Rocky Mountain Conservancy

Field Institute

Rocky Mountain Conservancy is a non-profit organization partnering with the National Park Service in providing educational seminars, research, and stewardship for more than 75 years.  The RMConservancy Field Institute offers direct access to Rocky Mountain National Park and hands-on field opportunities with talented instructors.  Most seminars include lectures and field trips that enable participants to experience the Park as a classroom without walls.  When hiking is involved, because of the high altitude and variable weather, participants should be in good health and arrive equipped for sudden weather changes.

Seminars cover a wide range of topics including photography, art and writing, natural history, cultural history, and skill building.  Youth and family seminars are designed especially to appeal to the Park's young visitors with topics like treasure hunts, geo-caching adventure, art adventures, ghost stories, fly-fishing and stream ecology, and more.  Seminars run January - October, with the majority during June - September.  Seminars are reasonably priced.

Spring Seminars (call 970-586-3262 to register):

  • May 8 :  Hawks in Flight  Birds of Prey (Jeff Maugans)
  • May 9 :  Behind the Scenes at RMNP (Rachel Balduzzi)
  • May 14 :  Life Signs - Tracking the Invisible (Kevin Cook)
  • May 22 :  Birds at Twilight (Jeff Maugans)
  • May 24 :  Nature's Engineers - Beavers (Jared Gricoski)
  • May 30 :  Understory Plants & Their Response to the Bark Beetle Epidemic (Greg Pappas)
  • May 31 :  Orienteering for Beginners - Map & Compass Basics in RMNP (Peggy Ellis)

Summer Seminars (call 970-586-3262 to register)  All classes for adults only, unless otherwise noted :

  • Jun 11 :  Plant & Wildflower Identification with a Naturalist - Buttercup Family  (Kevin Cook)
  • Jun 12 :  Summer Birding with a Naturalist (Jeff Maugans)
  • Jun 13 :  Unexpected Beauty:  The Orchids of Rocky Mountain National Park  (Kevin Cook) 
  • Jun 13-15:   Mastering the Art & Craft of Landscape Photography (Glenn Randall)
  • Jun 17 :  Hollowell Park Nature Hunt:  A Virtual Geocache Adventure  (ages 9-13)  (Bailey/Olson Fellow)
  • Jun 18 :  Native Plants in RMNP:  A Service Learning Seminar  (Scott Esser)
  • Jun 19 :  Making Memories:  Kids' Photojournaling in Rocky Mountain National Park (ages 7-12)  (Bailey/Olson Fellow)
  • Jun 19 :  Campfire Ghost Stories:  Living History Tales of the West  (all ages)  (Jan Manning)
  • Jun 20 :  Birds without Borders:  Migratory Birds of RMNP & Costa Rica  (Jeff Connor)
  • Jun 20-22 :  Photographing Wildlife:  When, Where, & How (Lee Kline)
  • Jun 21-22 :  Pen & Ink Sketches with Watercolor:  A Travel Sketchbook  (Suzie Garner)
  • Jun 24 :  Lily Lake Nature Hunt:  A Virtual Geocache Adventure  (ages 9-13)  (Bailey/Olson Fellow)
  • Jun 25 :  Plant & Wildflower Identification with a Naturalist - Rose Family (Kevin Cook)
  • Jun 25 :  Rocky Mountain Trailblazers:  Kid's Hiking Series  (ages 7-15)  (Bailey/Olson Fellow)
  • Jun 26 :  Campfire Ghost Stories:  Living History Tales of the West  (all ages)  (Jean Muenchrath)
  • Jun 26 :  Who Pooped in the Woods?  A Mammal Mystery  (ages 7-12)  (Bailey/Olson Fellow)
  • Jun 26 :  Bugs, Beetles & Butterflies:  Tiny but Amazing Creatures of Rocky (ages 4-6)  (Bailey/Olson Fellow)
  • Jun 26 :  Summer Birding with a Naturalist  (Jeff Maugans)
  • Jun 27 :  Native Peoples of RMNP:  Ute & Arapaho  (all ages)  (Sally McBeth)
  • Jun 27 :  New Location!  Secret Places in Rocky Mountain National Park (Kevin Cook)
  • Jun 27-29 :  The Magic of Macro:  Getting Started  (Don Mammoser)
  • Jun 28 :  Shooting the Stars:  Night Photography (Glenn Randall)
  • Jun 29 :  Wildflowers of the High Country:  Tundra in Bloom  (Leanne Benton)

New Summer classes in Grand Lake (call 970-586-3262 to register):

The western slope side of RMNP offers a different and unique look at the flora and fauna found in Colorado.  Check out these classes for a new perspective on the Park!

  • Jun 14 :  Birds of the Kawuneeche Valley (Jeff Maugans)
  • Jun 21 :  Diversity in Wildflowers (Marlene Borneman)
  • Jun 23 :  Bark Beetles that Ate the West: Cause & Effect of the Largest Beetle Outbreak in Historic Times (Jeff Conner)
  • Jun 28 :  Wetlands of RMNP (Dr. David Cooper)
  • Jul 16 :  Grand Lake & Kawuneeche Valley History (Elin Capps & Kathy Means)
  • Jul 27 :  Grasses of RMNP (Karin Edwards)
  • Aug 9 :  Geology of the Western Slope (Keith Graham)
  • Aug 15 :  Secret Places in RMNP (Kevin Cook)
  • Aug 16 :  RMNP Butterflies: West of the Divide (Paul Opler & Evi Buckner-Opler)
  • Aug 18 :  Mushrooms & Other Fungi (Kevin Cook)
  • Aug 22-24 :  Digital Landscape Photography: An Introductory Class West of the Divide (Glenn Randall)
  • Aug 29 :  Hike with a Naturalist: Granite Falls (Jeff Maugans)

A traveler's tip:  take the RMNA Journey to the Top! - A Trail Ridge Road Bus Adventure.  Enjoy the Continental Divide views along America's highest continuous paved highway and relax while someone else does the driving. 

Additional Routes for 2014:    Grand Lake Safari, Escape to Bear Lake, Elk Expeditions.  Experience the cultural & natural history of RMNP from the comfort of a 14 passenger mini-bus or 12 passenger van.

Rocky Mountain Conservancy