The academic component of the Graduate Program provides understandings and knowledge about educational theory, ecological field science, and educational leadership. The courses are generally two-week intensives that interweave lectures, fieldwork, classroom presentations and independent projects. All courses are graduate level semester credits.
Introduction to Field Science Teaching (3 credits), Community Ecology of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (3 credits) and Principles of Place-Based Education (3 credits) provide an introduction to local natural history, ecology of the region and foundational principles of field based education. Fall semester also includes a Teaching Practicum (2 credits) in outdoor and classroom teaching. This faculty mentored practicum includes either residential field education or classroom teaching in public schools.
Winter Ecology (2 credits), Advanced Instructional Strategies (3 credits), and Ecological Inquiry (3 credits) are the core winter academic courses. Winter Teaching Practicum (2 credits) finds graduate students teaching in the outdoors on skis and snowshoes and/or classroom teaching at Teton Science Schools' Journey School.
Spring is a time for new life and Advanced Elements of Field Ecology (5 credits) guides graduate students into deeper understanding and appreciation of flora and fauna of the Greater Yellowstone region. Teaching Practicum (2 credits) experiences include field education and classroom teaching in public schools.
The Environmental Education Professional Residency (4 credits) experience is the culmination of the Graduate Program. There are 320 hours of field science teaching under the supervision and guidance of faculty, making this a true capstone experience in which graduate students are challenged to design, run and assess an outdoor based education program.