Pre-College Programs
Brown Environmental Leadership Lab: Alaska

Life at the Brown Environmental Leadership Lab: Alaska

Life Outdoors

A large amount of our time will be spent outdoors in this program. Together, our goal is to explore some spectacular landscapes both through formal study and also by spending time listening and observing. You can expect a moderate level of physical activity every day, and should be ready to get dirty as we will be out, rain or shine. 

Brown University Global Program in Alaska

Yurt at Peterson Bay Field Station


Most nights, we will be sleeping on bunk beds in college dorm rooms, separated by gender. For the two evenings at the Peterson Bay Field Station, we will be sleeping in yurts without running water or electricity. However, there is a permanent lodge visible from the yurts with composting toilets, meeting spaces, and a fully-functioning kitchen.

Program staff live on-site and are available to students 24 hours a day to provide support and supervision.

A Typical Day

There is no typical day in BELL: Alaska. The diversity of places and events we have planned require flexibility in the schedule. However, you can be sure that our days will start early, and each one will be packed full of activities, including field observation, educational discussions and panels, and time for team-building, recreation and reflection. Here's an example of a potential day:

7:15 am:          Breakfast
8:15 am:          “The Salmon Life Cycle” presentation
12:00 pm:        Depart for afternoon hike, bring boxed lunch
1:00 pm:          Hike to native fishing site and waterfall, meet state regulators
4:00 pm:          Return to university
6:00 pm:          Dinner
7:00 pm:          Leadership workshop
9:00 pm:          Free time
10:00 pm:        Well-deserved rest

BELL: Alaska is academically rigorous. Given the intensity of the program there is some, but minimal, free time.

Brown Environmental Leadership Lab: Alaska

Tentative 2017 Program Schedule

Day 1: Arrival

Day 2: Introduction to Alaska

Resource people

Brown University Global Program in Alaska

Service project maintaining trails
and identifying invasive species

Day 3: Traditional ways of life, changing

Resource people

Day 4: The Catch 22 of Oil

Resource people

Day 5: Scenic Drive to Homer

Day 6: Forest Ecology and Group Diversity

Day 7: Ocean Health

Day 8: Coastal Diversity

Day 9: All About Salmon

Resource people

Day 10: All About Energy

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Day 11: Land Management

Resource people

Day 12: Action Plan presentations

Day 13: Glaciers

Day 14: Fly home

Unplugging from Devices

In a world constantly connected to iPhones, email, Twitter, and Facebook, students at BELL intentionally reduce their cell phone use which allows us to more fully engage with our community and beautiful surroundings. We ask students (and families) to limit cell phone use to evening free time. By breaking our ties to these technologies, we are able to be more mindful of our natural environment, build more intentional friendships, and practice self-reflection.

Please call us and ask to speak to the Program Director if any of these things are of concern so we can make sure you have enough information about the particular program, as well as options for case-by-case accommodations, to make an effective decision about participation.

How to Apply »