Earth Corps Field Studies Course

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

21-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 2019, Earth Corps students will complete environmental restoration projects in Willow Lake Basin located at the base of Challenger Point and Kit Carson Peak, two iconic 14,000-foot peaks in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and develop key outdoor skills during the program and through their summits of both peaks. The projects entail long hours of very demanding physical labor at altitudes of 11,000-14,000+ feet. Students will learn and practice outdoor leadership, Leave No Trace ethics, backcountry navigation, alpine mountaineering, 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 very 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 8-28, 2019

To Apply: 

• Complete online Program Application form and $25 application fee (included in form)
• Email current resume and cover letter detailing interest in program and qualifications to

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: Thanks to a generous grant from Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO), we are offering a full scholarship to Earth Corps to an eligible college student or graduating high school senior. Scholarship will include tuition and necessary gear purchases. Application fee will also be reimbursed. Please note, this opportunity meant exclusively for teens or young adults up to 24 years old residing in or previously from the areas of Southeast Colorado Springs. Please contact us with any questions regarding eligibility. 

July 8th, 2019 12:00 AM to July 28th, 2019 12:00 AM