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Summer Academic Enrichment Eligible Programs

Program Info
Program: Ornithology Field Camp
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: 9 , 10 , 11


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 Ornithology Field Camp was created for those campers with a high interest in developing their knowledge and skills surrounding Minnesota’s’ ecosystems and bird populations, as well as, their outdoor adventure and recreation skills. The goals and outcomes of Ornithology Field Camp Program are in alignment with the State of Minnesota Academic Standards and are to; * Participate in hands-on field-based experiences with professionals to learn how scientific investigation is essential to understanding and responding to real life issues * Strengthening the participant’s interest in environmental concerns * Gain a better understanding of the world of breeding birds, how we study them, and how we can help their populations thrive * Understand that natural systems and include a variety of organisms that interact with one another in several ways * Understand that science is a way of knowing about the natural world and is characterized by empirical criteria, logical argument and skeptical review * 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 individually; to provide situations for each camper to set goals and learn new skills while reflecting on their camp experience * Gain the skills needed to display a tolerance for adversity and uncertainty * Grow as responsible members of their community by understanding and practicing the personal skills needed to live and work with fellow participants and staff


The Ornithology Field Camp 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.

The curriculum for the Ornithology Field Camp Program is based on the local, natural and cultural history of Minnesota, as well as broader environmental issues. This program provides participants with a first-hand experience of the importance of field research in relation to bird populations. Participants will bird band, conduct song surveys, and explore the diverse ecosystems that draw so many species to northeastern Minnesota. Handle forest songbirds and make sound maps to locate nesting territories. Learn about peregrine falcon research on the north shore. Activities and courses during the Ornithology Field Camp Program include; * Meet other young birders and naturalists will similar interests * Develop advanced field identification skills in a bird rich environment * Participate in authentic field research projects including; * MAPS: Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship * Sound Census for bird population on the Superior Hiking Trail * Peregrine Falcon banding and data collection * Learn proper bird handling, net removal skills, and in-hand aging and bird sexing techniques * Hone observation and analytical abilities * Develop an understanding of ecology and conservation biology * Challenge yourself rock climbing and hiking the Superior Hiking Trail * Enjoy learning in the beautiful landscapes of Lake Superior’s north shore.

Program Dates

July 7 - 13, 2019

All sessions are 1 week in length

Can students reside on campus? Yes

Can students commute to campus? No

Can students take online classes?

Estimated residential cost per student
Tuition: $154
Fees: $83
Books: $96
Supplies: $245
Room/Board: $274
Transportation: $175