Field & International Experiences: Winter Ecology over images of snowy landscapes, students wearing snowshoes, and a student cross country skiing



Measure the dynamic temperature and stability of a snowpack in the Tetons, track ungulates as they search for forage in a riparian area, and marvel at the subnivean climate, home to small mammals throughout the winter months. Taught by seasoned field science instructors of Teton Science Schools, this set of winter ecology courses must be taken together:

ENR 4010 Skills of the Winter Naturalist (1 cr.)
Emphasizes field naturalist skills, the effects of winter abiotic conditions on organisms and subsequent adaptations to these conditions, animal tracking, introduction to snow dynamics and winter safety.
ENR 4011 Snowpack Dynamics and Snow Science (1 cr.)
Emphasizes snow science and avalanche safety through lectures and inquiry-based field laboratories. 
ENR 4012 Wildlife and Plant Adaptations (1 cr.)
Emphasizes animal and plant adaptations to cope with the stresses of winter, as well as the predicted impacts of climate change, through lectures and inquiry-based field laboratories. Students also conduct field research in a winter environment.


*subject to change

a collage of winter photographs in Grand Teton National Patk


Offered annually in January. The program includes the following components:

  • January: 12-day program in Grand Teton National Park

  • Spring semester: ENR 4010, 4011, 4012 / ENR 5965 (3 credits) 

Upcoming programs: January 2-14, 2024


Open to all UW students.

Pre-requisites: none.

Admission: program admission is dependent upon application and possible interview. Apply here.


Includes: lodging, transportation during program, entrance fees, instruction, excursions, equipment (snowshoes, cross-country skis), and most meals. 

Does not include: travel to / from GTNP, meals on travel days, souvenirs and incidentals, or UW tuition and fees for spring semester credits. 

Program Fee 2024: TBD: ~$1750


Participants should be prepared to spend full days outdoors in cold and changing weather conditions.

STUDENT TESTIMONIAL - Ema's Winter Ecology Experience

'Within the first two days, we were taught how to cross-country ski and snowshoe. The amount and quality of field learning experiences was incredible. Being able to learn outside in the winter was especially unique.

My favorite part of my time at Winter Ecology was playing in the snow – for the sake of science, of course. We meandered through the woods surrounding campus to apply our new winter tracking skills. We dug through the snow to the ground to examine snow layers. We skied in Grand Teton National Park to get a glimpse of Teton Glacier. We had many opportunities to get outside and learn in the field. Place-based learning provides opportunities for greater understanding that I haven’t found in a classroom. My Winter Ecology experience did not disappoint.'


We are currently accepting applications for J-Term 2024 travel. 

Application Deadline: November 15, 2023.


Please contact Field & International Program Coordinator 

Melanie Matthews -