Mountain Research Skills Certificate Program

Students identifying trees

Mountain Environments Research Institute Certificate Program 

The goals of this program are to foster the development of interdisciplinary research skills for students intending on working in remote or mountain environments. Mountain environments possess unique characteristics that make them vulnerable to environmental perturbation and difficult to study. Students in this program will learn basic mountain environmental science issues, general expedition safety skills and logistics, research techniques for these complex socio-ecological systems, how to build collaborative community research relationships, and effective mountain stewardship strategies. Certificate program students will learn essential research skills, develop a research project, and then carry out the project during a field research experience either domestically or internationally.

Here's a video that describes the Peru summer experience that forms the core of the certificate.

Certificate Course Availability

The quarter noted below is when each of the certificate courses would regularly be offered specifically for students enrolled in the program – mainly through Extended Education. WWU Students would be able to take them as they fit into their program (over more than one year if needed) – in consultation with the MRS certificate advisor John All. Non-WWU students can complete the program in one year.

Fall Quarter

· ESCI 439 Conservation of Biological Diversity - CORE

Winter Quarter

· RECR 370 Outdoor Program Development - CORE

· ESCI 328 Intro Ecosystem Management - CORE

Spring Quarter

· ESCI 397H Intro Mountain Research - CORE

Summer Quarter

· ESCI 498 Mountain Science in Peru or equivalent field research experience in consultation with your MRS advisor

Other Requirements

One interdisciplinary class (from a list of 26 possibilities, or in consultation with your MRS advisor) can be taken as convenient over the course of the program, but it must be completed before certificate completion. 

Complete one outdoor skillscourse outside of WWU:  examples include American Alpine Institute’s 12-day Alpine Mountaineering & Technical Leadership course; or a 9-day Wilderness First Responder course; or a 6-day AIARE Avalanche Level 1 & Level 2