Appalachian Field Institute Courses

Appalachian Ecology Workshop Series: Exploring Hawk Mountain

These 1-to-3-day field-oriented workshops are designed for the amateur or professional naturalist (ages 18+) who are interested in learning more about the natural history and ecology of the central Appalachians.  

Certificates of completion will be provided to all attendees and no experience is required, other than ability and gear for hiking rocky terrain on Hawk Mountain trails. Housing or camping on site may be available for an additional fee.

Scholarship opportunities are available via our IDEA Fund. Contact Laurie Goodrich at [email protected] to inquire. 

North Lookout by Caroline Fegley

Appalachian Geology – Legacy of Hawk Mountain Landscape

Friday, April 19 - Saturday, April 20

Taught by Dr. Craig Kochel, retired Geology Professor from Bucknell University.

The migration flyway used today by raptors has its roots in geological events that took place over the past 400 million years. The Appalachian Mountains are some of the oldest landforms on the continent and hold evidence of ancient seas and towering peaks. We will use the trails, views, and highway roadcuts around Hawk Mountain to explore the remarkable geologic evolution of the Appalachian Mountain landscape. Dr. Kochel will share how geologists read the history of our ever-changing planet from the rocks and terrain. Kochel will guide attendees to key places on Hawk Mountain and in nearby areas to help the group understand the geology of the Appalachians and how it set the stage for the migration we now enjoy.

$200, $175 for Members & students

Details & Registration

Bee on flowers

Appalachian Pollinators: Bees, Butterflies, & Plants

Saturday, July 27

In this one day course we'll be exploring the HMS Native Plant Garden and lands and studying pollinating insects (especially flower-flies, butterflies and native bees) and their relationships with the native plants in the garden and surrounding forest. We'll study the life-cycles of the insects we find and their relationships with the plants. Pollination, insect herbivory and insect shelters will be our focus as we identify and study the common inset inhabitants of the Sanctuary's lands.

$200, $175 for Members & students

Details & Registration

Broad-winged Hawk in Flight

Migration Magic: Enjoying Neotropical Migrant Birds on the Move

Saturday, September 21 - Sunday, September 22

Taught by Dr. Terry Master, retired Professor from East Stroudsburg University.

Birdwatching is a fast-growing pastime and viewing bird migration along the Mountain can be thrilling introduction to birds and their identification. Neotropical birds are a subset of birds that travel from North to South America along migration corridors each fall. Hawk Mountain is well known for its concentration of neotropical migrants in fall and birdwatching is an exciting way to enjoy nature. Geared towards novice and intermediate birdwatchers, Dr. Master will provide an introduction to neotropical birds, their identification and migration behavior, and provide attendees with the tools to continue their education after the workshop. Participants will be sent a pre-recorded Zoom lecture one week prior to the course. During the two-day field component, Dr. Master and the group will explore different habitats around and on Hawk Mountain to find and identify migrating songbirds and raptors and have a brief introduction to trapping and banding songbirds. Binoculars can be provided.

$200, $175 for Members & students

Details & Registration

Winter View from North Lookout

Appalachian Winter Ecology

Friday, January 17, 2025 - Sunday, January 19, 2025

Taught by Dr. Dan Ardia, Professor of Biology at Franklin and Marshall College.

Winter can be a great time to study animals and plants and their movements or adaptations using tracking, cameras, and other techniques. Join Dr. Ardia for a two- and half--day field workshop to explore Hawk Mountain’s winter wildlife and to study how plants and other wildlife adapt to this critical life cycle period.

$200, $175 for Members & students

Details & Registration