Frequently Asked Questions

Commonly Asked Questions about the Water in the West Program

How long is the program? We will be travelling out west for approximately 4 weeks with online meetings a week before and after trip.

How much will the program cost? The cost for 2024, but the final program cost will be somewhere in the range of $2,500-$3,000 which does not include tuition for 6 credits.

What does the program fee cover? The program fee covers the cost of transportation, lodging, some meals, activities, and all park entry fees.

Where we will be staying - lodging? We will be staying in a variety of places including cabins, hotel rooms, and at university dorms.  We are trying strike a balance between affordability and comfort for our lodging.

What should I bring along? Space will be limited in the vans so we will be restricting the amount of baggage each student can take.  Approximately one carry-on size bag and a personal item.

What states will be visit on the trip? We will pass through Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Texas, and Oklahoma.  We will spend extended time in Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico.

What will the transportation be like? We will be driving out to the southwest in 15-passenger vans and/or mini-vans.  There will be some room in the back of each van for storing gear.  We may also have a 7-passenger van along to carry gear

Will we get free time to do things independently? The current itinerary allows one day per week for free time and optional excursions.

What will we see and do? We will be visiting beautiful parks, hiking, biking (maybe), swimming (if desired), boating, and kayaking.  We will hearing from experts across the desert southwest about water resource management issues.

Can Environmental and Sustainability Sciences (ENS) majors and minors get credit for the trip? Yes!  ENS majors can get credit for up two of the following categories: Triple Bottom Line Overview – Physical and Life Sciences.  The Focus Area of Water Resources within the Social and Cultural; Physical and Life Science; or Political and Economic Perspectives.   ENS minors can also get credit for Physical and Life Science Perspectives. 

I plan to graduate in the spring, but I would still be interested in going. Would this pose as a problem? Unfortunately only currently enrolled students would be eligible for the trip because all students on the trip will be required to sign up for a 6 credits.

Can Honors students use this experience for their senior project? Yes!  There are numerous ways that this trip could be used to fulfill your senior project (and HNR401) requirement for honors.

Does this program participate in volunteer work related to these issues? Our plan is the make the trip as experiential as possible.  We will be looking for opportunities to volunteer and participate in water-related advocacy while on the trip.

Is there a set number of people that are allowed to go? At the moment we are planning to limit the trip to 20 participants.  Only those applicants that have applied and submitted their deposit will be considered.  If we have more applicants than available slots we will put you on a wait list and you can go if a spot opens up.

Will there be wifi/data reception at the places we will be staying? Cell service and coverage throughout the desert southwest can be spotty and intermittent.  Most of the locations we will be staying for extended periods will have free and reliable wifi access.

How will we be graded for the trip? Given the field-based nature and structure for the course, assessment and grading will be based on a variety of assignments rather than exams and quizzes. These assignments include: 1) a detailed field trip journal that summarizes observations, interpretations and reflections at stops, 2) reflective essay assignments in response to field experiences, book readings, and outside speakers; and 3) student presentations, and trip blogs.


Page last modified December 4, 2023