Colorado Plateau: Desert Canyons and Cultures


Date and Time:

Wednesday, March 23, 2022, 9:00am to Monday, May 23, 2022, 3:00pm

The Wild Rockies Field Institute (WRFI) offers undergraduate students unique opportunities to earn upper-division credits, accredited through the University of Montana, for expedition-oriented field studies in the Rocky Mountain West.

On Colorado Plateau: Desert Canyons and Cultures, students will experience their academic coursework first-hand as it integrates several Wilderness backpacking trips, a canoeing expedition, meetings with guest speakers, and site visits. Students will camp at designated campsites, on public land, and occasionally on the property of gracious guest speakers. Student coursework will examine the political, social, economic, and cultural changes required to effectively address climate change. Students will immerse themselves in public lands issues, geology and archaeology, water ecology and policy, and indigenous perspectives. Participants on this course will gain an integrated understanding of the issues faced by the cultures and landscapes of the Colorado Plateau.

No prior backpacking or canoeing experience is necessary. In addition to the academic offerings, students learn and cultivate the skills of wilderness travel,  minimum impact camping, orienteering, and natural history throughout the course.

Students will earn 15 college credits through the University of Montana – Environmental Studies 395: Public Lands Issues of the Colorado Plateau; Environmental Studies 395: Environment and Culture of the Colorado Plateau; Native American Studies 391: Indians of the American Southwest; Geography 348: Geography of the Colorado Plateau; Natural Resources Science & Management 311: Natural History of the Colorado Plateau. Each course is 3 semester credits.

Enrollment is limited to 8 students and WRFI accepts students on a rolling admission basis. Please visit our website for more info, tuition and scholarship opportunities, to sign up for an online info session, or to apply. You can also reach us at Hope to see you in the field!