Introduction to Natural History of the Pacific Northwest

We are aware of missing faculty photos in the directory and catalog and will be updating them shortly. Thank you for your patience.

Spring 2019 quarter

Taught by

marine science, zoology, ecophysiology

Understanding natural history is an important part of being an ecologist in the 21st century. This program provides opportunities for gaining needed skills and knowledge through seminars, lectures and extensive fieldwork. Spring in the Pacific Northwest is a great time to get outside and observe the natural world. Students will focus on learning about the plants, fungi, and animals inhabiting ecosystems within ~250 kilometers of Olympia. The diversity of organisms in our area is very great, ranging from marine algae and tide pool animals to montane forest birds, lichens and plants. On-campus field days will include exercises to learn about forest and estuarine biodiversity. One-day field trips to observe marine mammals and birds, a multi-day backpacking trip on the Olympic Peninsula, and an overnight trip to the eastern side of the Cascades will further the diversity of our field experiences. Students will detail their work in field notebooks and expand upon their observations in natural history journals. Students will receive instruction in the fundamental skills of camping, hiking and outdoor activities needed to carryout field studies in remote areas with uneven terrain. Program participants will learn classic techniques of specimen collection and modern digital archiving methods. In seminar, we will explore modern and classic readings in natural history. Anticipated Credit Equivalencies include Natural History, Natural History Methods, Natural History Fieldwork, Natural History Seminar.

Program Details

Fields of Study

environmental studies field studies natural history

Preparatory For

natural sciences, outdoor education, and environmental studies.


Spring Open

Location and Schedule

Campus Location


Time Offered


Online Learning

Enhanced Online Learning


$243 for overnight field trip expenses to cover transportation, camping and entrance fees.