Gonzaga in the Wilderness

Gonzaga in the Wilderness

During this three-week, six-credit program, students will have the opportunity to explore the natural wonders of the Pacific Northwest through science and naturalist/eco-critical writing. This field-based program will follow the salmon, tracking this icon of the northwest from glacial mountain streams to the ocean. The academic work will be co-curricular, focusing on marine biology and regional diversity along with reading- and writing-attention to nature, place, and relationships in this distinctive region. We will be studying the Northwest's incredible landscape, while developing the skills to live and travel in it.

“The largest benefit is actual hands on learning. Every science class should be taught outside and be able to offer hands on learning”. Delaney M.

Important Information

Dates of Program


  • BIOL 159L/473, Studies in Biodiversity or Marine Biology (3 credits)
    This course uses a field experience as a backdrop to learn about evolutionary, ecological, and biogeographical processes that determine the ranges and biodiversity of organisms. This section will focus on marine systems and their connections through rivers to mountain environments. Topics will include climatology, hydrology, physiology, evolution of diversity, and ecology. Economics and environmental justice will also be addressed. Studies in Biodiversity is designed for non-science majors and meets the Scientific Inquiry requirement of the University Core. Marine Biology is an upper division elective for biology students. Classes meet concurrently.

  • ENGL 306, The Naturalist's Lens: Reading & Writing the NW (3 credits)
    Integrated with Marine Biology, this is a course about stories and the ways that narrative and writing can connect us more attentively to nature and to the relationships between humans and nature in the PNW. We will follow the salmon from mountain streams to the Salish Sea coast, using a range of short readings - stories, essays, poems - as guides for our written exploration of diverse environments, the ecologies we observe, and our complicated role as humans in these places. The course starts on campus for two days; in the field, we will read and write daily as naturalist observers. Major assignments: field journal (kept throughout the course; various writing within), concluding group assignment and Naturalist's Portfolio.


Program Requirements

Gonzaga in the Wilderness is open to all undergraduate students who meet the following admission requirements:

  • Minimum 2.5 GPA
  • Resolution Center for Student Conduct and Conflict & Study Abroad Office clearance

Application Requirements

  • Application deadline: December 15, 2023
  • Spaces are limited and applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, so apply early!
  • Apply online at: studyabroad.gonzaga.edu