The Wild Rockies Field Institute

The Wild Rockies Field Institute (WRFI) is a unique organization offering extraordinary experiences for university students interested in an educational adventure. WRFI courses explore the complex cultural, political and natural histories of some of the most interesting and beautiful landscapes in North America. Every WRFI course is set up so participants can earn college credit through the University of Montana in one or more of the following disciplines: anthropology, English, environmental studies, forestry, geography, Native American studies and science.  As outside-of-classroom experiences, WRFI courses count as Honors courses toward Davidson Honors College graduation requirements (although there is a maximum of two such experiences that may be counted for Honors credit).

The Wild Rockies Field Institute participants camping.WRFI courses are designed to take students into the arenas where the subject matter they are studying – from ecology to contemporary resource management policy – unfolds before their eyes. By integrating traditional academics with field studies, service projects, and meetings with government officials and community members, we encourage creative and critical thinking, thoughtful dialogue, and exploration of diverse perspectives. And by connecting students with human communities and the natural environments in which they are embedded, our courses help students develop a personal land ethic and a powerful sense of place.

Perhaps you’d like to follow in the footsteps of Lewis & Clark, or kayak with whales in Baja’s Sea of Cortez. We can help you watch (from a safe distance) a grizzly bear fish a river for salmon on the coast of Alaska, or learn, firsthand, from the ancient wisdom of a Native elder.  In the evenings you will read about the historical, social, environmental, economic and political context in which these events take place. The next day, perhaps, you will discuss what these experiences mean to you and the nine other classmates who have joined you on a fun, adventure-packed journey that’s sure to influence who you are and how you work in the world.

WRFI is currently accepting applications for all of our courses. Applications are reviewed and students are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. If you have questions, feel free to email us or to call the WRFI office in Missoula. We'd love to talk to you!  For contact information and a list of WRFI courses, visit the WRFI website.

WRFI Scholarships available for Davidson Honors College Students

The Davidson Honors College (DHC) offers a merit scholarship to a University of Montana student who is a member of the Davidson Honors College. This scholarship provides funding support of $500 (for any WRFI course) or $1,000 (for a full-semester WRFI course). To apply for the DHC Scholarship, please complete the WRFI General Scholarship application and write a one-page personal statement that explains how the DHC Scholarship will help you participate in the WRFI course and what you hope to gain from the course. Submit your scholarship application with your WRFI course application to or mail a printed copy to the WRFI office at PO Box 7071, Missoula, MT 59807.