What do you learn on Field Quarter?

A student giving a presentation on the salmon life cycle around the fire at the Angelo Reserve in Mendocino County

The following quotes are from NHFQ alumni who participated in a survey in 2012 as part of Field Quarter 40th Anniversary Celebration:

"During NHFQ, I gained a deep appreciation for the complexity, diversity and (in some cases) fragility of our ecosystems in California, and my own responsibility to help protect our planet. I don't think I would have developed this sense otherwise. In my professional life, I have worked closely with key city and county decision-makers on many issues that directly or indirectly affected our environment. I like to believe that I have carried my NHFQ sensibilities into my work to ensure that environmental impacts are considered in the government decision-making process."

"Being able to participate in the NHFQ program helped me to understand the basics of field ecology, feel a connection with nature, and bond with other like minded individuals who remain some of my closest friends. Environmental challenges require a positive group collaboration to be effective. They also require people who can see the complexities of a situation and are committed to getting to the root of the problem. FQ has helped me understand "the big pic" in this respect."

"I learned how to find the answers myself and how to use the art of questioning to do so. I left with a wide scope of knowledge of CA flora and fauna and understood how all of the various organisms and abiotic factors connected. Its this holistic approach to environmental studies that is most useful in a field of specific experts."

"Networking with people I went on the course with and professors; learning how to be a critical observer of natural history; identification skills of plants and birds was extremely important and these skills helped me get many jobs."

"Being shown, not told, but shown that this worlds natural beauty is more complex than can every truly be understood. Therefore, proving to me that there will never be a scenario where I can find myself bored or unable to find awe in my surroundings. Also, the truly raw, unreserved connection gained to the natural world as well as the 30+ people who shared this experience with me. The natural world and these people specifically will be apart of me wherever I go, and allow me to proceed in life with a confidence I thought unattainable before participating in NHFQ."

"General appreciation for nature and the environment that will last me a lifetime and ripple out to those around me. The realization that I can study a specific topic on my own and then comfortably teach others about it. Presentation preparation really helped build my confidence and ability to voice a well thought out opinion."

"It inspired me to do field-based environmental research, which I went on to do for the rest of my career. It also led to additional opportunities at UCSC, like an internship in AK which shaped my career path, and a senior thesis study in the Kingston Range of CA."

"I stopped thinking of environmental issues in terms of black and white. It opened up the complexity of these systems to me, and made me really think about different types of stewardship."