Integrated Field Practicum

Measure stream velocity. Collect insects. Cast wolf tracks. Document the red-backed salamander population. Count birds. Cruise a timber stand. Join the 80-acre club.

Integrated Field Practicum - Fall or Summer “Camp” - is the only semester-long, off-campus experience in the US that is attended by natural resource students, putting Michigan Tech a step above the rest. Blend classroom study with learning in the field to increase competence in the woods. Integrated Field Practicum (IFP) covers the elements of forested landscapes and methods of quantification. Trees and herbaceous plants, water, wildlife, fungi, insects. In the process of measuring and describing the forests, students complete a multi-resource assessment built on data from previous years and data collected directly from the field themselves. Gain insight on values and ecological processes of natural resource management. 

What Will I Learn?

Take waypoints and design maps. Get your hands dirty and your feet wet exploring soil, geology, and climate. Collect fungi or insects for a specimen collection. Hug trees as you measure stand basal area. Learn to determine canopy health. Collect photos from camera traps. Mental and physical challenges prepare students for careers in our four land management degree programs. 

Who Attends Camp?

Students with majors in

  • Forestry
  • Applied Ecology and Environmental Science
  • Natural Resource Management
  • Wildlife Ecology and Conservation

and Master of Forestry (MF) students

When Will I Attend Camp?

All students who attend camp must pass prerequisites (see course plans). For undergraduates, this is typically by the third year. For Master of Forestry (MF) students this is typically by their third-semester. Students are able to choose between summer and fall camp. You will be in integrated field practicum for 14 weeks of the semester. 

What is the Schedule Like?

Students at camp are in class Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm (with a break around 12-1pm for lunch). Lecture times average about one hour per day, with the rest of the time spent in the field. That's right, rain or shine!