|Cloud Ridge Naturalists is one of the oldest and most respected nonprofit field schools in the West. Over the past thirty-one years, several thousand people have experienced the special blend of environmental education and exploration that Cloud Ridge offers. Our commitment to providing the finest in natural history education and environmentally responsible travel remains the cornerstone of our program. Not surprisingly, more than 80% of our participants each year have traveled with us before. Our educational vision relies on a multidisciplinary perspective well grounded in state-of-the-art science. Recognizing the powerful role that photographers, artists, and writers play in environmental education and advocacy, you'll find seminar offerings addressing these skills as well. Just a glance through the biographies of our leaders should convey the excellence of our faculty—their expertise, talent, and passion for teaching are unsurpassed!
We spend our days in some of the world's most beautiful wilderness areas—recognizing their importance to conservation but also their increasing fragility as global environmental change reshapes the world we've known. Wherever we travel, and by whatever means—expedition ship, boat, raft, sea kayak, or on foot—we work only with outfitters whose environmental ethics and operating principles parallel our own. Our field seminar groups are kept small and congenial, creating the best possible atmosphere for learning and discussion. We always select fine lodging or picturesque campsites that have a strong sense of place, and make every effort to live up to our reputation for excellent food. We also take your safety, comfort, and enjoyment seriously— even in the most remote field settings. Our trips open a magical window on the natural world!
Many of the places Cloud Ridge visits are at risk— the impacts of global climate change and environmental degradation transcending international and ecological boundaries. We all need to move beyond the "last great place" model that drives most ecotourism and become better-informed stewards—not just quick "snapshot" sojourners.Our leadership position in environmental education has emboldened us to embrace three complementary strategies to enhance our educational outreach: (1) a program of natural history seminars for the general public, now in its fourth decade; (2) scientific and cultural exchanges emphasizing conservation biology; and (3) publishing efforts focused on natural history books and related visual media. On this websiteyou can find our annual posting of "Field Notes," slideshows of our recent trips and conservation projects, and a look at Cloud Ridge Publishing's very first book, Valley of the Dunes: Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve (2010). We look forward to seeing you on our next sea voyage or journey afield!
Registration form 2011 (PDF) | 2011 Brochure (PDF)