Ranger-led Field Trips and Classroom-based Programs

Welcome to the Spring 2017 Program Season

The National Park Service invites you and your students to participate in our Education programs. Our curriculum-based programs are guided by Colorado P-12 Academic Standards and Next Generation Science Standards. We offer both in-classroom programs and field trip experiences. Education programs are limited to 2 programs per teacher per spring season.

Scheduling Classroom Programs »

Scheduling Field Trip Programs »

For information, please contact:
Laura Tomcek, Education Program Coordinator

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:
  • Fur and Feathers (Fall Only) - Students learn the differences between birds and mammals through exploration and role-playing. (30 minutes)
    Grade pre-K: CO Science Standard 2.1, Grade K: CO Science Standard 2.1
  • Cougar Tales (Spring Only) – Students learn about mountain lion life cycles, their incredible adaptations and learn how to stay safe in lion country. (30 minutes)
    Grade Pre-K: CO Science Standard 2.1, Grade K: CO Science Standard 2.1
 

Grade 1


CLASSROOM PROGRAMS:
  • Sensational Wildlife of Black Canyon and Curecanti – Activities focusing on the senses demonstrate how local animals are adapted to their environment. Students are encouraged to use their senses to observe and learn from wildlife. (60 minutes)
    Grade 1: CO Science Standard 2.2
FIELD TRIP PROGRAMS:
  • (Gunnison Area) Ecology: Habitat Exploration – Students learn about animal adaptations and the components of healthy habitats through sensory and observation activities. (3 hours)
    Grade 1: CO Science Standard 2.2, Grade 2: CO Science Standard 2.1
  • (Montrose Area) Ecology: Habitat Exploration – Students learn about animal adaptations and the components of healthy habitats through sensory and observation activities. (3 hours)
    Grade 1: CO Science Standard 2.2, Grade 2: CO Science Standard 2.1
 

Grade 2


CLASSROOM PROGRAMS:
  • Animal Autographs: Signs that Black Canyon and Curecanti Animals Leave Behind – Students become National Park wildlife detectives learning to read animal tracks and other signs to determine the presence of native wildlife. The program ends with the creation of a natural soundscape. (60 minutes)
    Grade 2: CO Science Standard 2.2
FIELD TRIP PROGRAMS:
  • (Gunnison Area) Ecology: Habitat Exploration – Students learn about animal adaptations and the components of healthy habitats through sensory and observation activities. (3 hours)
    Grade 1: CO Science Standard 2.2, Grade 2: CO Science Standard 2.1
  • (Montrose Area) Ecology: Habitat Exploration – Students learn about animal adaptations and the components of healthy habitats through sensory and observation activities. (3 hours)
    Grade 1: CO Science Standard 2.2, Grade 2: CO Science Standard 2.1
 

Grade 3


CLASSROOM PROGRAMS:
  • Geology: Black Canyon Rocks! – Students explore the geologic events that formed the landscapes of Curecanti and Black Canyon. Students review rock forming processes, identify rock samples, and learn to read the stories behind the scenery. (60 minutes)
    Grade 3: CO Science Standard 3.1
FIELD TRIP PROGRAMS:
  • (Gunnison Area) Geology: Dillon Pinnacles Adventure Hike – Students explore the past and present geologic forces that formed the Dillon Pinnacles. The three rock types are identified within the landscape. (3.5 hours)
    Grade 3: CO Science Standard 3.1
  • (Montrose Area) Geology: Rockin' Out at the Black Canyon – Students explore the past and present geologic forces that formed the magnificent Black Canyon of the Gunnison. The three rock types are identified within the landscape. (3.5 hours)
    Grade 3: CO Science Standard 3.1
  • (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 history of this area and the struggle in balancing human needs and wilderness ideals. (3.5 hours)
    Grade 3: CO Social Studies Standard 2.1, Grade 4: CO Social Studies Standard 2.2
 

Grade 4


CLASSROOM PROGRAMS:
  • Fascinating Fossils of Curecanti NRA – Students explore the processes by which evidence of past life is preserved through fossilization and how that evidence can help decipher Colorado’s fascinating past. (60 minutes)
    Grade 4: CO Science Standard 2.2
  • Water We Share: Exploring the Gunnison River Watershed – Interactive demonstrations and activities illustrate the water cycle, watersheds, and the many uses of this precious resource with an emphasis on human impact on waterways. (60 minutes)
    Grade 4: CO Science Standard 2.3
FIELD TRIP PROGRAMS:
  • (Gunnison Area) Curecanti Ecology: Wild Adaptations! – Students learn the relationships between living and non-living components in the Curecanti ecosystem. Plant and animal adaptations are explored through hands-on observations and role-playing. (3.5 hours)
    Grade 4: CO Science Standards 2.3
  • (Montrose Area) Black Canyon Ecology: Wild Adaptations! – Students learn the relationships between living and non-living components in the Black Canyon ecosystem. Plant and animal adaptations are explored using hands-on observations and role-playing. (3.5 hours)
    Grade 4: CO Science Standards 2.3
  • (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 3: CO Social Studies Standard 2.1, Grade 4: CO Social Studies Standard 2.2
 

Grade 5


CLASSROOM PROGRAMS:
  • From Water to Electricity: Understanding Colorado's Energy – Students discover the many sources of electricity. Renewable and nonrenewable resources are defined, environmental impacts are analyzed, and conservation actions are encouraged. (60 minutes)
    Grade 5: CO Science Standard 3.1
  • A Black Canyon Adventure: Navigate Your Parks Using Maps and GPS – Students learn the best types of maps to use to explore Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP and then use GPS units to hunt for hidden caches on school grounds. (90 minutes)
    Grade 5: CO Social Studies Standard 2.1, Grade 6: CO Social Studies Standard 2.1
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. Human impacts on geology are also analyzed. (3.5 hours)
    Grade 5: CO Science Standard 3.2, Grade 6: CO Science Standard 3.1
  • (Montrose Area) Geology: Geologic History of Black Canyon – Students explore the past and present geologic forces that sculpted the magnificent Black Canyon. Human impacts on geology are also analyzed. (3.5 hours)
    Grade 5: CO Science Standards 3.2, Grade 6: CO Science Standard 3.1
 

Grade 6


CLASSROOM PROGRAMS:
  • A Black Canyon Adventure: Navigate Your Parks Using Maps and GPS –Students learn the major features of maps while learning how to navigate through the Black Canyon. Students then use GPS units to hunt for hidden caches on school grounds. (90 minutes)
    Grade 5: CO Social Studies Standard 2.1, Grade 6: CO Social Studies Standard 2.1
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. Human impacts on geology are also analyzed. (3.5 hours)
    Grade 5: CO Science Standard 3.2, Grade 6: CO Science Standard 3.1
  • (Montrose Area) Geology: Geologic History of Black Canyon – Students explore the past and present geologic forces that sculpted the magnificent Black Canyon. Human impacts on geology are also analyzed. (3.5 hours)
    Grade 6: CO Science Standard 3.1
 

Grade 7


CLASSROOM PROGRAMS:
  • Exploring Geology: Earth's History Written in Black Canyon Rocks – Students explore the geologic events that formed 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)
    Grade 7: CO Science Standard 3.1
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 tectonic plates action. Human impacts on geology are also analyzed. (3.5 hours)
    Grade 7: CO Science Standard 3.2
  • (Montrose Area) Geology: Geologic History of Black Canyon – Students explore the past and present geologic forces that sculpted the magnificent Black Canyon including tectonic plates action. Human impacts on geology are also analyzed. (3.5 hours)
    Grade 7: CO Science Standard 3.1
 

Program Dates and Times, Fee Waivers, and More


Education programs are available Tuesday through Friday, excluding federal holidays during the following dates: September 12 through November 10, 2017 and March 6 through May 4, 2018. Field trips may begin any time after 9:30 AM. They should conclude in time for a safe return to your school (no later than 2:30 PM). School site 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 by early September.

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 disturbing, please let us know in advance so adjustments can be made. Please also inform us of any special considerations, including food allergies, at the time of program registration.

Last updated: July 27, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

102 Elk Creek
Gunnison, CO 81230

Phone:

(970) 641-2337 x205

Contact Us