School Programs

Ecology Field Program

The main focus of the SMNHC, the Ecology Field Program (EFP),  reaches over 12,000 students, teachers, and chaperones each year.  Using the outdoors, this program teaches students about the interconnectedness of the biotic and abiotic parts of an ecosystem with a hands-on scientific approach.

The program normally consists of:
• 1/2-hour Ecosystem Introduction/Review
• 2-hour Nature Hike
• 1/2-hour Lunch Break
• Time permitting, a hands-on activity covering some aspect of ecology or conservation. Activities could include bug hunts, orienteering, or a scavenger hunt.

The EFP is geared towards the 5th grade, but is well suited for grades 3 through 7. This program strives to serve all APS fifth-grade students as well as students from surrounding school districts. Students are introduced to ecosystems and human connections to ecosystems through a day of field explorations, discovery, and hands-on learning in the outdoors. The program is free of charge, however you will be responsible for your students' transportation to the center. All lessons and activities are aligned with the New Mexico State Science Standards, Next Generation Science Standards and the Common Core State Standards. 

To schedule a trip:

APS teachers contact:
Vince Case
(505) 281-5259

Non-APS teachers contact:
Chris Modelski
(505) 281-5259

Traveling Ecology Field Program

For schools outside the Albuquerque area we offer the Traveling Ecology Field Program (TEFP).  This is the traditional Ecology Field Program taught anywhere in the state. In this exciting program the staff of the SMNHC will meet your students at a “wild” area near your school and will lead students on a nature hike, interpreting the natural surroundings to explain how all the parts of an ecosystem are connected. The focus is to familiarize the students with their local ecosystem.

"Wild" teaching areas require hiking trails, restroom facilities, school bus access, and a parking area. Areas that have been used for the TEFP include State Parks, National Forest campgrounds and picnic areas, BLM land, and natural ecosystems within walking distance from the school.

To Schedule a Traveling Ecology Field Program:

Chris Modelski
(505) 281-5259