Westminster Expedition Students in the Open American West

During the 2017 Fall Semester, 14 students, two professors, and a program coordinator will load books, camping gear, and themselves into a couple of vans and hit the road for a semester-long tour of the American West.

The trip is designed as an exploration into the issues at the heart of the contemporary West. Students will earn 16 credits in environmental studies and history as they study Environmental Cooperation and Conflict, Landscape and Meaning, the History of Public Lands, and the Native West.

This prolonged journey into the field will allow us to learn directly from landscapes and ecosystems, as well as from people who live, work, and study in those places. Together, we expect to build a cohort of impassioned scholars with a particular breadth and depth of experiential knowledge who are equipped to build a better future for the West.

We will visit iconic, protected sites like Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks, contentious places like the Little Bighorn and the Malheur Wildlife Refuge, working landscapes like the Butte Copper Mines, and communities from present-day Native nations to "New West" towns like Bend, Twisp, and Moab.

Meet the Expedition

Learn More About the Students and Faculty on the Expedition

Read the Latest Journal Entry

Student's Nursing Dream Kept Alive Through Faculty and Scholarship Support

May 6, 2015

Lindsay EberlyLindsay Eberly, a junior majoring in nursing, is thankful for the opportunity to provide the "ultimate form of service." Originally from Connecticut, Lindsay came to Westminster seeking new experiences. Scholarships, small class sizes, and a stellar nursing program were the deciding factors in her choice to attend Westminster.

"I received a scholarship when I was accepted into the program, which was very meaningful to me," she said. "Westminster rewarded me for my hard work leading up to college, and it helps make Westminster that much more affordable."

Lindsay loves the close-knit feel of Westminster's campus. She has met many new people who share her same interests, and she knows the professors care about her and her success. Recently, she experienced a brief setback and had to move home for a semester, but Professor Rob Nichols contacted her several times, encouraging her to come back and finish the program.

"He really made me feel wanted at Westminster and gave me the confidence that I needed to return to school and to complete the nursing program," she said.

You can support the strong faculty-student relationships at the core of the Westminster experience. Make your gift today!

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Expedition in the News

Two people on a canoe
Group of Students around Campfire

The Route

Our proposed route is an enormous figure eight, heading northwest first (because of potential early winter weather) and including Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Arizona, and Utah. Course-related sites include sites of environmental/cultural conflict or cooperation (e.g., Malheur National Wildlife Refuge; East Tavaputs Plateau tar sands; Klamath River dams; the Berkeley Pit, the Nevada Test Site, Owens Lake); National Parks (e.g., Yellowstone, North Cascades, Olympic, Redwood, Grand Canyon, Great Basin); wilderness areas (e.g., Bob Marshall, Glacier Peak); Native nations and sites (e.g., Burns Paiute, Coast Salish, Miwok, the Nez Perce trail, Colville, Pyramid Lake, Hopi); dam sites (e.g., Teton, Grand Coulee, Hoover, Hetch Hetchy, Snake River); and relevant towns/cities (e.g., Bozeman, Bend, Cody, Moab, Winthrop, Page).

Expedition Route

Course Descriptions


Follow the Expedition's Progress