measuring CO2 in McCall Idaho Sagebrush meadow

Field Modules


Please let our registrar know which two modules from the menu below you would like for your program. Our programs can be customized to meet your specific academic and social development needs. Contact us for more details regarding customization options. 

Energy Day

Students engage with and explore various types of energy
  • energy transformation
  • potential and kinetic energy
  • energy chain between trophic levels
  • renewable and nonrenewable forms of energy
  • analysis of various forms of energy

Geology Rocks!

An exploration of the geological history of McCall and its influence on present day vegetation 
  • Glacial geology / landforms
  • Volcanoes / landforms
  • Rock types / rock cycle
  • Soil
  • Erosion & the role of vegetation
  • Succession
  • Affects of vegetation on ground and surface water

Go with the flow!

A study of water, its journey through the watershed, and the organisms that depend on it
  • Watersheds
  • Water quality (pH, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, transparency, temperature)
  • Water cycle
  • Erosion & the role of vegetation
  • Things that live in and around water (fish, macros, amphibians)
  • People’s use of water and social issues
  • Affects of vegetation on ground and surface water

Exploring Ecosystems

Comparing and contrasting ecosystems within Ponderosa State Park
  • Ponderosa pine ecosystem / fire ecology
  • Sagebrush steppe / rangeland ecology
  • Aspen / dogwood ecosystem
  • Nutrient cycling
  • Diversity
  • Succession
  • Evaluating the value of a tree as biofuel and the amount of carbon it can sequester

Awesome Adaptations

Investigating the unique characteristics of central Idaho’s resident organisms
  • Learn about the special forms and functions that allow plants and animals to live in this climate
  • Individuals and their unique features (Ponderosa pine, lodgepole pine, sagebrush, aspen, insects, mule deer, ground squirrels, osprey, etc.)
  • Succession


Humans and Winter

Students will:
  • learn how to dress appropriately to stay warm and dry in winter weather
  • learn how to use snowshoes to travel in snow environments
  • discuss the importance of proper hydration and nutrition in staying warm and comfortable

Snow Science

Students will:
  • learn about different snow crystal types and how snow changes when it is on the ground
  • dig snow pits and compare the snowpack in different parts of Ponderosa State Park
  • measure how much water is in the snow and compare this to data from SNOTel stations in our watershed
  • discuss the importance of the snowpack to Idaho ecology, economy, energy generation, recreation and culture

Animal Tracking and Adaptations

Students will:
  • learn track patterns of different animals
  • measure tracks and use evidence to identify the animal that left them
  • learn about strategies that different plants and animals have to surviving in our winter environment
  • use tracks and signs to make inferences about animal adaptations and behavior in winter