Instructor Guide

Instructor and students in the wetlands

Enhancing the Classroom

The campus wetlands provide a wonderful place to incorporate nature into your classes. Getting students outside, interacting with the natural world provides them with inspiration and excitement. At UW Bothell classes in natural sciences, arts, humanities, and education have used the campus wetlands to enrich students’ experiences (list of some classes that use the wetlands). K-12 teachers use the wetlands to excite their students about the natural world. You can bring your class for a walking tour on the paved trails and boardwalk or you could apply for a permit to take your class off of the boardwalk and deeper into the wetlands. Keep in mind that some access to the wetlands is regulated and requires permission (plan ahead!). See the information on the Visiting the Wetlands page for more details.

We do not have staff to guide your group visit. If you are going off of the paved trails and boardwalk you must become knowledgeable about the site and where you will go so that you can lead the trip. If this is your first, we require that the group leader make a field orientation visit prior to the group trip. You may indicate your need for this on your Wetland Exploration Permit application. If you would like a field orientation with one of our wetlands staff and are not applying for the Exploration Permit, you may request one electronically on the Questions? page.

Prepare Your Students

Have your students read about the wetlands on this web site. Consider using one of the introductory videos about the wetlands available in the Wetlands Electronic Archive. Also be sure they read and understand the Wetlands Access Regulations.

Your students should come prepared for travel in the wetlands. Many of these typical guidelines may prove useful for your trip:

  • Wear long pants and a long sleeve shirt. No shorts or t-shirts. Legs and arms can get scratched badly when moving through shrubby vegetation without trails.
  • Bring clothing for wet conditions – including a rain jacket, rain pants, and possibly a hat. Umbrellas do not work well in the dense vegetation and we request they not be carried open through the brush. Often students will get wet when it is not currently raining because the vegetation remains wet for a long time after a rain event.
  • Bring warm clothing – jacket, hat, gloves. You will be standing around for part of the time and it may get cold.
  • Rubber boots are strongly recommended as you will be travelling through mud and standing water. Be prepared to get your footwear wet!
  • Be prepared to write in the rain. Notebooks with water resistant paper are available in the bookstore. You can also cover a regular notebook with a large plastic bag while you write. Have a plan!
  • Consider bringing a change of clothes to campus if you have a class afterward.
  • Notify your instructors of any serious allergies to insect stings and bites and carry appropriate medication.

Visiting the Wetlands

In your role as the group leader you should be vigilant in (1) making sure all wetland regulations are followed, (2) looking after your students’ safety, and (3) ensuring that impacts to the wetlands are minimized. Be sure you have your permit with you at all times. We suggest you bring a first aid kit and cell phone with you in case of emergencies.

After Your Visit

You should be sure to return rubber boots if they were borrowed. The boots must be cleaned (there is a boot wash just outside of the Sarah Simonds Green Conservatory).