Providing a Glacier Experience to Students Near and Far

Opportunities to get out of the classroom and into an engaging environment like Glacier National Park develops children’s curiosity about their natural surroundings and brings their lessons to life with hands-on activities. For decades, university student teachers, interns and school-age classrooms have come to Glacier for these unique experiences.

Educators in the local Glacier community and beyond continue to ask the park to help them meet their educational objectives with field trips, and more recently, virtual opportunities that relate to current resource issues including the park’s disappearing glaciers and climate change research being conducted here.

This project will provide education ranger staffing, training, supplies and materials to conduct ranger-led field trips, ranger classroom visits and ranger-led distance learning programs in 2018.

All of these programs are curriculum-based, aligning with state and local standards. The programs reach numerous grades, schools, teachers and parents throughout the Glacier community both east and west of the Continental Divide. The distance learning programs reach schools around the nation and in some cases, around the world. Glacier education field trips had over 10,000 participants last year, an increase of 2,000 over the previous year.

This project also provides two to three internship opportunities for students interested in environmental education careers with the National Park Service. They receive a weekly stipend, housing and uniforms. These positions are for people who are willing to work full-time and receive on-the-job training as volunteers or who need the internship for their degree requirements. For many of these students, the experience has changed the course of their lives.