Questions?

Contact

Tom Gorman
College of Natural Resources
Ph: 208.885.7402
tgorman@uidaho.edu
Prepare for your Semester In The Wild!

How to Prepare

This will be an amazing experience, and the more prepared you can be, the more you’ll enjoy it and the more you’ll learn!

  • How do I get to McCall if I am driving?
    From Boise and points south, travel on State Highway 55 into downtown McCall. Several blocks before reaching Payette Lake, take a right turn onto Park Street. Park Street merges and turns into Thompson St. Follow Park/Thompson for 1/2 mile to stop sign. Take a left turn onto Davis Street. Follow Davis Street for 1.6 mile (through the Lick Creek Rd. intersection). You will have to stop at the PSP Kiosk. Say you are going to the UI Field Campus and they will let you through. Proceed till you see the Field Campus sign, turn left and follow road until you see the driveway into the McCall Field Campus (there is a sign on the left side of the road). Take a left into the McCall Campus driveway at the sign.

    From points north, travel on State Highway 55 into downtown McCall. Highway 55 becomes Lake Street. At the intersection of Lake and 3rd Streets (both are technically still Highway 55), turn right onto 3rd. Travel south on 3rd for two blocks and take a left turn
    onto Park Street. Park Street merges and turns into Thompson St. Follow Park/Thompson for 1/2 mile to stop sign. Take a left turn onto Davis Street. Follow Davis Street for 1.6 mile (through the Lick Creek Rd. intersection). You will have to stop at the PSP Kiosk. Say you are going to the UI Field Campus and they will let you through. Proceed till you see the Field Campus sign; turn left follow road until you see the driveway into the McCall Field Campus (there is a sign on the left side of the road). Take a left into the McCall Campus driveway at the sign.
  • How do I prepare my body?
    We strongly recommend that students do some physical training—hiking, biking, running—over the summer to get their bodies ready for this “long walk to school” and for the hiking that will be part of our daily routine throughout the semester.

    We will be hiking through altitude changes, through streams and across rough terrain. You may wish to do a few practice outings to discover how you like to arrange your backpack, what types of freeze-dried food to consider, and learn the intricacies of your tent and sleeping gear.
  • How do I choose my gear?
    The gear you choose will be important to your level of comfort throughout the 35-mile hike to Taylor Wilderness Research Station. 

    Before you purchase your gear, you might consider testing different variations of packs, stoves, sleeping bags and tents. The Rental Center at the Student Rec Center is a low-cost option to help you decide what you like. 

    When you purchase, you may consider purchasing gear from factory outlet stores, or gently used gear for a fraction of the price offered at retail outfitters.
  • How do I plan my food?
    Semester In The Wild students are not expected to plan and purchase their own meals for the six weeks spent at Taylor Wilderness Research Station. All meals will be provided throughout the program.

    You may wish to pack some personal snacks for the hike in, or pack your favorite food item to be flown into Taylor with your luggage. Please consider size, weight and necessity when selecting a personal food item.

    Suggested high-energy food items
    • Nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans, seasoned and dried soy beans)
    • Trail mix 
    • Dried fruit (mangoes, pineapple, apricots, apples, blueberries, cranberries, etc.)
    • Powdered sport and energy drinks
  • What should I pack?
    There will be three parts of this trip to pack for—the hike to Taylor, your time at Taylor and your time at the McCall Outdoor Science School Field Campus in McCall, Idaho. 

    Technology will be provided at Taylor Wilderness Research Station, but will not be provided at McCall Outdoor Science School. You may choose to bring a tablet for your field work during the Taylor portion of the trip, and will need a laptop for your time at MOSS.

    • What should I pack for McCall Outdoor Science School
      You will spend the later half of Semester In The Wild at the McCall Outdoor Science School Field Campus in McCall, Idaho. There, you will have better access to cell service and shopping and will be able to replace personal items.

      Early winter temperatures in McCall can be significantly lower than those at the Moscow campus. We suggest including the following items: 

      • A coat suitable for freezing temperatures
      • Clothing suitable for snowy conditions
    • What should I pack for Taylor?
      The hike into Taylor Wilderness Research Station will take you through varied and rugged landscape and will last three days. You'll need the following items:

      • Water bottles and purification supplies
      • Necessary medical supplies
      • Clothing suitable for temperatures ranging from approximately 80°F during the day to 40°F at night
      • Hiking boots 
      • Hiking sandals 
      • Tent
      • Sleeping bag
      • Sleeping pad
      • Personal hygiene items
      • Supplies appropriate for river ecology field work during your trek in, such as notebooks, pencils, etc.

      When you arrive at Taylor Wilderness Research Station, you will be met with the rest of your items, which will be flown in and waiting for you. For the time spent at Taylor, we suggest the addition of the following:

      • Medicine—prescription or otherwise
      • Books and supplies for your coursework
      • Heavier clothing items for the scope of late-summer and autumn temperatures.
      • Personal hygiene items

      You will not need a cell phone or laptop, but you may wish to bring a tablet or other technology for field work. Computers will be provided, although internet access is limited. 
  • What can I expect from the coursework?
    The integrated nature of the coursework is unique and you can expect an intense and immersive learning environment. You can expect to experience coursework that is different than any you've ever encountered before—fieldwork in America's Wildest Classroom.

    The purpose of Semester In The Wild is to leave you with a unique perspective in thinking and writing about natural resources, as well as preparing you to be a leader in creative solutions for the future of the ecosystem.
  • What can I expect from the faculty?
    Semester In The Wild faculty were chosen for their commitment to students as well as their love for wild places. You can expect to develop a close relationship with these faculty, and experience a mentorship that you won't find in a regular college classroom.
  • What are the opportunities for communication with friends and family members?
    The Taylor Wilderness Research Station has a satellite system to provide wireless internet service. The bandwidth is limited, so we ask that participants limit internet use to email, social media outlets and primarily use the internet for research purposes. We want you to be able to communicate your experiences while participating in Semester in the Wild! However, downloading of music and/or movies is too much for the system and thus not allowed. For the second half of the course in McCall, all the communication services expected in a small town are available.