Our field schools provide students with an opportunity to deepen their understanding and appreciation of our natural ecosystems, and more importantly, to experience first-hand, the wonders of our natural world while being challenged with developing and completing interesting, rigorous field research.
Course delivery timeline & locations
Each year, ENSU 3013 and ENSU 4013 field school courses start the two weeks immediately prior to Labour Day. During the fall semester students meet an additional 2 to 3 times; nb., generally twice in September and once in October. So while students officially register for the fall semester, the bulk of the content for both courses is completed during the end of summer; and thus, more time during the official school term is freed up for study and other activities.
Participation in both the summer fieldwork component and the fall in-class sessions is mandatory to obtain a passing grade. Both courses are offered every year.
During week 1, much of the day is spent at field sites around Lakehead Orillia campus. Each class formally meets 3 days this week, with the off days meant for independent study/research project planning. The 4013 students officially meet Monday, Tuesday, and Friday while the 3013 students meet Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. On official class days, fieldwork takes place from 09h00 to 16h30, with a break for lunch in between.
The following week we spend 3 nights in Algonquin Park (Monday to Wednesday, returning Thursday evening). We stay in cabins at the Algonquin Park Wildlife Research Station (WRS). Please peruse the website (https://www.algonquinwrs.ca/) to help familiarise yourself with the WRS and surrounding area. There are many photos of the facilities and summaries of ongoing research at the station to help inspire creativity.
Our fieldwork schedule is more variable during week 2, with times dependent on what we are researching. Please note that all meals are provided while at the WRS. There is also a laundry machine available for use.
During the fall semester, two or three, 3-hour classroom sessions will be held, twice in September and once in October.
Students are charged Fall Registration fees for the course. There are no extra summer tuition charges.
An ancillary fee of $310 is collected to help offset expenses for supplies, travel, and food and lodging at the WRS (https://www.lakeheadu.ca/current-students/tuition-fees/fees/fees-for-services-co-op-fees-course-related-fees).
Personal gear and supplies
There is some personal equipment that you will need in order to participate (more details on these items will be provided to students enrolled in the course):
- Sleeping bag
- Warm clothing (we do field work rain or shine)
- Rain gear (coat, pants)
- Water bottle (refillable)
- Closed toe shoes with rubber soles; e.g., hiking shoes, running shoes, or boots
- Head lamp or flashlight
- Insect repellant