YOUTH OPPORTUNITY! Columbia River Field School

This year, Wildsight is introducing a new educational program — the Columbia River Field School (CRFS). This August 8th – 19th, 16 Basin youth aged 15-18 will travel from the river’s headwaters to the American border, while exploring key aspects of the river’s story through adventure travel, ecology, hydrology, geography, economics, history, politics, and culture. By giving participants a holistic and intimate understanding of the Columbia River, the CRFS hopes to cultivate leaders that can help steward this critical resource into the future. To accomplish this, we want to expose participants to multiple perspectives through place-based experiences, important texts and films and interactions with highly qualified guest presenters.

Here are some of the themes that will make up the CRFS curriculum:

  1. What is the Columbia River Watershed (overview & introduction)?
  2. Indigenous history and culture
  3. Ecology (focusing on the Columbia wetlands) and hydrology
  4. River development (dams, reservoirs, and the Columbia River Treaty)
  5. Local impacts of river development (focusing on the Arrow Lakes)
  6. The future of the Columbia River (focus on climate change, the renegotiation of the CRT, including an expert panel discussion and student engagement projects)

To be eligible, youth must live within the Canadian Columbia River Basin and must be 15-18 years old on August 8th (the trip start date). There is an application to participate (, which is due by May 25th. The trip cost is $250 (includes everything except travel to the start and home at the end) with bursaries available (apply for financial aid as part of the application).