Footprints on the James 2015

UPDATE: 5/22/2015 – Following the Footprints:

Applications are now closed for the Footprints on the James 2015 course but you can watch their four week journey unfold here and on their blog. Follow along as students embark on a journey to discover the natural history of the James River.


It’s that time of year again! Footprints on the James 2015 is up and running, and we’re now accepting applications for the 2015 class. The principal goal for this class is to expose the students to the importance of the James River watershed to the residents of Virginia in the present, past and future. This collaborative, experiential learning opportunity will combine faculty from the VCU Departments of Biology, the Center for Environmental Studies, the VCU Rice Rivers Center and faculty from a wide variety of academic and research backgrounds. We will have experts from the VCU Department of History, the College of William and Mary Department of Geology, the US Fish and Wildlife Service and more! By immersing students in a natural landscape prominent in Virginia’s history, backpacking and canoeing through the watershed and down the river, this program represents a unique opportunity for students at VCU to learn about human history, natural history and how the two have shaped each other. The goals for each student will be to learn more about the specific features that make up this river system by identifying and stimulating individual ownership of particular issues of interest to each student before and during the class. In addition, students will learn and practice advanced camping, canoeing/kayaking, and outdoor living skills, including leave no trace camping. Students will also learn to function as team members, and will be instructed in expedition management, group dynamics, and leadership skills.

To apply, please send a 1-2 page personal statement and one letter of reference to Daniel Carr at Please include Footprints 2015 in the title. Applications will be accepted until at least April 1, 2015, but we may consider later applicants on a case-by-case basis. All students are encouraged to apply. There are no prerequisites for the class this year, and students of all disciplines are encouraged to apply. While some experience in the outdoors will be helpful, it is not necessary.

If you’re interested, or you or someone you know would like to know more about this unique experience, please stop by and speak to Daniel Carr, LFSC 234, or Edward Crawford, LFSC 125, in the Biology Department at 1000 W. Cary St. Please take a look at for more information.

See you on the river!