Get out of the Classroom
Faculty-led, immersive, and environmentally-focused, the Sterling College Field Studies program offers you a chance to discover the diversity of the planet’s landscapes and cultures, and explore the complex, ever-changing co-evolutionary relationships among people and place. Students take the methods for learning a local ecology they have practiced on campus and apply these methods to new places.
With a long-history of running short and semester-long field-based courses around the world in agriculture, food systems, ecology, environmental humanities, and outdoor education, Sterling is psyched to offer field programs in the 20/21 academic year in the Nulhegan Basin in Vermont, in the icy regions of New England, and a semester-long program in the Southwest for those students who would prefer to take their studies on the road.
All campus and field-based programs will follow health and safety best practices pertaining to COVID-19 as outlined by state and federal authorities and will fully comply with policies as required.
International programs are on hold for the 20/21 academic year.
Our 2020-21 Field Studies Course Offerings:
Nulhegan Basin, Vermont:
This five-week field program in the Fall Semester with professors Farley Brown and Emily Brodsky consists of Wildlife Conservation and Management, Wetland Ecology, and Conservation & Ecology of the Nulhegan Basin. Earn eight credits in the most remote part of Vermont! Read the full description in the Course Catalog.
The Nulhegan Basin is located just a few miles south of the Canadian border, and the basin’s vegetation most closely resembles that of the northern Appalachian Mountains, interspersed with elements of the boreal forest to the north. This division is known for abundant songbirds, particularly boreal species and warblers, and has been designated an Important Bird Area by the National Audubon Society.
This winter program will focus on an exploration of winter climbing and travel skills, while also exploring elements of small group dynamics and expeditionary travel. Location still to be determined and will be flexible in relation to COVID-19 situation.
Southwest Field Semester:
This semester-long field program during the Spring Semester with professors David Gilligan and Laura Beebe is a field-based exploration of the flora and vegetation of the American Southwest and the physical factors such as climate and geologic history that shape the region. Topics include a botanical survey of woody plant families and representative species, natural community composition and structure, biogeographic concepts, desert adaptations, geologic history, geomorphic processes and related landforms, and southwest weather and climate.
Get out! There’s nothing stopping you!
Field Studies programs are included in the price of tuition
Field Studies programs are part of our regular course offerings, and students are eligible to take two Field Studies courses during their Sterling careers. Priority for registration is based on seniority and successful completion of prerequisite classes.
Participation in Field Studies is included in the regular tuition and fees, and so there is no additional charge for airfare or other travel expenses. This policy promotes access for all students, regardless of their financial means. Students receive their usual financial aid package during Field Studies.
Students are not able to participate in the Work Program during Field Studies, and will forego Work Program wages. All students who enroll in Field Studies are charged the normal amount for tuition, room & board, and fees, including students who normally live off-campus when enrolled. Some Field Studies may require students to purchase specialized gear and clothing, as destinations often have a very different climate than that of Vermont.