"The Environmental Learning Institute program that I participated in on Clayoquot Sound, BC has been invaluable. The staff is a remarkable combination of brilliance, experience, scientific knowledge, and cultural understanding. To be immersed in this unique environment has enriched my professional and personal life. Already I have developed and presented two workshops using inquiry and environmental themes from this workshop. The Hesquiaht First Nations perspectives and a western science grounding are combined in a setting that is absolutely breathtaking. This is an international learning and service experience not to be missed."
Jean Carpenter
Outreach Coordinator, Center for Life Sciences, Colorado State University


"As an Associate Professor of Education at St. Cloud State University, I found the BC Environmental Learning Institute program invaluable to myself as a "teacher of teachers," and feel teachers, educators and serious post-secondary learners at all levels would benefit through participating in similar experiences. Of particular value to teachers is the manner in which Inquiry Teaching and Learning are emphasized. This emphasis stems from the readings and preparation for the course, but more strongly through the hands-on experiences. For example, our team participated in a conservation biology research project in collaboration with our First Nations hosts. This project helped solidify the Inquiry approach to teaching and provided a valuable cultural link between our group and our First Nations host family.

Other activities of interest included: learning about how First Nations people utilized their natural resources in a sustainable way, observing the myriad wildlife living close to our camp (wolves, bears, whales & salmon), working with Hesquiaht and Anglo Canadian scientists and educators to learn more about local salmon stream integrity and the inter-tidal ecosystem, and hiking and climbing through the various bio-geological zones of Olympic Peninsula in Washington and the Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Reserve in Canada.

I found the workshop extremely helpful. In my 30 years of teaching and numerous research opportunities it was absolutely the best, most valuable, experience I’ve ever had and the benefit to my students is priceless."

- Professor Gregory Coverdale, St. Cloud State University

Alaska Taiga Dendrochronology / Alaska Range Mining / Taiga Soil Respiration

Tundra Water Chemistry / Tundra Soil Chemistry / Temperate Rainforest Longhouse Powerpoints

Team loading the water taxi / Traditional knowledge lesson in the rainforest / Assessing salmon streams

Quintana Roo Coral Reef Inventory

Our TORCH workshops offer field science students and intermediate-secondary science educators opportunities to learn more about inquiry-based science education philosophy, pedagogy and praxis and global environmental change while learning about a threatened ecosystems of global significance. Each program has a dual tract structure in biology/geology and sustainable development studies allowing the participant to specialize in their discipline of interest. Applied geology and biology faculty supervise all courses. We invite applications from appropriate natural and physical science undergrad majors, pre-service & in-service teachers, education and environment undergraduate & graduate student, science education professors (teacher of teachers) and science education professionals (e.g. park, museum and outdoor center affiliated). The workshops are possible due to the support of the Environmental Learning Institute (www.environmentallearning.org), Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation (www.woodrow.org/teachers), and the Colorado School of Mines Teacher Enhancement Program. We can arrange for you to talk with previous participants.