Montana Afoot and Afloat: Human/Land Relations


Date and Time:

Wednesday, August 24, 2022, 9:00am to Tuesday, October 25, 2022, 3:00pm

The Wild Rockies Field Institute (WRFI) offers undergraduate students unique opportunities to earn upper-division credits, accredited through the University of Montana, for expedition-oriented field studies in the Rocky Mountain West.

On Montana Afoot and Afloat: Human/Land Relations, students will experience their academic coursework first-hand as it integrates two Wilderness backpacking trips, two kayaking expeditions, meetings with guest speakers, and site visits. Students will camp at designated campsites, on public land, and occasionally on the property of gracious guest speakers. Student coursework will examine the political, social, economic, and cultural changes required to effectively address climate change.  Students will immerse themselves in public lands issues, rural livelihoods, environmental geography, and indigenous perspectives. Participants on this course will gain an integrated understanding of future, past, and present relationships between the human communities and landscapes that characterize Montana’s rich and diverse geography. Students will have the opportunity to formulate a personal land ethic, using their academic background and place-based experiences to articulate a theoretical vision of how humans should ethically relate to the land.

No prior backpacking or kayaking experience is necessary. In addition to the academic offerings, students learn and cultivate the skills of wilderness travel,  minimum impact camping, orienteering, and natural history throughout the course.

Students will earn 15 college credits through the University of Montana – Environmental Studies 395: Environmental Ethics and Industrial Society; Environmental Studies 395: Public Lands Issues and Policy in Montana; Geography 348: Environmental Geography of Central Montana; Geography 348 Sustainability and Resilience in Montana; Native American Studies 352: Montana’s Indians – Relationships with the Land. Each course is 3 semester credits.

Enrollment is limited to 8 students and WRFI accepts students on a rolling admission basis. Please visit our website for more info, tuition and scholarship opportunities, to sign up for an online info session, or to apply. You can also reach us at Hope to see you in the field!