| 03.18.2018

A semester in Idaho’s backyard


Hiking, camping, fishing, and star gazing are not considered traditional teaching methods, but they are for the University of Idaho College of Natural Resources program Semester in the Wild. The program is similar to a study abroad program, but instead of going out of the country, students go into the country.

UI recreation student Blake Anderson, is originally from McCall and said he thinks the program sounds exciting.

“I have spent most of my life in McCall and I think it is a great place for (Semester in the Wild) to take place, because McCall has a lot of natural resources in the surrounding areas,” Anderson said.

The program is through the UI McCall Outdoor Science School, in coordination with CNR. Most courses will take place at the Taylor Wilderness Research Station, which spans 65 acres. Students have to fly into the location, and the only way to leave during the semester is to charter a private plane.

Gary Thompson , a professor who is involved in the program, said the groups are going to spend eight to 12 weeks at the Taylor Wilderness center. He said the semester will start off with a three to five day hike into the area they are staying.

The application to apply for Semester in the Wild can be found on UI’s website. The enrollment is limited to 17 students, and first preference will be given to students who register before April 1.

The program has some requirements that must be met in order to be considered for admittance. Students must be working on or have completed a bachelor’s degree, and they must have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher. Applicants must also be able to demonstrate skills of living in the outdoors, such as camping and hiking..

“I would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in natural resources,” Thompson said “It is a great opportunity for students to practice leadership in a wilderness setting.”

The program will offer the following classes: Western Literature, Outdoor Leadership, Environmental Writing, River Ecology and Wilderness and Protected Area Management.

Thompson said it is a great opportunity for students to get in touch with the great literature and writing of America, and being able to study such writers in a wilderness setting is  unique.

Semester in the Wild costs are not as much as a semester abroad, with tuition ranging from $3,106 for in-state and $9,500 for out-of-state students. Room and board for the program is $4,950 with an additional$450 charge used for field trips.

John Fish can be reached at arg-news@uidaho.edu

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