Let nature be the classroom! Sierra Institute Wilderness Field Programs reconnect students with outdoors
Organization: Sierra Institute
Author: Doug Streblow, Sierra Institute Outreach Coordinator
Let nature be the classroom! Sierra Institute tours Northern California Colleges, Fall 2010
This fall, Sierra Institute will pull on its backpack and hit the road with a Northern California College Tour, promoting the organization and the wide variety of fantastic academic field courses currently offered. Sierra Institute has been a leader in Experiential Wilderness Education for over 30 years, offering college level courses in the Humanities and Sciences for students interested in having hands on educational experiences where nature is the classroom.
While Sierra Institute is affiliated and accredited through Humboldt State University in Arcata, CA., to its legion of passionate alumni the Sierra Institute is better known by the open air, the night sky, the community living and the opportunities that only the wilderness can provide. Sierra Institute currently offers courses in Chile, Argentina, and Mexico, as well as in wilderness areas all over California.
Testaments from alumni
Says one alumna: “Sierra Institute allowed me the space to connect with myself on a very deep and truthful level. My anxiety of post-school life path questions were soothed by feeling of the earth’s support beneath our feet as we traveled for miles on foot, with everything we needed on our backs. As I experienced living so closely connected to the Earth, I felt as if I was returning to the root of my true self, something that had somehow become lost along the way of years of education, jobs, family traumas, and stress.
Also in the stillness of the land and open sky, I was able to connect with myself and my surroundings through my camera. I have loved photography since I was a very little girl, but never had I the space and time to develop my love and skill for natural photography in this way. Sitting with the trees, the river, and collecting beautiful photographic treasures was profoundly healing. My artist’s eye was able to re-awaken after years of being dormant, and now I am a successful photographer.”
Another explains, “I was a participant in the CA Wilderness Program. There was an academic focus, and many of us relearned the joy of truly being engaged in our education, something that is often lost over years of grades, stress, and an impersonal education. The academics came naturally, the real challenges and learning were in personal growth.”
How to find out more
The Northern California College Tour will be visiting UC Berkeley, UC Davis and Sonoma State College. People affiliated with college organizations, students, faculty, administrators or other college groups in the greater Bay Area who are interested in having a Sierra Institute representative visit at their college for a presentation this fall are encouraged to contact Outreach Coordinator Doug Streblow to set up an appointment at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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