Climate, Culture, and Ecology Field Courses

These multi-day field courses give are for organized groups of high school, college, and adult learners. They offer community-based immersion to learn about in issues affecting culture, economies, and communities. Field courses integrate traditional ecological knowledge of the Lake Superior Ojibwe people, place-based investigations, and leadership development that will challenge participants to take action and make a difference! These programs are offered through partnerships with the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, the Bad River and Red Cliff Bands of the Lake Superior Ojibwe, the Superior Rivers Watershed Association, and many other tribal and community partners.

Due to Covid, these field courses were suspended or conducted online in 2020 and 2021.

See What We Learned in past summer field courses….

UW Stevens Point “Lake Superior Natural Resources, Culture, and Climate Field Course for Professionals”, June 12-14 2019

Within the Lake Superior basin, global climate change is expected to cause increased annual temperature, decreased snow, and more frequent and extreme weather events. Lake Superior tribal and coastal communities are already experiencing climate challenges and are implementing culturally relevant strategies to become more climate resilient.

This workshop was designed for professional natural resource educators, Extension, and informal community educators.  It focused on developing effective professional level communication and response strategies that integrate qualitative and quantitative knowledge to promote climate resiliency–no matter what the community, audience, or location.  Click here to see this field course. Field course directors are Dr. Shiba Kar-UW Stevens Point and Cathy Techtmann-UW Extension.


“Climate Strong! Climate Leadership” Institute, July 8-12  2019

Please jump over to the Climate Strong! Climate Leadership Initiative for more details on this Institute. Climate Strong! institutes are open to classroom and community educators or anyone who wants to build their climate literacy and leadership capacity, especially those serving tribal youth.  



Carroll University “Ojibwe Culture and Ecology” Field Course, July 29-August 2 2019

Carroll University offers this 5-day field course that integrates Ojibwe and indigenous ecological knowledge and culture to build a greater understanding of the environment and culture.  Checkout  what  we  learned: 2019 Carroll University Culture and Ecology Field Course Agenda.

This experiential course is hosted at field locations in the Bad River and Red Cliff Tribal Nations, at the Sandy Lake Memorial in Minnesota, and within Wisconsin’s Lake Superior region. This course is offered in partnership with UW-Extension, the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, and Bad River and Red Cliff Tribes of the Lake Superior Ojibwe.Field course co-directors:  Dr. Aaron Rothe-Carroll University and Cathy Techtmann-UW Extension.

UW-Stevens Point “Lake Superior Natural Resources, Culture and Climate” Student Field Course, Sept. 25-28 2019

This field course integrates traditional ecological knowledge of the Lake Superior Ojibwe and place-based observation, with “western” science to examine climate change impacts and adaptation strategies. This course takes a watershed scale approach with field experiences from Madeline Island to Iron County’s Saxon Harbor. Field course co-directors are Dr. Cady Sartini-UW Stevens Point and Cathy Techtmann-UW Extension. Partners include the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, and Bad River and Red Cliff Tribes of the Lake Superior Ojibwe, and Iron County, WI. Here’s the agenda for this innovative field course: 2019 UWSP Student Lake Superior Natural Resources-Culture and Climate Change Field Course Agenda

See what we learned in 2018….

University of Wisconsin Global Health “Exploring Ecology, Culture, and Health in the Wisconsin Lake Superior Region” Field Course, May 30-June 5 2018

UW Global Health field course students learning about the connections between environment, culture, and health at Frog Bay Tribal Park, Red Cliff, WI

This course challenged students to reflect on their current assumptions and worldviews of health and wellness and be changed by new ideas, viewpoints, and perspectives through a field immersion in the culture, communities, and landscapes of Wisconsin’s Lake Superior Region. They were introduced to Ojibwe cultural knowledge and community-academic partnerships with Wisconsin First Nations tribes, to explore ways they can take what they learned and apply for future engagement with First Nations communities and in their own culture. Field course learning locations include Bad River and Red Cliff tribal communities, Ashland, Bayfield, and Iron Counties, and Madeline Island. Field course co-directors:  Dr. Heidi Busse-UW Madison and Cathy Techtmann-UW Extension. See what we learned in this field course: 2018 UW Madison Exploring Ecology, Culture and Health Field Course

Carroll University “Ojibwe Culture and Ecology” Field Course, July 23-27, 2018

This cultural immersion experience integrates western science and traditional knowledge of the Lake Superior Ojibwe people to explore the inter-relationships between tribal sovereignty, culture, and sustainability of natural resources.  Learning sessions include introduction to tribal sovereignty, Ojibwe language, impacts of cultural trauma, a wild rice cultural tour, experiencing how fire is being introduced as cultural tool in the management of

Park Ranger Damon Panek explains the role of fire and Ojibwe culture

Stockton Island, participating in the Sandy Lake Memorial ceremonies, attending the Voigt Task Force meeting of Ojibwe tribal leaders, learning from tribal elders and natural resource experts, can culturally based service learning activities. Field course co-directors:  Dr. Aaron Rothe-Carroll University and Cathy Techtmann-UW Extension.


University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point “Natural Resources, Culture, and Climate Change”, September 14-17 2018

Based on the G-WOW climate change model that integrates western climate science with traditional ecological knowledge of the Lake Superior Ojibwe, UWSP natural resource majors evaluated place-based evidence of a changing climate within the Wisconsin’s Chequamegon Bay region. This workshop is designed to expand climate change literacy by integrating climate science with place-based economic and cultural perspectives that resonate with learners and engage them in climate change mitigation or adaptive decision-making. UWSP students gained an understanding of climate impacts and needed adaptations in integrated natural resources management, decision-making, and developing culturally relevant climate responses.

UW-Stevens Point climate field course students and instructors

This field course was supported by a grant from Sea Grant. Field course co-directors:  Cathy Techtmann- UW Extension Drs. Shiba Karr, Cady Sartini, and Holly Petrillo-UW Stevens Point College of Natural Resources.