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Field Institutes Offer Range of Courses

April 14, 2002|Susan Spano

Many national parks have field institutes aimed at providing outdoor educational programs. The oldest and largest of these are in Yosemite, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon and Rocky Mountain national parks. Rocky Mountain alone annually sponsors 105 field seminars.

Some are offshoots of nonprofit groups, such as the Grand Canyon Assn. It has raised $18 million for the Arizona park in the last 60 years through book publishing, sales and educational programs. The field institute contributions help fill gaps between federal money earmarked for national parks and what the parks need to keep running.

Most field institutes have a range of programs for adults, youths and families. Here is a sampling of adult programs.

Glacier National Park: Glacier Institute, P.O. Box 7457, Kalispell, MT 59904; (406) 755-1211, fax (406) 755-7154, www.glacierinstitute.org. Classes in the field held year-round. Summer programs include "Glacier's Grizzlies," June 22-23 ($140); "Native Plants and the Blackfeet People," July 11-12 ($140); and "Geology of Glacier: A Walk Through Earth's History," July 26-28 ($185).

Olympic National Park: Olympic Park Institute, 111 Barnes Point Road, Port Angeles, WA 98363; (360) 928-3720, fax (360) 928-3046, www.yni.org. On the Olympic Peninsula, the park field institute this year offers a "Shipwreck Trek: Cape Alava & Beyond," May 25-26 ($145); "Wild About Yoga: A Wilderness Backpack and Yoga Excursion for Women," Aug. 4-6 ($195).

Point Reyes National Seashore: Point Reyes National Seashore Assn., Point Reyes Station, CA 94956; (415) 663-1200, fax (415) 663-8174, www.ptreyes.org. Upcoming field seminars from the Northern California-based park include "Sketching Outdoors," May 25-27 ($225) and "Kayak Adventure on Tomales Bay," June 22 ($87).

Rocky Mountain National Park: Rocky Mountain Field Seminars, 1895 Fall River Road, Estes Park, CO 80517; (800) 748-7002 or (970) 586-3262, fax (970) 586-4226, www.rmna.org. Programs for 2002 include "Flyfishing in Rocky-Glacier Gorge and Loch Vale," July 21 ($75); "High Country Grasses," Aug. 3-4 ($95); and "Photographing Bugling Elk and Golden Aspens," Oct. 5-6 ($140).

Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks: Sequoia Field Institute, HCR89 Box 10, Three Rivers, CA 93271; (559) 565-4251, fax (559) 565-3728, www.sequoiahistory.org. "Field Photography Workshop," May 31-June 2 ($125); "Mountain Wildflowers," June 22-23 ($90); and "Beginning Backpacking in the Sierra," July 12-14 ($75).

Yellowstone National Park: Yellowstone Assn. Institute, P.O. Box 117, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190; (307) 344-2294, fax (307) 344-2485, www.yellowstoneassociation.org. The institute's 160 courses this summer include "Fire and Ice--Yellowstone's Last Two Million Years," Aug. 11-13 ($190), "Fly-Fishing for Women I," Aug. 20-22 ($275); and "Horsepacking: Backcountry Hot Spots," Aug. 26-29 ($1,045).

Yosemite National Park: Yosemite Assn., P.O. Box 230, El Portal, CA 95318; (209) 379-2321, fax (209) 379-2486, www.yosemite.org. "Cycles of Spring: Exploring Yosemite With Camera and Bicycle," May 16-19 ($240); "Rock Climbing Then & Now," June 22-23 ($95); and "Pastel Painting in Yosemite," Aug. 23-25 and Oct. 3-6 ($225).

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