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Field Schools

NWCC gives you a unique way to get university credits and experience northwest BC's incredible history, culture and environment.

Our intensive spring and summer field schools incorporate a full semester of learning into just a few weeks.

Enrol today. It could potentially change your life.


NWCC's 2017 Field Schools

NEW! Relationships and Language:Truth and Reconciliation in North Western BC  | 6 credits

Learn about the early relationships between First Nations people and European newcomers and explore language restoration and revitalization. Examine how reconciliation is formed through relationship building and understanding. With visits to five First Nations communities, you will engage with Elders and leadership in each community, working closely with fluent speakers and leaders committed to restoring and revitalizing languages. Our field school includes visits to cultural centres as well as other sites that are key to the broader history of British Columbia and Canada.  

COURSES: FNST 120: Aboriginal Languages Preservation & Revitalization  |  HIST 213: History of British Columbia 

PRINCE RUPERT May 2 to May 15, 2017

INSTRUCTORS: Christane Carr & Hondo Arendt


Skeena Watershed Ecosystems  | 3 credits

In this field school students will explore the environmental factors that determine the distribution and function of local ecosystems that extend from the alpine to river valleys.

Course content will include examination of the environmental factors that control the distribution and development of ecosystems, including climatic and geological change. The course emphasizes ecology, the structure and functioning of ecosystems, ecosystem strategies relative to soil and climatic conditions, and includes discussion of the effects of disturbance and management on natural and altered systems throughout the globe. Laboratories include investigations of ecosystem characteristics, biomass structures, soils, and impacts of disturbance.

Based at the NWCC Terrace campus, this field school will include numerous daylong field trips in addition to time in the classroom and laboratory.

COURSE: GEOG 202 - Geography of Ecosystems 

TERRACE: May 8 to 20, 2017



Haida Gwaii | 6 credits

This Terrace-based field school will include a five day fieldtrip to Haida Gwaii where the unique biology of the island ecosystems will be studied and where students will be immersed in the traditional knowledge and practise of the Haida culture.

The biology component of the field school will focus on the invertebrate phyla that are abundant within the local coastal marine environment. It provides an overview of the structure, function, evolution, diversity and ecology of invertebrate animals by examining the increasing complexity in form and function in the invertebrates and their evolutionary and ecological relationships.

This anthropology course will provide a unique blend of field studies, with readings from a cross-cultural and anthropological point of view. With a focus on traditional knowledge, students will review the development of this field of study within Anthropology, consider social applications, resource management, ethics, and be introduced to local systems of knowledge and practice. Overall, through this course, and the opportunity of experiential learning, students will become familiar with alternative cultural ways of viewing and relating to the environment.

COURSESBIOL 201- Invertebrate Zoology  |  ANTH 270 - Traditional Knowledge in Practise 

TERRACE: May 29 to June 16, 2017

INSTRUCTORSCatharine White and Sheree Ronaasen


NEW! Rural challenges in marketing | 3 credits

During this exciting field study, play an active role in marketing local businesses and non-profit organizations in the Terrace area.  Get out of the classroom to perform research and assist local organizations in designing a marketing strategy that meets the need of their customers.

Through these community-based projects, NWCC will connect you with the practical challenges of local marketing initiatives.

As consumer, media, and technology landscapes evolve, the need for innovative and strategic marketers grows. This is your opportunity to apply the fundamentals of marketing with real-world experience. 

COURSEMARK 150 - Introduction to Marketing

TERRACE: July 31 to August 17, 2017



People of the Skeena | 3 credits

The People of the Skeena Field School will take place in the Terrace area, and includes visiting the Gitxsan Eagle Clan’s fishing site of Guxts’eliksit. At this Language Preservation and Culture Camp, students will be hosted by Skaỳan (Anita Davis), Hereditary Chief/Matriarch, and other Eagle Chiefs/Elders. Students will be immersed into the rich and amazing Gitxsan culture and history while learning the preparation of smoked salmon and weaving of cedar in an outdoor classroom.

This course is designed to introduce students to the First Nations cultures of the northern northwest coast. The course will review the principles and methods of anthropological understanding to utilize as a lens to interpret culture. The course will concentrate on the rich history and cultures of the Nations of this northern area and draw upon existing local material and ethnography. As a special case study, students will participate in field research and field excursion with Elders, Chiefs and Watchmen. This course format intends to provide students with a greater understanding and appreciation of the northern First Nations culture, oral histories, traditional ecological knowledge, territorial stewardship, and the struggle endured under colonialism.

COURSE: ANTH 203 - Northern Nations of the NW Coast

TERRACE: August 8 to 13, 2017

INSTRUCTOR: Sheree Ronaasen


NEW! Icefields to Oceans | 6 credits

On this field school students will have the opportunity to learn about geomorphology by examining the unique landscapes of northwestern BC and the inside passage of southeastern Alaska. At the same time students will also be introduced to the current environmental and geopolitical issues concerning the many transboundary watersheds we will cross, including the Unuk, Stikine, and Taku watersheds, each of which begin in the icefields of British Columbia and meet the Pacific Ocean in Alaska.

The Geography 210 component of the field school allows students to examine the environmental problems of today’s world in the context of different societies and societal responses. In this course, we will identify how individuals and cultures view key environmental issues, how we can objectively analyze these problems, and how solutions can be derived to mitigate or solve environmental issues at different scales, varying from site specific problems to the global biosphere. As a class, we will learn to listen to and evaluate responses to environmental issues from individuals, special interest groups, the ‘public’, politicians, and government agencies. Students will develop skills in objective analysis and use them to undertake a community-based project that examines the relationships between environmental issues, the needs of different types of economic development, and the sustainability of communities.

In the Geomorphology 203 course students will examine the natural processes that shape the face of the Earth. It develops further on the material covered in NWCC Geography 160 and Geology 157. This course focusses on the fundamental principles that form the basis of geomorphology, in particular the processes that are active in the natural landscape and the landforms that are a consequence.  A strong emphasis will be placed on the glacial processes and deposits that influence much of the landscape in northwestern BC and southeastern Alaska. 

COURSES: GEOG 210 – Environments and Society  |  GEOG 203 – Geomorphology

TERRACE: August 14 to September 1, 2017

INSTRUCTORS: Matt Beedle and Gordon Weary