Semester In The Wild at Taylor Ranch, America's Wildest Classroom

What You'll Learn

  • What are the pre-requisites?
    English courses: Potential students must have completed first-year English composition.
  • Will the curriculum be graded?
    Yes. Transfer credit courses must be assigned grades and it is the intent of every instructor to assign letter grades.

American Environmental History (HIST 424)

History of changing American attitudes and actions toward the environment over three centuries. Download the American Environmental History syllabus

Outdoor Leadership (CSS 404 Section 50, 3 credits)

In this course you will explore the practice of leadership, using the wilderness as a classroom. You will learn backcountry skills, develop an awareness of your leadership preferences and learn to be effective team members. Emphasis is placed on putting theory into practice by using the group experience as a leadership lab. Topics include small group dynamics, decision making, communication, and expedition behavior. The goal is to develop a leadership practice that will aid you in addressing complex challenges after your Semester In The Wild. Download Outdoor Leadership syllabus

Environmental Writing (ENG 316, 3 credits)

Much of this class will be spent reading and discussing stories, essays, and poems. You will do in-class writing exercises, practice taking field notes and craft imaginative works to explore your ideas on the environment and your own experiences. You will develop practical approaches to the communication of ideas and information about scientific and environmental issues to general audiences. Download Environmental Writing syllabus

River Ecology (FISH 404, 4 credits)

Rivers and streams in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness provide the opportunity to investigate the structure and function of watersheds in the absence of anthropogenic effects. This class will explore how the geologic settings within the west and geomorphic processes determine the fundamental shapes and structures of rivers. You will discuss the physical and chemical properties of rivers and how these are affected by regional, landscape and local processes. You will investigate the biologic characteristics and communities within these rivers. Lastly, you will observe wild Chinook salmon behaviors within Big Creek and how their life cycle becomes integrated into both the biological and physical aspects of these unique river and riparian systems. Download River Ecology syallabus

Wilderness and Protected Area Management (CSS 490, 3 credits)

With one of the largest American wilderness areas as a classroom, this class will explore management of the different types of federal protected areas in the U.S. We will covers principles of U.S. protected area policy and law; wilderness and river management planning frameworks; visitor management techniques; and tools for monitoring recreational use and impacts. You will explore examples from contemporary issues in protected area management, including commercial use, the role of fire, changes in recreational demand and climate change. Download Wilderness and Protected Area Management syllabus

Semester in the Wild offers students the chance to take courses ‘on location,’ to fully immerse themselves in what they're learning, and to learn collaboratively, with a tight-knit community of faculty and students.

Jennifer Ladino