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Academic Experience

The purpose of the MOSS graduate residency in environmental education and science communication is to prepare professionals who will help to shape future generations. MOSS graduate students develop skills to effectively educate a diversity of learners through experiential methods, using the outdoors as an integrating context for learning about science, community and place.

A Unique Graduate Learning Experience

Find out about the learning experience at MOSS

Learn more about the graduate program

Through the graduate residency, we expose our graduate student practitioners to opportunities to learn and grow as educators, scientists and leaders, to serve within their communities and develop their sense of place. Our hope is that MOSS graduate students will develop a personal philosophy that will guide their own professional service as well as their participation as active and engaged citizens.

…experience

The residency provides graduate student practitioners with direct experiences in teaching an outdoor science curriculum to learners from a diversity of both urban and rural settings. Through coursework and mentoring by faculty, graduate student practitioners critically reflect on these experiences and gain new insight to apply to their next teaching experience. The format of this learning environment acknowledges that graduate student practitioners’ own experiences are the center point around which all new learning is incorporated; this experiential learning model emphasizes direct experience, reflection, and active experimentation.

… community

The graduate residency experience provides opportunities for practitioners to develop a personal sense of place and connection to the natural and social systems that make up the MOSS community. Through coursework and teaching in the natural environment, graduate student practitioners develop an understanding of the rhythms and cycles of the local ecosystems. Because we live, work and play together, grad student practitioners also make deep connections to the people of the MOSS community. Service opportunities and local partnerships help to extend these connections beyond the immediate MOSS social landscape and into the community at large.

… growth

The graduate residency experience provides a setting and structure in which practitioners work in small class settings and with individual mentors. This to helps them practitioners grow in their professional identities as educators, students, and members of a community who are skilled and knowledgeable about teaching scientific and ecological literacy and understanding of the place where we live.

Students in the Graduate Residency in Environmental Education and Science Communication can expect to:

  • engage in challenging, relevant course work in ecology, science communication, place-based education, and leadership.
  • serve as an instructor in our K12 programs and earn graduate credits for participating in a mentored teaching practicum to practice and improve their teaching and communication skills.
  • learn from peers, staff and faculty from across the UI Department of Natural Resources and Society, the academic home of MOSS. This includes a once in a lifetime trip into the Taylor Wilderness Research Station located in the heart of the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness.
  • serve as a peer leader in the role of "Program Host". The program host leads instructor meetings, facilitates evening programs and gets special insight into the behind the scene details of MOSS operations.
  • be a member of a small, western mountain community and remote campus location. MOSS graduate students will have ample opportunities to develop and practice intentional group membership dynamics, while also being part of the larger Department of Natural Resources and Society at the University of Idaho.
  • work with a diverse group of students.

Student Outcomes:

  • Learn and integrate - Through independent learning and collaborative study, attain, use and develop knowledge in ecology, teaching theory and leadership theory
  • Think and create - Use multiple thinking strategies to identify and examine real-world examples of theories explored in coursework and their implications for teaching, leadership and ecological understanding.
  • Communicate – Acquire, articulate, create and convey intended meaning using verbal and non-verbal methods of communication that demonstrate respect and understanding in a complex society.
  • Clarify purpose and perspective –Explore one's professional identity through transformational experiences that foster an awareness of self, relationships and diverse perspectives.
  • Practice citizenship – Apply principles of ethical leadership, collaborative engagement, socially responsible behavior, respect for diversity in an interdependent world and a service-oriented commitment to advance and sustain local and global communities.

MOSS Graduate Students take on four equally important roles at MOSS:  community member, student, educator, and researcher/scholar.  Students are expected to achieve growth in all roles, towards the following professional competencies: 

1. Standards for MOSS Graduate Students as Community Members and Educators

  • Stewardship (being a good steward of the land, of MOSS spaces, equipment, yourself)
  • Timeliness (arriving promptly, knowing when to address issues, managing your time well and your group’s time well)
  • Intentionality (being purposeful in all that you do)
  • Compassion (being willing to put yourself in other people’s shoes)
  • Communication (being proactive in communication, practicing clear communication)


2. Standards for MOSS Graduate Students as Students

  • Communication (ability to write and verbally convey ideas at the graduate level, ability to deliver quality presentations)
  • Ability to use resources (ability to find journal articles, online resources, materials to support graduate work and curriculum development)
  • Time management  (ability to make effective use of time)
  • Critical thinking (ability to think critically about your work, resources that you find, the organizations that you are part of, theories relevant to your practice)


3. Standards for MOSS Graduate Students as Scholar

  • Clear goals: the scholar states the basic purpose of their work, defines objectives that are realistic and achievable and identifies important questions in the field.
  • Adequate preparation: the scholar shows an understanding of existing scholarship in the field and brings the skills and resources to move the project forward.
  • Appropriate methods: the scholar uses methods appropriate to the goals, applies them effectively and modifies procedures when needed.
  • Significant Results: the scholar achieves stated goals, contributes to the field and opens additional lines of inquiry.
  • Effective presentation: scholar employs a suitable style, effective organization, clarity and integrity to their work.
  • Reflective critique: the scholar critically evaluates their own work, brings evidence to their critique and uses evaluation to improve the quality of future work.

McCall Outdoor Science School

College of Natural Resources

Physical Address:
1800 University Lane
McCall, ID 83638

Mailing Address:
PO Box 1025
McCall, ID 83638

Phone: 111-111-1080

Fax: 111-634-5244

Email: [email protected]

Web: divinedestinations.info/moss