New Zealand, Hawaii, Arizona, Utah, Western California, Montana, France, Turkey, Morocco, Spain, Iceland, Equador, Nepal, Bahamas
Key focus areas and topics: Monitoring and inventory of vertebrates, wildlife management, conservation biology, aquifer protection, groundwater contamination, sustainable groundwater/surface water use
Cost: Dependent on program, see website for information on specific program
Program(s): Geology Field Camp, Ecology Field Camp, Environmental/groundwater Camp, Coastal Studies Field Camp, Volcanology Field Camp, Sequence Stratigraphy Field Camp, Depositional Systems Field Camp, Paleontology Field Camp
Scholarships/financial aid available: No
Program length: 1-2 months (summer, winter)

University of Idaho

Website: https://www.uidaho.edu/cnr/semester-in-the-wild
Location(s): Frank Church Wilderness, Idaho
Key focus areas and topics: Ecology, environmental writing, wilderness management, outdoor leadership, environmental history
Cost: In state tuition: $4,152; Out of state tuition: $13,770
Room and board: $4,000 Field trip fees: $4500
Must supply personal gear and medical insurance
Program(s): Semester in the Wild
Scholarships/financial aid available: No
Program length: Semester

University of Michigan Camp Davis

Website: https://lsa.umich.edu/content/michigan-lsa/earth/en/camp-davis.html
Location(s):Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Key focus areas and topics: Energy related facilities (hydroelectric generators, wind farms, solar arrays, nuclear reactor, gas fields, coal mines, uranium mines, geothermal), students meet with political leaders to discuss energy policy, access to terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, exploration of environmental issues: climate change, pollution, agriculture, energy use through field work
Cost: $440 per credit hour
Program(s): Geology, Geological Mapping, Ecosystem Science, History and Literature of the West
Scholarships/financial aid available: Yes
Program length: Summer