Live, Learn, and Teach in a Community Dedicated to Experiential Environmental Education
Environmental Educator Training
Learn how to teach while teaching outdoors. The graduate level certificate program serves as the core of our program. Students teach children and adults, track lynx, develop lessons, explore north shore geology, and much more. In addition to gaining 10 months of practical experience, students earn up to 18 credits that can be applied to Master’s programs across the nation.
The way the program works:
Everything you do here is connected to a credit. Whether you’re teaching, attending a seminar, or walking through the woods looking at plants, you’re receiving credit. Many of the courses overlap and are intertwined and are intended to enhance other courses.
That means you’ll play many roles here…
After the initial two weeks of staff training, you begin teaching. An average week consists of six half-day classes from Monday through Friday, plus an average of one weekend a month. The classes cover topics in cultural history, natural history and adventure education. Your students will typically range from 4th grade to 12th grade.
Evaluations of your teaching, observing natural phenomenon, discussions with peers, creating lesson plans, attending seminars … all of these things will help you learn about the field of environmental education and how to be effective as an educator. As a student you take courses all year, yet those courses could be bird banding, plant identification hikes, lecture, tapping maple trees, reading environmental literature. You will be surrounded by learning opportunities and directed towards many. It is also up to you to take advantage of those that inspire and challenge you.
Every day you’ll be outdoors teaching about trees, beavers, aquatic critters, mammals, etc. You won’t be able to help yourself from learning the natural history of the area. You’ll also attend seminars on specific subjects such as: botany, aquatics, tracking, weather, birds, astronomy, geology, cultural history, amphibians, etc. Our intention is to wave goodbye to a confident naturalist at the end of the year. These seminars speed you on your way.
We are a small community up here of 60 staff. We lean on each other often. We are responsible to and for each other. Part of the program is experiencing the challenges and highlights of being in a community. The personal growth can be tremendous.
Who will be your teachers?
Nut and Bolts
Wolf Ridge is dedicated not only to teaching school children; we are also committed to teaching teachers. Through an intense experiential graduate program we train “student naturalists” to be effective environmental educators. For nine months these student naturalists live and learn environmental education. It’s tough, but participants emerge from the experience with the skills needed to excel as a naturalist and to be effective as an educator.
The August 24, 2009 to June 11, 2010. Graduates have the opportunity to work in the summer after program completion.
Students earn a $3600 scholarship, room, board, and individually designed training by teaching classes to school children from all over Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North Dakota. The total cost for tuition and fees at UMD are the responsibility of each student. This cost is determined by the University of MN during the summer. It may be as much as $8500, which can be paid by a short-term payment or through a longer-term student loan (all payments for credits are directed to UMD). Scholarships are available for students who could not otherwise participate in the program.
University of Minnesota-Duluth
You will receive a Certificate of Environmental Education with 18 credits towards a Masters of Education. For more information, see the University of Minnesota Duluth Center for Environmental Education website.