RMFI's Signature Education Program
Earth Corps Field Studies
July 18 - August 4, 2022
The 2022 application period is now open. Apply before March 1, 2022 for a waived application fee. After March 1, the application fee will be $25. APPLICATION DEADLINE IS APRIL 1, 2022!
Earth Corps is an 18-day field studies course that provides motivated, environmentally conscious undergraduate students the opportunity to live and learn in the incredible natural classroom of the Colorado mountains. The program began in 2002 and in 2014, it won the Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education Higher Education Award.
What is Earth Corps?
In 2022, 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.
Program Dates: July 18 - August 4, 2022APPLY NOW!
APPLY TO EARTH CORPS
The 2022 Application period is now open.
Earth Corps is an 18-day for-credit environmental studies program that takes place in the Pike National Forest on Pikes Peak - America's Mountain, located outside of Colorado Springs, Colorado. The dates of the 2022 program are July 18 - August 4. Earth Corps combines an immersive environmental education curriculum, outdoor adventure, and an environmental stewardship project with a backcountry public lands magnet area – a Colorado “14er." Students will be exposed to a variety of ecological principles, land management methods, and restoration techniques during the course.
PLEASE NOTE: per President Biden's "Path Out of the Pandemic: COVID-19 Action Plan", the President signed Executive Order 14042 establishing that all contractors working with the Federal Government must be fully vaccinated, except in limited circumstances where an employee is legally entitled to an accommodation. RMFI works closely with the federal government (i.e., U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management) as a contractor and consequently will require all employees and participants to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 unless eligible for a religious or medical exemption.
RMFI's Earth Corps field studies program is an 18-day, immersive educational program for undergraduate students! The program will include:
- Trail construction at 10,000+ feet
- Outdoor leadership development
- Leave No Trace ethics lessons
- Backcountry navigation experience
- Lectures from academic and industry experts covering public lands management, geography, cultural history of the Pikes Peak Region, botany, and additional topics
- A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to live, work, learn, and recreate for 18 days in the Colorado mountains, while gaining real-world experience in the field of environmental stewardship
- And more!
Students will camp at the Crags Campground near Divide, CO, about an hour west of Colorado Springs. You will be working on the reroute of the Devils Playground Trail, which leads to the tops of Pikes Peak, as well as learning from academic and industry experts (and your fellow program participants) throughout the 18 days!
Earth Corps will take place from July 18 - August 4, 2022.
Undergraduate college students can participate in the program! In some instances, we are able to accept graduating high school students into the program who demonstrate a passion and desire to participate. RMFI will accept 10-12 students into the program in 2022.
The fee for this course is $1,500. This will cover program costs including tuition, staff, and all project equipment, food, supplies, and course materials.
Nope! All food (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks) will be provided for the duration of the program.
No worries! RMFI will provide all project gear, supplies, and equipment including tents, helmets, and tools for the duration of the program.
In addition, we will provide all course materials including handouts, readings, a daypack, and a field notebook!
Fantastic! We can't wait to review your application. To apply, complete the following three steps:
Students will earn 4 Geography/Environmental Studies credits from the University of Colorado - Colorado Springs (UCCS). These credits are transferable to your university or college!
And over the duration of the program, you will complete 50 hours of on-the-ground stewardship work and will receive a certificate on completion of those hours! This certificate, RMFI's Natural Resource Technician Certificate, represents your experience in stewardship and restoration techniques and can boost your resume!
We are offering an early bird special for participants who apply before March 1, 2022! After the special, students will have to pay a $25 application fee.
In previous years, we've hosted the program in the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness where students worked on the Kit Carson-Challenger Peak Trail. This year will be our second year hosting the program in the Pike National Forest where students will work on the new Devils Playground Trail!
Each day can vary while you're out there, which is the exciting part of the program!
However, a typical day can look like waking up in the morning at the campground and making some breakfast. Then, hiking up to the worksite and working until the early afternoon. On other days, there will be a lecture in the morning!
After the workday, there is free time for exploring or catching up on readings and then dinner and a student-led discussion at the end of some nights!
The lecture and discussion times may vary based on each lecturer and leaders' schedule!
We will begin reviewing applications in January/February 2022, so qualified applicants can expect to begin interviews in March 2022.
Tom and Carole Huber Scholarship Fund:
Made possible through the Tom & Carole Huber Scholarship Fund with support from Earth Corps alums, graduates of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, Tom & Carole, and other generous supporters. One $500 scholarship will be awarded toward the cost of tuition. Open to any interested applicant with preference given to local college/university students (i.e., Pikes Peak Community College, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, Colorado College, etc. To learn more and apply, click here!
GOCO Generation Wild Scholarship:
Made possible with support from Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) for graduating high school seniors and eligible college students residing in or previously from Southeast Colorado Springs. Please contact us at [email protected] with any questions regarding eligibility. This scholarship will cover full tuition costs and necessary gear purchases. To learn more and apply, click here!
I am about as happy as I've ever been in my life. If someone had told me 3 weeks ago all of the things that I would experience, I probably would have been too scared to do it. But, standing on the other side of all these hurdles, I have never felt more capable or connected to the outdoors.
The lecturers for 2022 will be announced later next year (January/February 2022). Below is a snapshot of 2021 lecturers who attended the Earth Corps program:
- Public Land Management, by Dr. David Havlick, Associate Professor, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs
- Managing the Pike National Forest, by Oscar Martinez - District Ranger; Samantha Gooch - Recreation Planner; and Josh VonLoh - Recreation, Partnership and Volunteer Coordinator, Pikes Peak Ranger District
- Place-based Education in partnership with the Catamount Center, by Julie Francis and Howard Grossman
- Managing Colorado’s 14,000 Foot Peaks, by Loretta McEllhiney, Peak Manager, United States Forest Service
- Colorado's Public Lands by Lucas Svare, Southeast Region Trails Coordinator and Fletcher Jacobs, State Trails Program Manager, Colorado Parks and Wildlife
- Geology of Southern Colorado, Eric Billmeyer, Senior Instructor, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs
- Design and Development of the Pikes Peak Summit House, RTA Architects
- Managing Pikes Peak - America's Mountain by Sandy Elliott and Jack Glavan
- Managing Wildlife on Pikes Peak, Frank McGee, Law Enforcement Training Manager, Colorado Parks and Wildlife
- Restoration Ecology, by Maggie Gaddis, Ph.D., Lecturer, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs