Grand Canyon Semester

Wilderness Exploration and Landscape Studies


Prescott College is proud to partner with Grand Canyon National Park to offer the Grand Canyon Semester during the Fall of 2013. This semester-long, interdisciplinary program will embrace a progressive liberal arts approach to experiential, place-based learning that uses the Greater Grand Canyon Eco-region as our classroom and laboratory.


The curriculum weaves together a rich cross-section of environmental studies topics, as well as a focus on the visual and literary arts. 

Students will be immersed in:

  • classroom-based academics
  • extended field excursions
  • wilderness expeditions (land-and river-based)
  • leadership skills building
  • research and service projects
  • science-based resource stewardship project

The overall delivery model will emphasize student-centered experiential learning. Whether traveling in the back-country, hiking or rafting, students engage in technical skills, academics, research and service projects. A central piece of the Grand Canyon Semester is a science-based resource stewardship project focused on some aspect of the river corridor.

Program Overview

  • Students receive 12 semester credits from Prescott College consisting of three distinct four-credit courses.
  • Course One: acquire the fundamental skills of wilderness expeditions, leadership, backpacking, and white water rafting;
  • Course Two: introduction to landscape ecology, with a primary focus on exploring the interconnected landscapes of the Grand Canyon Eco-region (geophysical, biological, cultural, and sociopolitical);
  • Course Three: examine public lands issues and management challenges in the Grand Canyon Eco-region, including student-directed research and teaching related to resource stewardship projects in Grand Canyon National Park

This interdisciplinary and experiential-based semester is designed to immerse students in the holistic landscape of Grand Canyon. The intent is to foster a connection and understanding that goes beyond “a sense of place” and provides students with the skills, cognition, reasoning and understanding to become active participants.


  • Submit a 1-2 page essay describing how your background and skills (i.e., academic, professional, and life experience) align with the Grand Canyon Semester, and thoughts on specific contributions one can make to the program as a member of the expedition team. Submit essay by April 5, 2013.


Students from all Consortium for Innovative Environments in Learning (CIEL) and The Eco League institutions are encouraged to apply, and successful applicants from these two consortia will enroll through their respective exchange programs. CIEL applicants will be given preferential status for several spaces in the program, however, the application process is competitive. All other applicants enroll through Prescott College for the 2013 fall semester and pay standard tuition. Grand Canyon Semester students pay a course fee (TBA) and personal field expenses (~$600)

For more detailed information (and for submitting your pre-enrollment essay), contact

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