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Nature’s classroom: the Capitol Reef Field Station

1 November 2011 3 Comments

Jane Dell, Site Manager, Capitol Reef Field Station

Nestled on a mesa top in the Pleasant Creek Valley of Capitol Reef National Park, the Capitol Reef Field Station (CRFS) provides an amazing opportunity for place-based learning. A mere 3.5 hours from the UVU campus, CRFS welcomes students, faculty and staff alike into the unique region of the Colorado Plateau.

Through a partnership between Utah Valley University and Capitol Reef National Park, CRFS promotes interdisciplinary engaged learning, field-based scientific research and environmental ethics through exploration, appreciation and conservation of the Colorado Plateau ecosystem.

Two 12-person dorms, a multi-purpose classroom, dining facility and a beautiful kitchen await groups that visit CRFS. In addition, CRFS serves as a model of sustainability with 100-percent solar electricity, water supplied from a nearby well, passive heating and cooling architecture and an unrivaled opportunity for all visitors to learn and practice reduced environmental impacts.

Since CRFS opened in October 2008, numerous UVU courses have taken advantage of all that the field station has to offer. From mathematics to interpretive dance, and from botany to creative writing, CRFS provides an ideal environment for engaged learning, a classroom with reduced distractions, a platform for student/faculty interaction and a breathtakingly beautiful background.

Here is just a sample of what students have said after studying at Capitol Reef Field Station:

“It felt like a home away from home in an awesome environment.”
“The pristine immersion in nature and isolation from the outside world made a great planning/team-building environment.”
“This place is awesome.”
“The night sky was incredible and I loved the hikes.”
“I loved being out in nature, the educational opportunities, the staff, the beautiful surroundings and learning by doing.”

We invite you to visit our website at uvu.edu/crfs and welcome any questions or comments. Interested in bringing your class to CRFS? The Spring Semester calendar is filling quickly. Contact us at crfs@uvu.edu.

Photos courtesy of L. Shelton and J. Peterson

— Jane

CRFS website
CRFS Facebook Page
CRFS Live Webcam Feed
Directions to CRFS
CRFS Trip Planner
CRFS Image and Video Gallery
Capitol Reef National Park

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  • Jas P said:

    Raise your hand if you were among the first team(s) that went there to help cleanup more than a decade ago (amidst avoiding hantavirus); myself, Angie R., Kimberly R., Larry H., Paul T., et al.

  • Ellen Draper said:

    Staying at the Capitol Reef Field Station was one of the most amazing experiences – a memory that will remain with me forever. The scenery and history envoke a spiritual reverence that stir you deep inside. A perfect setting for deep thinking, creative writing, or even personal reflection. Recommend it for anyone who has the opportunity.

    Sacred Ground

    Red rock reaching for mother sky,
    remnant of new earth once
    convulsing – turbulence creating
    reminder of God’s power, glory,
    love for all His creations.

    Water sculpting, bringing new life
    meandering over dirt and rock
    revealing rainbow spectacles
    carving gravity defying pillars
    feeding dormant life.

    Wind the master architect’s chisel
    whispering of ancient people
    wandering sacred places
    leaving life stories carved
    on marbled rocks and walls.

    Red man’s memory running
    through sap, the mist in the
    dark woods, pinion needles –
    ancient and living creations
    part of mother earth.

    Serene, silent respect for God,
    nature, our inner struggle
    with our personal wind and water,
    soul yearning to be equal to
    our Master’s creation.

  • Jacob Carpenter said:

    I have some awesome pictures from the area that we were told to give to someone to maybe use in the dorms, but I don’t know who or where to post them…. we have a face book page from my group that went and there are a ton more pictures on there too. Just search on facebook for “Sheltoni’s Magic School Bus: Capitol Reef Field Station”

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