In a collaborative arrangement between Utah State University (USU) Department of Forest Resources and Canyonlands Field Institute (CFI), a program has been developed in which qualified students have an opportunity to combine graduate level course work in natural resources with experience teaching these subjects to a wide range of age groups, in a field setting. CFI is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit educational organization located in Moab, UT, a small community served by a local USU extension office. The Institute maintains an office, classroom facilities, and housing for graduate students in Moab, as well as a field campus (Professor Valley Field Camp) on leased BLM land, 20 miles from Moab. The field campus is equipped with kitchen and teaching yurts, camping facilities, and a photo-voltaic generator that allows audiovisual equipment to be used in teaching. Much of the teaching is done on adjacent BLM land, in Arches National Park and on the Colorado River. CFI also has commercial river permits to operate on the Green, Colorado, Dolores, and San Juan Rivers. Programs conducted on the river are typically multiple-day trips incorporating the river corridor as the main focus for teaching. The location of CFI in south-eastern Utah provides access to an ideal outdoor classroom for studying and teaching geology, ecology, recreation and tourism, and land-management issues, particularly on the Colorado Plateau with the high desert, riparian and mountain ecosystem and vast acreage of public lands. The location of the USU extension office in Moab also allows for other university resources for the program, including library computer facilities and other distance learning courses.
McCormick, Tamsin C.
"Experiential education for environmental educators,"
Natural Resources and Environmental Issues:
Vol. 7, Article 61.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/nrei/vol7/iss1/61