A River Runs Through It

A River Runs Through It | Summer Field Course

The Northern Environmental and Conservation Sciences summer field school is held in the Yukon Territory every year for approximately 11-12 days at the end of August. 'A River Runs Through It' provides students from northern and southern locations opportunities to explore the natural and cultural history of the Yukon through experiential learning that incorporates interdisciplinary approaches to environmental, social and economic challenges in this region. The course is field-based, built around a canoe trip in central Yukon, on the Stewart and Yukon Rivers on the traditional territories of Selkirk First Nations, Na-Cho Nyak Dun First Nations and Trondek Hwech'in First Nations.  In addition to the academic curriculum, students will gain substantial backcountry/canoe travel and team-work experience. This is a 3 credit course suitable for senior-level university students enrolled in natural and social science programs.

This is a 3 credit course suitable for senior-level university students enrolled in natural and social science programs, including the Certificate on International Learning. The instructors include university faculty and college staff, personnel from territorial and First Nations governments, and representatives of other Yukon agencies. Seminars and field exercises will emphasize student-centered experiential learning, while benefiting from the wealth of local knowledge present in the Yukon. Students will start the course by taking a two day canoe skill and safety course near Whitehorse, before driving to McQuesten Airstrip along the Stewart River to start the paddling journey. Four to five days will be spent on the Stewart River, before entering the Yukon River, and paddling for two days to Dawson City. The group will spend one or two days in Dawson (weather depending) prior to returning to Whitehorse. The days will be long, and full participation is expected by all students.

Places are limited and will be filled on a first-come basis.  All participants must register in and pay tuition for University of Alberta RENR 465.  Additional course fees of $1700 for non-Yukon* students include return transportation from Edmonton to Whitehorse, local accommodation, coverage of most meals in the Yukon, and transport for field excursions. Participants are responsible for personal outdoor equipment (appropriate outdoor clothing and footwear), but all the paddling and camping equipment is provided (canoe, paddles, PFDs, tents, sleeping bags and pads, dry bag, etc.)  Additional course fees of $1000 apply to Yukon students, for partial coverage of meals, accommodation, and transport for field excursions.

Please contact us if you would like to participate or if you have any questions.

Course dates: August 18th to August 30th, 2024

For more details, feel free to look into the most recent syllabus:
Please keep in mind that the syllabus is likely to change from year to year.  Syllabus-Summer-2023.pdf

For more information and registration, contact Gabriel Rivest (Coordinator) - rivest@ualberta.ca


*Non-Yukon students coming from locations outside of Edmonton will need to arrange their own transportation to Edmonton or to Whitehorse and may be subject to different fees accordingly.