U-Idaho Semester in the Wild™ Helps Students Study and Go Wild

Thursday, March 7 2013


MOSCOW, Idaho – The University of Idaho is helping students answer the call of the wild and receive course credit with a new program, Semester in the Wild. The opportunity allows students to live and learn in the great outdoors for the fall semester and gain valuable skills.

“After their Semester in the Wild experiences, students will return to their programs, energized and engaged,” said Gary Thompson, the outdoor leadership course instructor. “They will become the leaders and initiators in their classes and fields of study.”

The program is now accepting applications for the 2013 fall semester for students who are looking for a new opportunity to live and study in the remote wilderness at Frank Church-River-of-No-Return Wilderness and McCall Outdoor Science School campus, along the shores of Payette Lake in Central Idaho.

The program is open to any undergraduate student and runs from late August through mid-December. Participants will earn 15 upper-division credits while studying interdisciplinary topics of river ecology, environmental writing, western literature, outdoor leadership and wilderness and protected area management in some of the most compelling and inspiring landscapes in the Rocky Mountains.

“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 student,” said assistant professor, Jennifer Ladino, who will teach the western literature course.

“For the study of Western American literature, this means students will be able to engage the issues in the literature -- issues like wilderness, outdoor recreation, resource management and human relationships to landscape -- more directly, by reading and writing about these texts in a location where debates about these issues are ongoing.”

While students will be studying in the wild, the program goes beyond academics. One of their first experiences will be backpacking 35 miles into the university’s Taylor Wilderness Research Station, one of the nation’s most remote research stations. After six weeks, they will be flown out of Taylor to the McCall campus to continue the integrated learning experience.

“This semester is grounded in the theory and principles of experiential education, giving students a chance to immerse themselves in the course material and be free of the distractions of campus living,” said Thompson.

The Semester in the Wild is a competitive program intended to provide a unique inquiry-based educational opportunity for students from Idaho and across the U.S. Courses will emphasize integration across bio-physical and social disciplines, giving students the tools to understand ecological principles and communicate scientific ideas effectively.

To learn more, visit the Semester in the Wild webpage at http://www.uidaho.edu/cnr/wild. Applications submitted before April 1, 2013 will be given preferential consideration. Applications submitted after that date will be considered, until all available spots are filled.
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About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho inspires students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals, and competes in the Western Athletic Conference. Through the university’s $225 million Inspiring Futures capital campaign, private giving will enhance student learning, faculty research and innovation, and a spirit of enterprise. Learn more: www.uidaho.edu.