Teachers interested in field programs in Yellowstone National Park are being encouraged to apply for full-tuition scholarships to attend Yellowstone Association seminars.
The association's board of directors has approved the use of operating funds to provide full-tuition scholarships for Institute Field Seminars for approximately 50 teachers in 2013.
Teachers made up a significant portion of the seminar audience into the late 1980s and 1990s, said YA Director of Education Jenny Golding. "Then funding for their participation in programs like ours sharply declined. We still feel that field seminars are a great resource for teachers, so we've implemented the new scholarship program to make it possible for them to attend again," she said.
The in-depth information shared in Institute Field Seminars can be incorporated into most subject areas. It's especially beneficial for teachers of biology, geology, history, and art. The Association will provide letters of completion for teachers pursuing continuing education credit, and also plans to offer college credit in the future.
In 2011, the National Park Service issued a Call to Action that asked park partner organizations to work alongside NPS staff to ensure that parks are relevant for future generations.
"People have to care about parks in order to protect them," Ms. Golding said. "Unfortunately, younger generations are increasingly disconnected from not only parks but from the natural world. This could become a crisis for the natural places we care about. Providing teacher scholarships is an incredibly efficient use of funds to help connect young people to parks.
"A teacher can reach hundreds, even thousands, of students in his or her career. That multiplier effect is important. The Yellowstone Association is serious about educating youth, which means we're serious about educating teachers."
To apply for a scholarship, fill out the application on this page.
The Yellowstone Association will also present three new educational programs for organized middle-school, high-school, and college-age groups this summer, with a new scholarship program available for nonprofit, tax-exempt groups. For more information, please call us at 406-848-2400 or visit the association's website.
Teachers can also visit this page on Yellowstone's website to explore resources offered by the National Park Service specifically for teachers.