Set in the central Sierra Nevada’s, Yosemite has 13,000 foot backcountry peaks, active glaciers, pristine lakes & streams, sheer, massive granite cliffs, giant trees, beautiful meadows and tall waterfalls. The range and variety of the landscape, for many, is too much to describe. Yosemite Valley with its meandering Merced River is the main attraction of the park and with that designation receives over 90 % of the visitation. A small crowded city in summer has its’ quietest moments mid-week in the spring and fall - Perfect for school educational programs.
The program will allow students to explore the mixed conifer forest of Yosemite National Park with experienced naturalists. Programs can emphasize Sierra geology (mountain building process, stream erosion, and glacial landscapes), seasonal forest ecology. Native American history and other themes arranged with the faculty of the school
The program of hiking and group activities will emphasize each student's responsibility to the environment. The unique natural history of the Sierra mixed conifer forest and associated plants and animals (with special emphasis on seasonal ecological processes). The importance of national parks to all people and the sharing of impressions through group discussions and individual journal exercises are emphasized. This shared group experience will foster school spirit and increase group unity.
All Naturalists at Large programs include elements of group cooperation and individual physical challenge appropriate to the group. These challenges include destination hikes, explorations, and cooperative activities. Throughout the day, students will be involved with hands-on activities to increase their knowledge of the world around them and their ability to work together.
Interested in a service learning component? Yosemite can help us set up custom projects for your school based on their needs and availbility of rangers. Most of our group work takes place between May and October, with some work in March and April, and more limited options in fall and winter. Check out our "Service Learning" page for examples of past projects.
Yosemite National Park; A Sense of Place. How are our urban environments and Yosemite similar/different? How do urban areas impact the wilderness? Why are there National Parks?
Naturalists at Large is a leading outdoor and environmental education group in California. Since 1985, we have provided outdoor education programs for tens of thousands of students from over two hundred schools, offering custom client designed trips, flexible dates and locations, commitment to safety and comfort in the outdoors, the wonder of nature and the importance of outdoor and experiential education.