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The MOSS Experience

Whether they are investigating various ecosystems in Ponderosa State Park, eating delicious meals or sleeping in rustic cabins at MOSS, students will develop a sense of place, build scientific literacy and develop effective collaboration and communication skills.

The bulk of the instructional day, approximately 6 hours, is spent in Ponderosa State Park studying various ecosystems, habitats, and conducting place-based inquiries. The goal is to develop student understanding of various earth system components and the relationships between physical, biological, and social systems.

SAMPLE Weekly Schedule (this may change depending on teacher, instructor, and infrastructure abilities. 

Residential Program Schedule

Chaperones and teachers will supervise students throughout the program. MOSS staff and Graduate Students will provide curriculum during the field portion and accompany chaperones, students, and teachers in the field.

Our K-12 programs use the outdoor environment as an integrated context for learning. We encourage a hands-on approach to scientific discovery highlighting the relationships between biological, physical and social systems.

Students practice science through hands-on exploration and experimentation, student-directed inquiries, and the opportunity to apply these skills and knowledge to real problems and situations. Socialization, teamwork and group living skills are also an important part of this program. Our goal is to help students develop a science identity and science process skills, along with social and critical thinking skills that are necessary to prepare them to be global citizens capable of addressing complex problems.

MOSS Residential Programs are customizable to accommodate individual teachers’ goals for their experience. We adhere to the Next Generation Science Standards and the three MOSS goals for each program.

>> MOSS K-12 Education Philosophy

  • MOSS Staff are professionals trained in the fields of education, environmental science, science communication and natural resources.
  • MOSS Field Instructors are primarily University of Idaho graduate students being trained in the fields of pace-based education, science communication, ecology, and leadership. Field instructors are in a learning laboratory throughout their year-long graduate residency program. Graduate students gain experience and feedback in enthusiastically communicating with students, engaging students in the practices of science and engineering, and managing risk in a field setting. Field instructors are supported by University of Idaho, College of Natural Resources faculty and staff who help to integrate cutting-edge science into our practices and curriculum.

Contact Beth Kochevar, K-12 Program Coordinator to customize your students’ MOSS experience.

The cozy main lodge, complete with a beamed ceiling, stone fireplace, and a view of the lake, seats up to 50 students for meals. Home-cooked meals are served buffet style with a diverse fruit and yogurt bar for breakfast and a salad bar for dinner. Students prepare their own sack lunch each day to take along during their field studies.

Our professional food service staff provides healthy, nutritious meals for residential program participants and cabin camping guests that:

  1. are high in protein with vegetarian options.
  2. include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
  3. are locally sourced whenever possible, with minimal packaging.
  4. minimize sugars and trans fats.
  5. have been nut- and peanut-free since 2017!

We can accommodate those with food allergies given advance notice. Please contact Betsy Booth, Food Service Manager to coordinate special accommodations,, 208-885-1082.

Contact Us

College of Natural Resources

Physical Address:
1800 University Lane
McCall, ID 83638

Mailing Address:
PO Box 1025
McCall, ID 83638

Phone: 208-885-1080

Fax: 208-634-5244



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