Nestled in the beautiful Bridger-Teton National Forest near Jackson, Wyoming, the American Wilderness Leadership School (AWLS) provides the perfect atmosphere for educational programs. Established in 1976 with the vision of providing educators with a useful hands-on experience that they can bring home to their classrooms, AWLS has provided an accredited conservation education program for more than 6,000 teachers who reach more than a million students annually and a challenging experience for more than 1,700 high school students.

The program was obviously initiated and managed with teachers in mind. From the hands on use of firearms, archery and lab skills to the curriculum instruction on Project Wild and Project Wet, we were shown how to incorporate a variety of approaches with our own students at our respective schools. It was very nice to work with a rich mix of teachers from elementary to secondary since the two of us represent both areas. We both found the activities we were involved with will be very useful in our classrooms. Most of all, we would like to thank you for the opportunity that reminded both of us that experiencing the natural world should and will be incorporated into the preparation of our youth for the lives they will lead as well rounded adults.
John and Alane Wolner, Colorado

Read the article “Wilderness School Offers Teachers, Students Unique Opportunity” by Bob Frye to learn more about the AWLS experience. 

Reprinted with permission from the Tribune-Review newspaper in Pittsburgh

Read More About AWLS

Educators renew their energy and enthusiasm for teaching with an eight-day professional development workshop

The American Wilderness Leadership School (AWLS) in Jackson, Wyoming offers hands-on lessons focused around the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation as-well-as engaging take home lessons on conservation education that have been integrated into K-12 math, science, language arts, social studies and physical education.

While at AWLS, educators learn to effectively use the outdoors as a classroom while participating in fun, exciting activities, including an Introduction to shooting sports and a white water raft trip on the Snake River, taught by enthusiastic Instructors that are experts in their fields.

Poignant guest speakers like Harlan Kredit, high school science teacher and summer Yellowstone Park Ranger and college professors Dr. Gary San Julian, PhD, Professor Emeritus Penn State University, Dr. Fidel Hernandez, Dr. Bart Ballard, PhD, Research Scientist and Professor, Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute & Department of Animal and Wildlife Sciences, Texas A&M University–Kingsville, Kingsville, Texas will inspire them for years to come.

Content-relevant field trips to Pinedale, Wyoming Gas Fields, National Elk Refuge, Teton Park Visitor Center, and Jackson, Wyoming and meetings with Wyoming Game & Fish Biologists and the Bureau of Land Management land managers will provide ‘real-world” experiences they can take back and share with the students in their classrooms.

Educators may choose from one of six eight-day Workshop sessions, June 9th through August 17th. They may sign up now, as a limited number of tuition sponsorships, a $900 value, are still available.  For information on registration, program specifics, and session dates contact Todd Roggenkamp at or (520)954-0669.

What is AWLS?

  • AWLS is professional development for educators. If desired, it can be taken for college credit through Colorado State University.   We also offer continuing education units.
  • It is about learning to use the outdoors as a classroom – balancing indoor with outdoor classes.
  • It is about learning to incorporate conservation education lessons into existing curriculum content: math, science, language arts, social studies, physical education and art.
  • The North American Model of Wildlife Management is the core of conservation understanding.
  • A basic law of ecology is that everything is connected to everything else – interconnected.  Like nature everything in the AWLS Educator workshop is interconnected.

2nd Grade Teacher Learns About Wildlife Conservation and Giving Back at SCI Foundation’s American Wilderness Leadership School.

By Katie Baker

2nd grade teacher Katie Baker attended SCI Foundation’s American Wilderness Leadership School (AWLS) in Jackson, WY this summer.   While learning about how to use the outdoors as a classroom and incorporating wilderness conservation into her curriculum, she was introduced to SCI Foundation’s SafariCare Bell Family Blue Bag program.  The program provides much needed humanitarian supplies to rural communities around the world.  Katie stepped up and decided to “Pay it Forward” by taking a Blue Bag on a recent safari to South Africa.
Read Katie’s Story
Click on images below to see more of our programs and activities.

2019 Summer Schedule

The school offers six teacher sessions and one student session for ages 16-18 in Wyoming. A registration fee of $900 covers meals, lodging, and round-trip ground transportation to and from the Jackson, Wyoming, airport.

Scholarships are available.

2019 AWLS Applications

Click links below for 2019 AWLS applications.

June 6 – June 13                Educator Workshop 1

June 16 – June 23              Educator Workshop 2

June 26 – July 2                 Student Session – High School (Limited to 30)

July 5 – July 12                  Educator Workshop 3

July 15 – July 22                Educator Workshop 4

July 25 – Aug 1                   Educator Workshop 5

Aug 4 – Aug 11                   Educator Workshop 6


Todd Roggenkamp

Assistant Director of Education

SCI Foundation AWLS

May – October


9400 MacLeod Rd

Jackson, WY 83001


October – May

SCIF Education Department

4800 West Gates Pass Road

Tucson, AZ 85745