For Educators


Studies show that schools that use outdoor classrooms and other forms of experiential education produce significant student gains in social studies, science, language arts and math.

Field trips for school groups can be arranged to take place outdoors at the San Joaquin River NWR, or near Los Banos at the San Luis NWR's visitor center located approximately an hour from the San Joaquin River NWR.  Outdoor field trip activities at the San Joaquin River NWR may include a guided nature hike and ranger talks. 

An hour away near Los Banos, the San Luis NWR Visitor Center’s indoor classroom, and outdoor amphitheater and wetland are well-suited to support quality curriculum-based field trips for schools and other groups. By appointment, refuge staff can provide guided field trips. Please phone the refuge office for details.

There is always something to see throughout the refuge complex. The ideal time for viewing waterfowl is October through March; with large numbers of geese, cranes, and other waterfowl present from December to February. The tule elk rutting season can be experienced July through September; and the elk cows begin giving birth to calves in April. Other groups of migratory birds such as shorebirds, hawks, and songbirds can be seen during fall and spring migrations.

Field trips may include, but are not limited to, guided wetland/nature walks, scavenger hunts, hands-on learning in the Exhibit Hall, hands-on learning stations for outside activities, and wildlife viewing.

Contact the Refuge at 209/826-3508 to discuss your students’ needs and other activities and opportunities that can be arranged.