Black Rock Forest Field Trip
Cornwall, NY


Departments of
School of Education Noyce Scholars

Sat/Sunday March 18-19, 2017

For declared Geography majors/minors & Environmental Studies majors/minors
Noyce Scholars

Pictures from:
Spring 2015
Fall 2014

Fall 2013
Fall 2011

Spring 2010




This field trip has been organized by:

  • Tom Walter & Allen Frei, Department of Geography

  • Jeanne Weiler, Department of Educational Foundations and Counseling Programs


Field Work Objectives: Field data collection requires accurate location information. We plan to teach students compass and map reading skills via orienteering, GPS skills via geocaching and, weather permitting, Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) measurement techniques.


Tour Structure: GPS is the current method of recording accurate location information when collecting field data. Geocaching is an outdoor recreational activity in which participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or mobile device and other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers, called "geocaches" or "caches", at specific locations marked by coordinates all over the world. There are three existing geocaches within Black Rock Forest and we plan to add three more.


Orienteering is a group of sports that requires navigational skills using a map and compass to navigate from point to point in diverse and usually unfamiliar terrain. Participants are given a topographical map, usually a specially prepared orienteering map, which they use to find control points. We plan to use the two established orienteering courses at Black Rock Forest to teach the map and compass skills needed to complete the courses.


If there is sufficient snow cover we will teach students about the spatial variations of snow depth and the water equivalent of snow by taking SWE measurements at various locations in Black Rock Forest.

On the field trip we will:

  • Have a green building tour (solar panels, geothermal heating/cooling and composting toilets) of the Lodge and Science buildings.

  • Hike 7-10 miles in Black Rock Forest's 4000 acres on well-marked unimproved roads and trails.

The cost would normally be about $100 per person but we have significant funding from President Raab's Initiative
to Increase Student Engagement and Co-curricular Activity.

The cost is $15/person. That will include transportation via bus, lodging and food. If there is any money left over it will be divided by the number of students and refunded.

We plan to leave Hunter College's 68th Street West Building entrance at 8:30am Saturday and return to Hunter by 6:00pm on Sunday.

The Black Rock Forest Consortium Center for Science and Education has a Forest Lodge to accommodate overnight visitors. The Lodge has a commercial kitchen with stove, refrigerators, pots, pans, dishes, glasses and utensils. We'll prepare a menu ahead of time and will purchase food the day before we leave on the trip. The small town of Cornwall is a 10 minute drive in case we forget anything.

The dorm rooms house 4-6 people each and sheets, a blanket and pillow are provided. I suggest bringing your own pillow. There are his and her bathrooms with showers.

Take a look at the Field Trip web page for more information and a trip reservation and waiver form you can download.

Bring lunch for Saturday and we'll prepare dinner on Saturday and breakfast and lunch on Sunday. The menu will include vegetarian and non-vegetarian food and there will be fruit and snacks available at all time. If you have any special food needs you can bring food and store it in the kitchen refrigerator.

There's cell phone reception and WiFi so you won't be cut off from the world.

There are a limited number of beds available for each department so registration is first come, first served.

To reserve a spot on the trip, fill out the forms below. Noyce Scholars should bring forms to Prof. Jeanne Weiler. Geography students should drop them off  to Tom Walter. We will need cash in the amount of $15.00. The deadline for reservations for the trip is 3:00PM, Friday, March 10th. There are limited slots for the trip so reserve early. Past trips have filled quickly. If the weather forecast for the weekend is bad we may cancel the trip and all money will be refunded.

Geography student forms should be dropped off to Tom Walter, room 1003B, North Building.

Trip Reservation/Emergency Contact Form

Black Rock Forest (BRF) Home Page

CUNY Waiver/Release Form
(required) (must be notarized if under 18 years old)

Detailed Instructions to BRF

Both sets of forms, above, are required

BRF Lodge Information




Forest Lodge