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Summer Academic Enrichment Eligible Programs

Program Info
Program: Ecology Inquiry Immersion
Sponsoring Organization: Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center

Main Contact
Name: Jenny Bushmaker
Title: Program Director
Address: 6282 Cranberry Road
Finland, MN 55603
Phone: (218) 353-7414
Curricular area: Science
Grades Served: 7


Our teaching philosophy is simple: learning happens best when one experiences it. Lives it. Breathes it. Hands-on activities combined with an unbelievably beautiful campus make our living laboratory the kind of educational experience you can’t get anywhere else.

The Ecology Inquiry & Immersion Program was created for those campers with a high interest in developing their knowledge and skills surrounding Minnesota’s’ ecosystems, as well as, their outdoor adventure and recreation skills. The goals and outcomes of the Ecology Inquiry Immersion program are in alignment with the State of Minnesota Academic Standards. •Natural systems and include a variety of organisms that interact with one another in several ways. •The flow of energy and the recycling of matter are essential to a stable ecosystem. •Learn how human activity can change living organisms and ecosystems •Understand that science is a way of knowing about the natural world and is characterized by empirical criteria, logical argument and skeptical review. •Scientific inquiry uses multiple interrelated processes to investigate questions and propose explanations about the natural world. Men and women throughout history of all cultures, including Minnesota American Indian tribes and communities, have been involved in engineering design and scientific inquiry. •Science and engineering operate in the context of society and both influence and are influenced by this concept. •Science, technology, engineering and mathematics rely on each other to enhance knowledge and understanding •In order to maintain and improve their existence, humans interact with and influence earth systems. •Patterns of atmospheric movement influence global climate and local weather. •Understand that humans have a great ability to alter natural systems •Develop self-reliance, self-confidence and self-respect •Develop the skills needed to be a self-leader, peer leader, designated leader and active follower •Grow individu


The Ecology Inquiry & Immersion Program explores the science of ecosystems, plus relationships between people and their environment. We encourage participants to consider how their values and behaviors can influence and ultimately impact the world around them. Our curriculum and activities provide hands-on, memorable experiences that involve the whole person and address multiple learning styles.

We choose curricular content for the Ecology Inquire & Immersion Program based on the local, natural and cultural history of Minnesota, as well as broader environmental issues. Science-based classes provide opportunities to learn more about our planet and how it works; cultural history classes give a glimpse of the way our predecessors interacted with local ecosystems to create a life for themselves; current event classes help us to understand emerging issues; personal growth and team-building classes develop skills for meeting personal and group challenges; and outdoor skill classes help participants discover ways to keep learning about their environments for a lifetime.

The Ecology Inquiry & Immersion (EII) program is designed for participants who want to challenge themselves with an in-depth science curriculum. It will provide a meaningful and authentic setting to develop reading, writing and math skills that will spark a deeper interest in science and prepare them for high school level science programs. The coursework will include; •Research projects with professionals from the U.S. Forest Service and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources •Hands on courses that will allow them to explore the flora and fauna of Minnesotas ecosystems •Discussions that will challenge their thoughts on environmental ethics •4-day/3-night camping trip to get a first hand look at land use and how humans impact their environment •Citizen Science Data Collection •Animal Ecology •Canoeing •Rock Climbing •Outdoor Cooking •Adventure Ropes

Program Dates

July 7 - 20, 2019

It is a 2-week session

Can students reside on campus? Yes

Can students commute to campus? No

Can students take online classes?

Estimated residential cost per student
Tuition: $266
Fees: $187
Books: $23
Supplies: $290
Room/Board: $504
Transportation: $245