WYSE Field Visit Descriptions

On Tuesday, WYSE Delegates will split into five smaller groups to visit organizations and facilities in the Washington, DC area related to conservation and the environment. Each student will visit only one location, and we are asking students to rank the available visit locations based on preference. We will confirm your field visit via email one week prior to WYSE.

Friends of the Rappahannock (FOR):
Friends of the Rappahannock: Water Quality Assessment & Canoeing takes students to Fredericksburg, VA, where they will become water quality specialists and complete sampling and assessment activities to determine the biological and chemical health of the Rappahannock River. After their assessments, they can enjoy nature through a guided tour and a canoe trip on the river. Friends of the Rappahannock (FOR) is a citizen organization with a mission to be the voice and active force for a healthy and scenic Rappahannock River. This river dumps directly into the Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in the United States.

Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI):
The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia is the home of the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation (SMSC), where students will come face-to-face with some of the most endangered species in the world. During this field visit, students will explore the career of a Smithsonian scientist as they tour this magnificent research facility, have conversations with Smithsonian researchers, and participate in field sampling exercises. SMSC seeks to sustain global biodiversity by advancing the theory and practice of conservation biology with transformative, transdisciplinary education.

Skyline Caverns/Wetland Studies and Solutions:
The Water Flow through Earth’s Surface field visit takes students to the Skyline Caverns, a series of 50 million year old caverns in the Shenandoah Valley, and then to Wetland Studies and Solutions, a leading natural resources consulting company focused on wetlands. During their time at Skyline Caverns, students will learn about the role of water in underground ecosystems and see anthrodite formations unique to these caverns. They will then travel to Wetland Studies and Solutions, where they will tour their LEED-gold offices and learn about their work to protect wetlands.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA):
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is a United States federal government agency responsible for aeronautics and aerospace research. During this field visit, students will learn about the climate research being done at NASA through talks with NASA Engineers and staff. Students will visualize current climate, weather, and oceanography research on NASA’s huge Hyperwall Theater at NASA’s Center for Climate Simulation. This unique visual tools allows researchers to display modeling data across 15 high-definition screens, giving students a detailed look at worldwide climate and weather phenomena.
*Students who attend this visit must be citizens of the United States with a valid government-issued photo ID that they are required to carry with them on the site visit.

National Aquarium in Baltimore:
The National Aquarium in Baltimore is one of the top aquariums in the nation that works at a regional and global level on conservation initiatives that provide real solutions for protecting marine and aquatic life alongside human communities. Students who attend this trip will get special access to the “behind the scenes” non-public areas at the aquarium. Students can expect to meet with staff and researchers at the National Aquarium and learn about the important conservation work this organization is doing to support our marine environments around the world.