The Rocky Mountain Conservancy-Field Institute offers a wide range of scheduled learning adventures for all ages.  From hiking to bus tours, our premier educational experiences have something to offer for everyone. Can’t take a class or tour on a day that we have scheduled? The Rocky Mountain Conservancy-Field Institute offers a variety of classes and tours at your convenience, based on days you have available to explore. Flexible scheduling is available for most classes and tours, so check out the list of options below for ideas about customizing your educational experience. Call us at 970-586-3262 to book your adventure!

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May 2020

Owls of Rocky Mountain National Park

May 22, 2020
$80

Participants will explore Rocky Mountain National Park in search of 3-4 species of owls during the spring courtship and nesting season. Students will be listening for the vocalizations of northern pygmy, northern saw-whet, flammulated and great horned owls. The group will head into the field well before dark as pygmy owls are diurnal which provides a great opportunity to get great looks at this species. After dark participants will listen for the other species and hopefully locate a nesting pair…

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There’s More to This Place than Meets the Eye: 100 Years of Environmental Change in RMNP

May 22, 2020
$80

This course provides an overview of the history of environmental change in the park with an emphasis on human-caused change. Discuss the history of mining, water engineering, recreational development and tourism, atmospheric inputs of dust and nitrates, wildlife management, and climate change in the context of protecting and restoring natural environments within the park. Understand how past human activities influence contemporary ecosystems and options for management of natural resources within the park. (CSM credit available) Meets at the Field Institute…

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Estes Valley: History & Historic Sites

May 29, 2020
$80

This course will provide an overview of the region’s past by mixing brief lecture-and-discussion format with visits to historical sites of significance.  Site visits will range from an ancient Indian battlefield to early homesteads, from stately resorts to deserted cabins.  The course will examine numerous historical sites in the Estes Valley to discover the outlines of settlement and change.  This class is intended to be more than just an historical tour.  Participants are urged to sample the bibliography listed below…

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The Surprising World of Lichens

May 30, 2020
$80

You cannot hike, bike, climb, or ski in Colorado without encountering lichens, but few people take the time to notice or examine these ubiquitous organisms. Come take your blinders off and come be blown away by the biology and beauty of these fascinating communities of organisms that live where other life forms cannot. In this class you’ll learn about the inhabitants, anatomy, growth forms, and reproductive structures of lichens. You should invest in a 10X hand lens or loupe to…

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Birding RMNP by Ear

May 31, 2020
$80.00 Sold out

Birds are far more often heard than seen – but learning to identify them by ear can be a challenge. This course will introduce the most common bird sounds of Rocky Mountain National Park. We will begin with a field trip in the morning to several different habitats, to hear and practice identifying as many birds as possible. In the afternoon, we will reconvene indoors for a class session to reinforce and extend the learning from the morning. Both indoors…

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June 2020

NEW! Hunters of the Wind: Eagles, Hawks, & Falcons

Jun 5, 2020
$80

Eagles, hawks & falcons are icons of power and speed that capture the human imagination. Rocky Mountain National Park has all three of these aerial athletes. With an illustrated lecture/discussion in the morning followed by an afternoon field trip, participants will learn how these beautiful birds are alike and different with respect to their diet and nesting requirements, behavior, evolution, and population status. Nesting areas will be viewed from a safe distance and live birds will be presented as part…

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Early Wildflowers of RMNP

Jun 6, 2020
$80.00

Some of the park’s early blooms are the loveliest, from tiny alpine forget-me-nots to colorful Calypso orchids. Search out these beauties with former Rocky Mountain National Park interpretive naturalist Leanne Benton as we explore from high alpine ridges to lower montane meadows depending on what is blooming. Participants will get up-close with the mountain flora to discover their adaptations for survival and interesting stories behind their beautiful faces.  Identification techniques will be honed, and participants will gain confidence using a…

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Rocky Mountain National Park Butterflies: East of the Divide

Jun 6, 2020
$80

Butterflies are easily observed in every life zone of Rocky Mountain National Park. Learn basic butterfly biology, behavior and identification. In the field, visit several different habitats on the east slope of the park to search for summer species, such as pale swallowtail, blues, several fritillaries, hoary comma and Weidemeyer’s admiral. Learn to identify these species, and also discuss their life histories and ecology, host-plant associations and conservation concerns. Observation will rely on binoculars and digital photography; however, the instructor…

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NEW! Spring Mushrooms & Fungi of RMNP

Jun 7, 2020
$80

Come learn the basics for identifying fleshy fungi (including mushrooms), their important role in the ecosystem and a brief overview of the fungal kingdom. Rocky Mountain National Park has some unique and pristine ecosystems that we will explore, including the areas near snowbanks. We will spend a good part of the day in the field, identifying mushrooms and other fungi, and gaining a first-hand appreciation of these interesting and important organisms. There will be emphasis on the Cup Fungi (ascomycetes),…

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Journey to the Top! A Trail Ridge Road Bus Adventure

Jun 7, 2020
$45.00 – $75.00

One of the premier attractions of Rocky Mountain National Park is Trail Ridge Road, the nation’s highest continuous paved highway. Trail Ridge Road meanders through various life zones on its way through the park and over one of the largest, most pristine stretches of alpine tundra in the lower 48 states. Participants receive a unique overview of the park’s history, flora, fauna and geology while viewing landscapes from the comfort of a 14–passenger mini-bus or 12–passenger van, with opportunities for…

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Journey to the Top! A Trail Ridge Road Bus Adventure

Jun 8, 2020
$45.00 – $75.00

One of the premier attractions of Rocky Mountain National Park is Trail Ridge Road, the nation’s highest continuous paved highway. Trail Ridge Road meanders through various life zones on its way through the park and over one of the largest, most pristine stretches of alpine tundra in the lower 48 states. Participants receive a unique overview of the park’s history, flora, fauna and geology while viewing landscapes from the comfort of a 14–passenger mini-bus or 12–passenger van, with opportunities for…

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Grand Lake Safari: An Educational Adventure by Bus

Jun 9, 2020
$55.00 – $95.00

Rocky Mountain National Park contains breathtaking scenery, abundant wildlife viewing, and opportunities to connect with the past along Trail Ridge Road, the awe-inspiring byway across the Continental Divide. Participants will receive a unique overview of the park’s history, flora, fauna and geology while viewing landscapes from the comfort of a 14–passenger mini–bus or 12–passenger van. Stops include Rainbow Curve, the Alpine Visitor Center, Milner Pass, Holzwarth Historic Site, and the historic town of Grand Lake. Both lunch and entrance into…

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