Wright-Ingraham Institute Field Stations Program

Frequently Asked Questions for Applicants 

  1. How many participants will be selected to participate in this year’s program?
    A small group of participants, less than 10, is expected to participate in this year’s program.
  2. How many faculty/facilitators will be present?
    We anticipate 30 faculty and facilitators including WII staff will rotate through the program, some staying for several days. Some we will meet and stay with in the field at their home locality, others will travel to meet with us for a day or an afternoon, others will join us and travel with the group for a longer duration. On average 2-5 faculty and facilitators will accompany the group on any given day.
  3. What criteria are used to determine the selection of program participants?
    WII strives to select a wide range of exceptional participants across race, gender, age and experience, and differently-abled contributors that will benefit from the program.The overriding criteria for evaluating Field Stations applicants is the likelihood of advancing emerging leaders in their respective fields, especially those engaged in community-building in fields relating to climate-change resiliency.Field Stations programming focuses on building integrated knowledge at the nexus of creative design, planning, policy, and socio-environmental research and application, and is targeted towards early career professionals or those at a high academic level.
  4. Are there any costs to participate?The workshop itself, food, accommodation, and local travel are all presented free-of-charge to participants via scholarships from the Wright-Ingraham Institute.Participants are asked to pay an up-front $300 non-refundable fee to secure their place following acceptance to the program. Additionally, participants will be required to cover their own travel costs to and from Albuquerque, New Mexico (the start and end point of the Field Stations workshop).Black and Indigenous participants, or others in need that can demonstrate financial hardship, may apply for additional support. Please contact us directly at fieldstations@wright-ingraham.org to discuss options.
  5. Why am I asked to pay a $300 security fee to participate in the program?
    The fee is requested to hold the participants’ place in the workshop, to avoid last minute cancellations, and to insure the participants’ commitment. We understand that this is a very unstable time and last minute changes may occur, so we ask participants to examine all materials, consider their own COVID-19 comfort as well as their ability to participate in a month of in-the-field research which involves extensive travel, and the toll that 31 days of movement to new locations, new people, new places, and new ways of being might entail emotionally before committing to participate in the program.
    Those in financial hardship may apply for a fee waiver and a small scholarship. Please contact us directly at fieldstations@wright-ingraham.org to discuss options.
  6. What is the impact you hope students gain from this experience?
    The aim of the Field Stations program is to provide a deeper understanding of the interconnectedness of nature and culture, expand exposure to multi-disciplinary perspectives, positively influence and enhance professional skills and leadership development opportunities, and lead to providing better socio-environmental services for communities.
  7. How will this program help advance participants’ careers?
    This form of integrative learning is important because it helps create symbiotic connections to ideas across various subjects and disciplines in a practical way, while enhancing participant’s ability to solve problems creatively.
  8. What community service activities do participants engage in? 
    A number of community service activities are envisioned and possible as part of the program across multiple sites, for example: students will have the opportunity to work with the Ute Mountain Tribe on a riparian restoration project.
  9. Is this program affiliated with any other organizations, And if so how?
    Field Stations is a program of the Wright-Ingraham Institute. The Field Stations program is presented in 2022 in partnership with Mountain Studies Institute (MSI), an independent not-for-profit mountain research and education center established in 2002 in Silverton, Colorado.
  10. What is the Institute’s COVID-19 positive policy?
    As per prevailing local regulations and WII policy, WII will require evidence of current vax status, negative test 48 hours prior to joining group, negative test after travel upon arrival. With the small number of participants – a pod – and the curriculum that maximizes time spent in open spaces, we believe this will greatly reduce many of the risks associated with the transmission of Covid-19. Participants should be aware, however, that there is also substantial time spent traveling together in a van on a daily basis, and in some instances, we will be working indoors. Our accommodations also require room sharing. In these contexts, we will not be socially distanced. We also require all participants, without exception, to provide proof of vaccination, acknowledge our safety protocols, and sign our liability waiver upon acceptance to the program. Obtaining private travel insurance is also a requirement and an obligation that falls to the participant. If a participant tests positive for COVID while on the trip, participants’ own insurance will be expected to provide quarantine accommodation during an isolation or quarantine period. The same policy applies if multiple participants test positive.
    If an exposure event requires postponement or abandonment of the Field Stations program, participants will be offered the opportunity to have their participation deferred to a later time or receive a refund of their security fee.
  11. What do we eat during the trip? Are meals available for special diets, food allergies, vegan or vegetarian preferences, etc?Participants will be asked to inform us about any dietary restrictions prior to the program start. We will provide three main meals a day and we will strive to accommodate all needs, as well as sourcing fresh and local food. Breakfast will typically be self served and during excursions lunch and snacks will be brought along. At the locations with full kitchen access we will engage in communal cooking. Other times local cuisines and establishments will be the source of the meals.
  12. Are there places to shop for personal items along the way and do laundry?
    When we travel between main locations we will schedule stops for general grocery shopping, which is a time when participants can purchase anything for personal use. There will be times scheduled for laundry. Everyone is responsible to cover the costs for their laundry.
  13. Where do participants stay?
    Each location will have a different type of accommodation (house, cabin, dorm) with the common thread that all accommodation is shared.
  14. Are there “off days” for participants to unwind?
    Yes, we recognize the importance of personal time and we keep one day a week clear of any programming.
  15. How is room sharing organized? 
    Through discussion and consensus among participants.
  16. Will rooms be shared between participants and visiting faculty/facilitators or WII staff?
    No, at no point will participants share rooms with visiting faculty or WII facilitators.
  17. How are students emotionally supported and physically protected?
    WII facilitators are trained educators and facilitators, with longstanding experience in the classroom and in experiential learning situations as well as in field research. Facilitators bring experience in conflict mediation, de-escalation, and small-group facilitation, and are charged with ensuring the personal safety of all participants and guest faculty in the field.
    At least one facilitator present on any given day will have completed recent CPR training and basic field medical training in case of physical injury. Most faculty and many facilitators have experience living in and working in the Southwest and particular safety and health issues in the area.
    The Wright-Ingraham Institute embraces individuals from all walks of life. We value justice, diversity, equity and Inclusion and everything that those four words represent in today’s global society. Racism, discrimination, microaggressions, and harrassment of any kind will not be allowed during the workshop and anyone found to be creating a hostile, aggressive, or emotionally or physically dangerous environment will be asked to leave at their own expense. Please see WII’s Code of Conduct for more on this: https://wright-ingraham.org/wp-content/uploads/pdfs/org/code_of_conduct.pdf
    Firearms and other weapons as well as controlled substances are strictly prohibited.
  18. Is it possible to attend for only part of the program?
    No. Given the small number of participants accepted, the per-participant cost of the program to WII, and the nature of travel off the grid, participants are expected to attend the entire program from start to finish.
  19. What does this program offer that others don’t…why choose this program over others?The Field Stations program is a unique program that focuses on experience and observation, and that examines how we record our observations and the representation of nature in the design fields and beyond. The program seeks to build community and connections across disciplines, from art, design, the humanities, and the physical and social sciences. The program has provided transformative experiences to emerging leaders since the mid-1970s. It was one of the first such in-the-field experiential learning workshops of its kind, founded by the visionary architect and educator Elizabeth Wright Ingraham, and continued to this day by alumni of the program. The program offers an extended period of time spent in the field, knowledgeable expert educators and facilitators, and an immersive learning environment.
  20. Is this an annual program and can I apply next year?It is likely that WII will pursue some manifestation of field-based learning next year, but the current year’s program is a uniquely formulated itinerary with faculty and facilitators specially suited to the current site and time.
  21. How much time is spent in the car a day, How much in the field, How much in the classroom?
    This varies by day over the period of the workshop. There is outdoor field time provided in many different settings, ecological conditions and climates. Many days will have some indoor learning in addition to time outside in the field. Many days will involve several hours of driving to study sites. The landscape of the Southwest is powerfully compelling and we will be traversing a small area over the course of a month. However, we will often be traveling on small roads through rural areas and stopping to visit and study at many places along the way.
  22. Can you walk us through a typical day of field stations? 
    There are no typical days. All days are unique.
  23. Is this program taking into account the ecological footprint of conducting the program?WII will observe all reasonable best practices for reducing our ecological footprint, however we all must understand that we will be traveling by car, and some of us will be traveling to the program study area via air travel.
  24. Can you tell us the highlights of the program?
    Every day will be an adventure and a learning opportunity. We hope that there will be challenges and many rewards expected from spending time in nature, among peers, learning from knowledgeable experts and elders who have a deep investment in place. Some students may find one kind of experience a highlight, others may be moved by something altogether different.
  25. Can you tell us what this faculty member or that faculty member will be teaching?
    Yes, please see the CURRICULUM pages on our website as well as our PEOPLE page to learn more about this year’s areas of study, regional expertise, and background of faculty/facilitators.
  26. Can we work alone?
    If a participant wants to work exclusively independently on a project over the duration of the workshop that can be accommodated, but of course we will still be traveling as a group and taking part in exercises and activities together.
  27. Can we work in a group?
    Yes, the program encourages collaboration across participant disciplines and sharing in groups.
  28. Who owns the intellectual material? Is it creative commons?
    The WII follows standard university protocol on intellectual property. All work created over the course of the workshop belongs to the participant. The institute has the right to use study materials in documents for grant reporting and future promotion of the Field Stations workshop.
  29. What is the focus of the program? Is it an environmental design program for creatives? Or a creative program for environmental design people?
    We use an integrative studies model to emphasize cross-disciplinary problem solving. By bringing diverse viewpoints and practitioners together, we can examine socio-ecological relationships and build on the proposition that we (humans) are fully a part of nature. Understanding interconnectedness is critical to successfully resolving challenging issues in our rapidly changing world.As the workshop is cross-disciplinary, as such we hope it appeals to both creatives and designers interested in learning more about the environment, the sciences, and environmental design fields, and to current environmental designers, planners, architects, and scientists interested in ways to leverage their own creativity and the art & design fields in their respective practices.
  30. What will I learn?
    We hope that you will learn to see in different ways – the interrelationships between living and non-living systems – from lands and water to people and place.In this program, participants will:- Imagine and understand interconnected systems- Broaden perception through interdisciplinary collaborations

    – Gain field inquiry experience and ecological literacy

    – Use tools from the sciences, arts and humanities

    – Foster a supportive alumni and faculty community

    – Advance a creative and investigative project

  31. What if I need extra support to attend?
    Please contact us directly at fieldstations@wright-ingraham.org to discuss.
  32. Is this program accessible to anyone needing extra accommodations? If so, who and how?
    The program strives to be as accessible and inclusive as possible, with the understanding that travel in vans and certain terrains may create difficulty on multiple days for people with a range of abilities. We are committed to providing an immersive experience to all who apply and commit to being part of the program and would like to hear from you if you have any particular questions, concerns, or accessibility requests please contact us directly at fieldstations@wright-ingraham.org to discuss.
  33. What’s the typical age and makeup of participants?
    We expect to invite participants from a diverse and inclusive range of racial, ethnic, regional, and socio-economic backgrounds, with a median age projected to be between 23-35.
  34. Who is leading this program and will they be there the entire time?
    Kevin Bone, Field Stations Director, is the principal on the project and will be present most every day, along with two WII Field Stations associates, Frida Foberg and Margaux Wheelock-Shew who will be present the entire time. Marcie Bidwell and Jake Kurzweil of Mountain Studies Institute will be present for about ten days of the program. On almost all days there will be multiple faculty and facilitators involved. Bios of all facilitators are posted on the PEOPLE pages on the Wright-Ingraham Institute website.
  35. Can you get school credit for this program?
    This is up to the participants’ home institution. WII will support any effort to do so with letters and program descriptions to the degree possible.
  36. My semester doesn’t finish until after the start date of this program. Can I join late?
    No, unfortunately, as noted above, full attendance on all program dates is required of all participants.
  37. Does WII have an Ethics Statement?
    Yes, The Wright-Ingraham Code of Ethics Statement outlines our stance on matters of professional ethics and institutional integrity. It applies to who we employ, our donors, and other parties with whom we conduct business, and requires all those with whom we have professional relationships to adhere to generally accepted ethics guidelines involving any interactions with humans or animals. This includes employees, interns, volunteers, associates, scholars and faculty, but also organizational and institutional entities such as grantees, foundations and trusts. We believe such principles are essential to maintaining professional morality, legality and health. We base our values on the common principles of professional ethics: Respect for all human and non-human life and the natural world; Integrity, honesty and justice; Non-violence and no-harm conduct; Competence and accountability; Teamwork and congeniality; Relationships free of harassment, discrimination, and conflicts of interest.
  38. Does WII have a Land Acknowledgement?
    Yes, please see our Living Land Acknowledgment & Position Statement: https://wright-ingraham.org/wp-content/uploads/pdfs/org/living_land.pdf