This school year for the high school students started with a week on the river. Equipped with learning targets surrounding the ecology of the desert, the students, teachers, and river guides from Fort Lewis College set off to Utah for the fieldwork expedition on the Upper San Juan River. The students took the time immersed in the desert atmosphere to deepen their understanding of desert ecology and learn the effects of the invasive Tamarisk shrub on Colorado basin river corridors. In between hours on the river each day, students studied their learning targets through hiking, class time, and journaling.
Part of the reason for fieldwork is also for students and teachers to work on building relationships with themselves and each other in a new, and often exciting, location. This trip was no exception. Evenings on fieldwork are a time for students to work on strengthening their relationships with themselves and each other, or their CREW, and their teachers.
This trip also helped teach students low-impact camping and what it means to enjoy the outdoors respectfully.
The life skills students naturally learn on fieldwork help support them throughout the year.
The expedition was in partnership with a Fort Lewis College program called FLOW (Fort Lewis on the Water). The program provided trained guides who helped the Silverton School CREW travel the river safely.