Earth Corps Field Studies Course

Earth Corps students with their backpacking backpacks

Earth Corps Field Studies Course

Monday, July 26, 2021 to Thursday, August 12, 2021
College Age

Savannah Robar, Volunteer & Partnership Coordinator, 719-471-7736 ext. 4#, [email protected]

Field Studies in Geography from the University of Colorado – Colorado Springs

18-Day Backcountry Environmental Service Program

Adventure · Education · Service

Course Description: Earth Corps is run by the Rocky Mountain Field Institute (RMFI) in partnership with the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs to provide motivated, environmentally conscious students the opportunity to live and learn in the incredible natural classroom of the Colorado wilderness. The program began in 2002 and is designed to integrate key lessons in environmental studies with the completion of a backcountry environmental preservation project. Earth Corps attracts exceptional students from across the nation to participate in this unique service learning opportunity.

In 2021, Earth Corps students will live at the Crags Campground near Divide, CO for 18 days and will help construct the new Devils Playground Trail to the top of Pikes Peak - America's Mountain! In addition to gaining experience in trail construction, students will develop key outdoor skills throughout the program and through excursions to the summit of Pikes Peak and other outdoor pursuits. Academic and industry experts will also provide lectures in public lands management, geography, cultural history of the Pikes Peak Region, botany, and other related topics. The program entails long hours of very demanding physical labor at altitudes of 10,000+ feet. Students will learn and practice outdoor leadership, Leave No Trace ethics, backcountry navigation, and risk management skills.

There are no course pre-requisites to participate in Earth Corps. Previous backcountry experience is preferred, but not required. Earth Corps is a physically strenuous program and participants must arrive in good physical condition.

Course Fee: There is a course fee of $1,500 to cover program costs including tuition, staff, and all project equipment, food, supplies, and course materials. What you get:

  • 4 Geography/Environmental Studies credits from the University of Colorado - Colorado Springs (UCCS) (transferable to your university/college). 
  • All course materials including handouts, readings, Osprey daypack, and field notebook.
  • Technical training in hands-on trail and restoration skills and techniques from industry experts.
  • Academic lectures from experts in the field of botany, ecology, hydrology, public lands management, and more.
  • Use of all project gear, supplies, and equipment including tents, helmets, and tools for the duration of the program.  
  • RMFI Natural Resource Technician Certificate.
  • Once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to live, work, learn, and recreate for 21 days in a Colorado Wilderness Area, while gaining real-world experience in the field of environmental stewardship.
  • Explore Colorado's highest peaks through the summits of Kit Carson Peak (14,170'), Challenger Point (14,081'), and Mount Adams (13,931').
  • All food (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks) for the duration of the program.

Program Dates: July 26 - August 12, 2021

To Apply: 

  • Complete the online program application.
  • Create an account (or log into your existing account) using the "Log in to Register" button above and pay the $25 application fee.
  • Email your current resume and cover letter detailing interest in the program and qualifications to [email protected].

Please submit all application materials at the same time.

RMFI accepts applications on a rolling basis and will review completed applications immediately upon receiving them. Acceptance into the program is competitive, based on application and interview process. RMFI will select 10 students to participate. Upon receiving an application, RMFI staff will contact prospective students to arrange an interview.

Scholarships: A limited number of merit-based scholarships are available thanks to the National Forest Foundation, the Tom and Carole Huber Scholarship Fund, and Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO). Please contact Jennifer Peterson for more information.