Vail Resorts provides Tahoe-Truckee youth ‘epic’ field trip opportunities |

Vail Resorts provides Tahoe-Truckee youth ‘epic’ field trip opportunities

The Tahoe Institute for Natural Science would like to thank Vail Resorts for awarding TINS an EpicPromise grant for spring 2015 and again for spring 2016, allowing us to offer nature-based field trips for schools in the Lake Tahoe region.

We provided 29 field trips during spring 2015, allowing a total of 637 students to develop a greater appreciation and understanding of Lake Tahoe’s natural environment, which in turn leads to better stewardship of the Tahoe region.

We reached many schools from South Lake Tahoe to Incline Village to Truckee, and even took students from Carson High School on a snowshoe trek. We received great feedback from teachers and students about these field trips providing effective and engaging learning experiences that are fun.

Our field trips connect students to the nature in their backyards while meeting objectives of the Next Generation Science Standards that have been adopted by both California and Nevada.

We can adapt our field trips to meet the needs of any classroom, K-12th grade. Our General Nature Walks field trips offer flexibility to focus on the topics relevant to individual classrooms such as plant communities, bird identification, or insect exploration.

TINS recently launched a Geology of the Sierra Nevada field trip that allows students to experience the geologic processes that formed the Sierra Nevada and is focused toward fifth- through eighth-grade classes (currently only available in Truckee).

With the return of snow on the ground, we are offering Winter Wildlife Survival Snowshoe Treks that teach students how our local wildlife survives cold and snowy winters.

Our Bird Banding Field Trips meld our field research on migratory birds with science education. They are a great way to engage students with actual scientific research occurring right in their backyards.

Bird banding consists of capturing songbirds in mist nets, collecting various data, and attaching a metal numbered leg band, and releasing the birds. In addition to experiencing live birds up close, school groups can learn about bird identification, the physics of bird flight, or other topics teachers select.

These Bird Banding Field Trips run from the beginning of the school year through mid-October, but they can occasionally be offered in late spring if weather conditions allow.

The grant also funds scholarships for classrooms that need assistance with field trip program fees.

To learn more or to sign your class up for field trips, please or contact Kirk Hardie at 775-298-0065 or

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