Environmental Studies Field Courses

Field Course Offered at UM

Wilderness and Civilization Program

The Wilderness and Civilization Program offers students a Wilderness Studies Minor through two semesters of interdisciplinary coursework. The program is offered by the W.A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation in cooperation with the College of Arts and Sciences. The Wilderness and Civilization program combines classroom and field learning, small class size, and internship experience for an in-depth exploration of wildland issues. Integrated with the curriculum are a series of long and short field experiences. Two, 10-day wilderness trips provide a unique opportunity for field-based experiential learning. Shorter field trips compliment classroom teaching by exploring local ecology and a variety of local environmental and land management issues. The program is open to sophomores, juniors and seniors of any major.

Field Courses Offered by Our Affiliates

A variety of field courses can be taken for academic credit at The University of Montana. These outdoor classes are offered throughout the year in Montana and beyond. For information on course offerings, registration procedures and costs, please visit the websites listed below and contact the organization directly.

Northwest Connections

Landscape and Livelihood Field Semester: Northwest Connections' Field Semester immerses a small community of learners in an intensive two-month program focusing on ecology and community-based conservation. Students learn experientially as they study the landscape of the Swan Valley and the human community it supports. NwC's instructional philosophy emphasizes participation in conservation projects as a means of developing field skills. Students also work closely with local citizens and land managers in order to understand the relationship of environmental issues to rural communities. Landscape and Livelihood's residential program operates seven days per week, creating time for classroom lecture, field work, reading, reflective writing, independent study and involvement in community activities. Fifteen semester credits are earned in Forestry and Conservation, Environmental Studies, Recreation Management and General Science through a cooperative agreement with the University of Montana. Base camp for the semester is a historic homestead on the Swan River.

Wild Rockies Field Institute

Field courses with the Wild Rockies Field Institute are a truly wild experience- academically and personally! Courses take place in the stunning backcountry of North America where students camp, backpack, kayak and/or canoe while studying the ecology, cultural history and land use policy of the landscape around them. Students also investigate our personal roles in, and relationships with, human and ecological communities. Visits to the frontcountry allow for meetings with a wide variety of locals to learn directly from the people who live in the area and to complete this experiential learning opportunity. Course areas include Montana, the American Southwest, and the Canadian Rockies. Courses are 3-9 weeks in length and are offered during both fall and spring semesters as well as throughout the summer. These field courses offer 300-level credit in Environmental Studies, as well as Natural Resources, Geography, Native American Studies, Philosophy and Science. Contact Bethany Applegate, WRFI's Outreach Manager: bethany@wrfi.net.

Ecosystem Field Studies

Ecosystem Field Studies (EFS) provides 3-week, 3-credit, hands-on field courses where students learn fundamentals of ecosystem science and research methods.  The Caribbean EFS course is offered over winter-break and early summer and involves SCUBA diving, snorkeling, and hiking along the Mexican coast.  The Colorado EFS course is offered twice in the summer and involves camping and hiking in a pristine mountain environment.  In these highly experiential courses, students engage with a wide variety of scientific research skills and conduct an original field research project.  EFS accepts students from all universities and majors.