Westminster Expedition Students in the Open American West

During the 2017 Fall Semester, 14 students, two professors, and a program coordinator will load books, camping gear, and themselves into a couple of vans and hit the road for a semester-long tour of the American West.

The trip is designed as an exploration into the issues at the heart of the contemporary West. Students will earn 16 credits in environmental studies and history as they study Environmental Cooperation and Conflict, Landscape and Meaning, the History of Public Lands, and the Native West.

This prolonged journey into the field will allow us to learn directly from landscapes and ecosystems, as well as from people who live, work, and study in those places. Together, we expect to build a cohort of impassioned scholars with a particular breadth and depth of experiential knowledge who are equipped to build a better future for the West.

We will visit iconic, protected sites like Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks, contentious places like the Little Bighorn and the Malheur Wildlife Refuge, working landscapes like the Butte Copper Mines, and communities from present-day Native nations to "New West" towns like Bend, Twisp, and Moab.

Meet the Expedition

Learn More About the Students and Faculty on the Expedition

Read the Latest Journal Entry

Bibek Neupane

July 1, 2015

Presidential Ambassador Bibek NeupaneFar away from his home in Nepal, Bibek Neupane is a junior at Westminster double-majoring in economics and theatre. College was always part of his and his parent's plan, but without scholarship support, Bibek's education would have looked much different.

"I wouldn't be here without my scholarships," he says. "Scholarships have helped me come to Westminster where I can learn economics, I can double major with Theatre, and I can do other activities and take other classes that I like."

Bibek has taken full advantage of what Westminster has to offer. He's a well-known face across campus, serving as a Student Instructor, Presidential Ambassador, Residential Advisor over the diversity floor, and a member of Westminster's Griffin Quest leadership program. And Westminster is fortunate to have students like Bibek who enhance diversity and deepen cultural awareness across campus and in the classroom.

After he graduates, Bibek hopes to work for the UN to support developing countries around the world, and he believes the opportunities he's had at Westminster—especially scholarship aid—will help him achieve his goals. To his scholarship donors he says, "Because of them, I am receiving an education that less than one percent of kids from Nepal are receiving right now. This is an immense privilege for me to come and study here; it is life changing."

You can support this kind of transformational experience for Westminster students. Make your gift today!

View All Journal Entries →

Expedition in the News

Two people on a canoe
Group of Students around Campfire

The Route

Our proposed route is an enormous figure eight, heading northwest first (because of potential early winter weather) and including Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Arizona, and Utah. Course-related sites include sites of environmental/cultural conflict or cooperation (e.g., Malheur National Wildlife Refuge; East Tavaputs Plateau tar sands; Klamath River dams; the Berkeley Pit, the Nevada Test Site, Owens Lake); National Parks (e.g., Yellowstone, North Cascades, Olympic, Redwood, Grand Canyon, Great Basin); wilderness areas (e.g., Bob Marshall, Glacier Peak); Native nations and sites (e.g., Burns Paiute, Coast Salish, Miwok, the Nez Perce trail, Colville, Pyramid Lake, Hopi); dam sites (e.g., Teton, Grand Coulee, Hoover, Hetch Hetchy, Snake River); and relevant towns/cities (e.g., Bozeman, Bend, Cody, Moab, Winthrop, Page).

Expedition Route

Course Descriptions

Follow the Expedition's Progress