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

$40k in a Day!

March 18, 2016

40k in a Day | We Did It!With a name like $40K in a Day, you may have thought that Westminster's 24-hour giving campaign was all about raising that generous amount for The Westminster Fund. But, it also served as an opportunity for alumni, parents, faculty, and staff to come together to celebrate the importance of giving back and the impact we can all have on changing students' lives.

$40K in a Day was held last February, and thanks to 353 supporters, the college raised $45,785 and met four donor participation challenges totaling $20,000. "Our theme for the campaign was 'Give, Share, Celebrate,'" says Staci Carson, Vice President of Advancement. "The Westminster community came together in a big way to embrace that message!"

One of the most gratifying aspects of the day was the outpouring of support for the college on social media. More than 100 volunteers helped with the event, resulting in more than 400 social media likes and shares. Alumni, many of whom live outside Utah, enjoyed the opportunity to reconnect with their alma mater and participate in this event. Kayla Smith Bernard ('07) made her annual gift during giving day, but her social media posts encouraging other alumni to give showed how much Westminster means to her. "Westminster was like home to me when I was a student and a second home after I graduated," she says. "Even though I now live several states away, I still consider Westminster my home."

Bryan Craven ('10) and Ali Monjar ('10) recently relocated from Salt Lake City to Boise but felt that $40K in a Day was a perfect way to volunteer and help their alma mater. "As alumni living out of state, we value maintaining our connection to Westminster College," Ali says. "Besides attending alumni events when possible, our giving ensures that connection…We were happy to help get the word out and to celebrate everything Westminster!

Thanks to Kayla, Bryan, Ali, and many other supporters, the funds raised in during $40K in a Day went straight to work to enhance the educational experience for all Westminster students. "It's gratifying for us to see so many within the community heeding the call to support The Westminster Fund," Staci says. "Particularly with alumni, I think the growth in support we're seeing is a reflection of the positive experience they had at the college and their desire to ensure others have access to that same transformative experience."

Next February join us again—or for the first time—to Give, Share, and Celebrate!

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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