California Redwoods are among the oldest living species on earth, and they are the tallest living trees found on our planet. Championed for their timber resources, most of these massive, ancient trees were cut, logged, and milled starting back in the 1850's. Today less than 1% of old-growth redwoods remain. Join us for an opportunity to travel the length of the California Redwoods bioregion along the beautiful Pacific Coast. This experience focuses on the majesty of this unique species, learning about its unparalleled history along the way.
In this hands-on field course, students will spend time along the rugged Northern California Coast camping in redwood groves, on ocean front beaches, while becoming immersed in the natural history and ecology of the region. Starting in the north, time will be spent in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park where some of the most accessible, ancient redwood trees remain intact as they have for thousands of years. The course will gradually travel south stopping for lectures facilitated by leading professors in the field of redwood ecology at Humboldt State University. Students will also have the opportunity to learn from environmental advocates in the region that work on protecting remaining redwood ecosystems today.
As we travel south, a docent will guide us into the Headwaters Reserve teaching us about the grassroots movements that helped establish the protected forest, along with the standout traits of the special ecology of the area. As we continue our journey towards the redwoods habitat terminus in Central California, we will visit redwood groves located near more densely populated areas around the Santa Cruz Mountains. The course will end with a tour of the Big Creek lumber mill where students will learn how redwood trees are managed sustainably today for both habitat integrity, as well as human use.
This field course will expose students to the ideas of preservation and conservation while exposing them to one of the most awe-inspiring ecosystems on earth. An active course, students will walk, hike, and have the opportunity to learn to surf as a great deal of our time will be spent on trails in redwood country, and camping on nearby beaches where the pacific ocean plays an symbiotic role in health of the redwoods forest.