Three Moss students walk down a snow path in the McCall Forest. College of Natural Resources, U of I, MOSS program

About MOSS

Imagine a place where students are excited about school. Envision students participating in learning experiences where forests are the classroom and nature is the textbook. Picture an outdoor school where students are stimulated by their surroundings, where they experience personal growth and creativity, all while exploring the science of ecology.

The McCall Outdoor Science School is a program of the University of Idaho. The School and its partners foster scientific literacy, enlightened leadership and open-minded dialogue through graduate and professional education, youth science programs, seminars, conferences, and leadership development initiatives. Founded in 2001, MOSS instantly became the only publicly operated K-12 residential outdoor school in the entire state of Idaho.

The mission of the McCall Outdoor Science School is to facilitate place-based, collaborative science inquiry within the context of Idaho's land, water and communities. We provide experiential learning opportunities among students, educators, scientists and citizens to foster the critical thinking skills necessary to address complex problems.

The values and actions of the staff and students at the McCall Outdoor Science School are supported by a passion for quality instruction, lifelong learning, leadership, innovation, diversity, creativity, and role modeling our beliefs. MOSS embraces a positive working environment for all staff and a positive learning environment for all students. MOSS values collaboration; achieving success through a united effort, both as individuals on a team and as an individual program working within a community. We value critical thought, discussion, and action regarding sustainable practices.

Our goal is continued development of a year-round education and resource facility that:

  • Correlates its programs with Idaho Academic Achievement Standards.
  • Offers a unique place in which students participate in hands-on projects and outdoor field activities that appeal to different learning styles.
  • Helps students understand key scientific and ecological principles.
  • Develops an understanding of the natural and cultural history of Idaho ecosystems.
  • Provides teachers with a model for integrating inquiry and place-based teaching tools into the classroom.
  • Provides the next generation of educators with practical, field teaching experience leadership development.
  • Links UI research and academic programs with Idaho K-12 schools and partnering agencies.

Learn what MOSS is all about!