Study USA logoFaculty-led USA Learning Programs provide an opportunity to have hands-on study and service learning experiences throughout the United States. Students can choose from a variety of programs led by Western faculty throughout the year, and earn Western credits.

Curious about what type of programs are offered? See below for a listing of our upcoming courses and past programs.  

2019 Faculty-led Study USA Programs

Wild Wyoming

A group of students take a group photo in the woods with horses trotting behind themPlace-Based Environmental Learning

ENVS 496

5 credits

Travel dates: June 16 - 23, 2019 (students responsible for personal travel to site)

Wyoming! Land of sweeping vistas, rugged mountains and sprawling ranches.  The owners of HF Bar Ranch, a historic guest ranch, have invited WWU faculty and students to help them transition from a traditional guest ranch to an environmental learning facility. Students will develop materials and exhibits to create an historical museum at the ranch with an environmental focus. They also will prepare materials to train the ranch staff in techniques to educate guests about local ecosystems, culture, history, anthropology and environmental issues. This 8-day course from June 16 to June 23 will include introductions to the flora, fauna, geology, archeology and history of the Bighorn Mountains via horseback riding, hikes, field excursions and guest guides and speakers.  Each student will research a particular subject area and develop and exhibit, training materials, field guides and program plans for guest use and staff training.

Pre-Reqs: None: environmental education or field science courses and experience preferred.

Contact: Wendy Walker

Learn More about Wyoming

Past Programs


HawaiiExploring Great Cities: Sustainability in Paradise

ENVS 368

4 credits - applied to Fall Quarter.
Pre-departure session dates: Sat. Nov. 17, Sat. Dec. 1, and Fri. Sat. Dec. 14-15
Travel dates: December 16-23, 2018

Join Dr. Patrick Buckley, WWU Department of Environmental Studies faculty, for this four-credit, winter-break course to Honolulu, Hawaii. After preparation at WWU (in person or by Skype), you will spend eight days and seven nights on this field methods course, examining sustainability in one of the world’s great cities and exploring concepts and themes in human geography and urban planning, of which provide a framework for the analysis of the human environments, as well as the forces and efforts that shape them. 

Contact: Patrick Buckley

Learn More about Hawaii

Oregon Great Basin Desert (Harney Co, OR)

A beautiful brown and yellow lizard stands upon a gray rock.Ecological Methods and Research in Reptile Ecology

Biol 408 and 409

6 credits each, 12 credits total
Pre-departure session dates: June 10 - June 25, 2018
Travel/location dates: June 26 - July 21, 2018
Return session dates: July 22 - August 3, 2018

Students will obtain experience in theory and practice of field research, particularly in reptile ecology. We will measure distribution and abundance of a few focal species of reptiles in three habitats. Students will also pursue small team research projects in behavioral and physiological ecology of reptiles, wherein there is a very real potential for publication. Students will learn and perform a variety of techniques used for measuring essential features of the microclimate (e.g., spatiotemporal patterns in temperature, humidity, wind, direct and reflected insolation), vegetation (plant form, diversity, and distribution), and terrestrial invertebrates (spatiotemporal patterns in distribution, abundance, and diversity). Comparisons of technique effectiveness and reliability will be enhanced by work in three mesohabitats.

Contact: Roger Anderson

Learn More about Oregon

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