What is the Remote Field Course?

  • The Remote Field Course (RFC), first offered in 1998, is a first-of-its kind course at Juniata – a two-part course which examines the desert region of the American southwest, focusing on the “four corners” region (NM, AZ, UT, CO) of the Colorado plateau.  This cross-disciplinary perspective considers the geological, physical, biological, psychological and educational issues that have defined and shaped this unique and rugged landscape.  A 2-credit spring semester seminar course examines issues related to mining, energy, agriculture, biodiversity, and tourism that have influenced, and continue to influence, the region.  The follow-on 2-credit summer course brings you to the Colorado plateau to understand these issues first-hand through travels to Carlsbad Caverns, the Grand Canyon, Moab, and your choice of many other possible sites.  This trip features camping in the region, rafting on the Colorado River, and hiking through magnificent slot canyons on Navajo land. 

  • Completion of both the spring course (IC206) and the summer course (IC207) fulfills the IC general education requirement. 

  • The RFC is a unique and inspirational opportunity where you can experience the stark beauty of the desert southwest while learning about critical issues facing the region. Join us for class which culminates in a 17 day camping adventure; we leave right after graduation and return within the first week of June. Don’t miss this unique opportunity!

The Faces of Remote Field Course

  • Geologist: outcrop exposures extend for miles, mineral resources are rich, and local geology has a profound impact on land use.

  • Environmental Scientist: this is an area where discrepancies between rich natural resources, fragile environments and human population growth are hot topics.

  • Ecologists: the Southwest offers a diversity of ecosystems unrivaled in the inland US.

  • Physicists: the clear night sky, roaring streams, and spectacular mountains provided not only scenery; but also a phenomenal physics laboratory.

  • Psychologists: will find the Colorado Rockies, Roswell, NM, and Arches National Park excellent for studying cognitive changes with elevation, UFO encounters, and differences between sexes in terms of performance involving navigational tasks.