Ranger-led Field Trips and Classroom-based Programs

Welcome to the Spring 2020 Program Season

The National Park Service invites you and your students to participate in our education programs. Our curriculum-based programs are guided by Next Generation Science Standards. We offer both in-classroom programs and field trip experiences. All programs are free to schools.

Scheduling Classroom Programs

Scheduling Field Trip Programs

For information, please contact:
Education Team

Curecanti National Recreation Area
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
102 Elk Creek
Gunnison, CO 81230
(970) 641-2337 Ext. 203
e-mail us


 
 

Pre-School - Kindergarten


CLASSROOM PROGRAMS:
  • Ravin' about Ravens (Spring Only) - Students learn the often overlooked and misunderstood raven. Rangers will use photos, props, and age-appropriate activities to share the adaptations that help ravens to find food and survive. (30 minutes)
    K-LS1.C: Organization for Matter and Energy Flow in Organisms
  • Cougar Tales (Fall Only) – Students learn about mountain lion life cycles, their incredible adaptations, and learn how to stay safe in lion country. (30 minutes)
    K-LS1.C: Organization for Matter and Energy Flow in Organisms
 

Grade 1


CLASSROOM PROGRAMS:
  • Sensational Wildlife – Students participate in fun, sensory activities to experience how local wildlife use their senses to survive. (60 minutes)
    1-LS1.A: Structure and Function
FIELD TRIP PROGRAMS:
  • (Gunnison Area) Ecology: Animal and Plant Survival – Students learn about the plants and animals that live in Curecanti, with an emphasis on how species survive and grow. (3.5 hours)
    1-LS1.A: Structure and Function
  • (Montrose Area) Ecology: Animal and Plant Survival – Students learn about the plants and animals that live in Black Canyon, with an emphasis on how species survive and grow. (3.5 hours). (3.5 hours)
    1-LS1.A: Structure and Function
 

Grade 2


CLASSROOM PROGRAMS:
  • Black Canyon Animals – Students become animal detectives to learn about the many different species that live in Black Canyon. (60 minutes)
    2-LS4.D: Biodiversity and Humans
FIELD TRIP PROGRAMS:
  • (Gunnison Area) Geology and Ecology: Curecanti Exploration – Students learn about how the canyon formed – through fast and slow geologic forces – and how its habitats support many different kinds of living things. (3.5 hours)
    2-ESS1-1, 2-LS4.D Biodiversity and Humans
  • (Montrose Area) Geology and Ecology: Black Canyon Exploration – Students learn about how the canyon formed – through fast and slow geologic forces – and how its habitats support many different kinds of living things. (3.5 hours)
    2-ESS1-1, 2-LS4.D Biodiversity and Humans
 

Grade 3


CLASSROOM PROGRAMS:
  • Curecanti Fossils – By examining fossils and making a model fossil, students uncover how past life is preserved, and how fossils can help us decipher Colorado’s fascinating past. (60 minutes)
    3-LS4.A: Evidence of Common Ancestry and Diversity
FIELD TRIP PROGRAMS:
  • (Gunnison Area) Ecology: Wild Adaptations! – Curecanti plant and animal adaptations are explored through hands-on observations and role-playing. (3.5 hours)
    3-LS4.C: Adaptation
  • (Montrose Area) Ecology: Wild Adaptations! – Curecanti plant and animal adaptations are explored through hands-on observations and role-playing. (3.5 hours)
    3-LS4.C: Adaptation
 

Grade 4


CLASSROOM PROGRAMS:
  • Geology Rocks! – Students explore the geologic events that form the landscapes of Black Canyon. Students review rock-forming processes, identify rock samples, and learn to read the stories behind the scenery. (60 minutes)
    4-ESS1-1: Earth's Place in the Universe, 4-ESS1.C: The History of Planet Earth
  • Curecanti’s Hydroelectric Dams – After learning about different types of dams, students design and build a model dam. Students consider the environmental impacts and suggest conservation actions (60 minutes)
    4-ESS3-2: Earth and Human Activity
FIELD TRIP PROGRAMS:
  • (Gunnison Area) Geology: Dillon Pinnacles Adventure Hike – Students hike and explore the unique Dillon Pinnacles formation with an emphasis on geologic forces, weathering, and erosion. (3.5 hours)
    4-ESS1.C: The History of Planet Earth, 4-ESS2.A: Earth Materials and Systems
  • (Montrose Area) Geology: Rockin' Out at the Black Canyon – Students hike and explore the unique Black Canyon with an emphasis on geologic forces, weathering, and erosion. (3.5 hours)
    4-ESS1.C: The History of Planet Earth, 4-ESS2.A: Earth Materials and Systems
  • (Montrose and Gunnison Area) Colorado History: Hands on the Land – This area holds 10,000 years of human presence showing a succession of changing cultures, values, and technologies. Students explore the human history of this area, and the struggle in balancing human needs and wilderness ideals. (3.5 hours)
    Grade 4: CO Social Studies Standard 2.2
 

Grade 5


CLASSROOM PROGRAMS:
  • Water We Share – Rangers lead interactive demonstrations and activities to illustrate how finite our water supply is. Students consider human impacts on waterways and possible mitigations. (60 minutes)
    5-ESS2.C - The Roles of Water in Earth’s Surface Processes
FIELD TRIP PROGRAMS:
  • (Gunnison Area) Ecology: Curecanti Ecosystems – Students investigate relationships between living and non-living aspects in the Curecanti ecosystem. Students learn about local producers, consumers, and decomposers. (3.5 hours)
    5-LS2.A: Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems
  • (Montrose Area) Ecology: Black Canyon Ecosystems – Students investigate relationships between living and non-living aspects in the Black Canyon ecosystem. Students learn about local producers, consumers, and decomposers. (3.5 hours)
    5-LS2.A: Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems
 

Middle School and High School


CLASSROOM PROGRAMS:
  • Exploring Geology: Earth's History Written in Black Canyon Rocks – Students explore the geologic events that form the landscapes of Curecanti and the Black Canyon, and the forces that continue to sculpt the magnificent canyons, mesas and buttes (erosion, mountain building, and volcanic activity). (60 minutes)
    MS-ESS1.C: The History of Planet Earth
    HS-ESS2-1 Earth's Systems
FIELD TRIP PROGRAMS:
  • (Gunnison Area) Geology: Geologic History of the Dillon Pinnacles – Students explore the past and present geologic forces that form the Curecanti landscape, including analyzing past life forms and fossils. Human impacts on geology are also analyzed. (3.5 hours)
    MS-ESS1.C: The History of Planet Earth
    HS-ESS2-1 Earth's Systems
  • (Montrose Area) Geology: Geologic History of the Black Canyon – Students explore the past and present geologic forces that sculpt the magnificent Black Canyon. Human impacts on geology are also analyzed. (3.5 hours)
    MS-ESS1.C: The History of Planet Earth
    HS-ESS2-1 Earth's Systems
 
 

Program Dates and Times, Fee Waivers, and More


Education programs are available Tuesday through Friday, excluding federal holidays, February 11 through May 22, 2020. Field trips begin at 10:00 AM and conclude by 1:30 PM. Classroom programs may begin any time after 9:00 AM for Gunnison schools, and 10:00 AM for all other schools. Mondays are reserved for program planning and preparation. Our schedule is determined on a first-come, first-served basis, and typically fills quickly.

If you bring your class to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, you will need to apply for an entrance fee waiver. A two week processing time is required. Academic Entrance Fee Waivers can be accessed online at: https://www.nps.gov/blca/planyourvisit/fees.htm

Some of our programs utilize animal pelts, skulls, and other specimens as teaching aids. Most of our groups welcome the authenticity such study specimens bring to life science. However, if this is objectionable to you for any reason, or, if there are students in your group who may find such items culturally inappropriate, please let us know in advance so adjustments can be made. Please also inform us of any special considerations at the time of program registration.

Last updated: February 11, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

102 Elk Creek
Gunnison, CO 81230

Phone:

(970) 641-2337 x205

Contact Us