San Juan Mountain Association

15 Burnett Court

Durango, CO 81301

SJMA.Logo_Green (1).png
To Schedule: Complete a registration form online, using the following links: Fall and Spring CDN Registration Form Winter STW Registration Form. Or contact Lexi Stetson-Lee: Operations Manager at (970) 385-1256 or


Durango Nature Studies offers two-session science and nature education programs for grades K-5 in which students learn about science topics and local habitats through hands-on activities in the classroom and field. Topics covered correlate to Colorado and national science education standards for each grade.


First, a Durango Nature Studies’ educator visits each classroom for an hour-long lesson to introduce science concepts that prepare students for their field experience. The following week, your class visits the Durango Nature Center (in the Fall or Spring) or Haviland Lake (Winter) for a half-day field trip. Our trained naturalists guide small groups through a variety of habitats, engaging students with activities, science games, experiments, and guided explorations. These field trips solidify science standards and a sense of place through inquiry based learning in nature.


Fall and Spring programs at the Nature Center: $5 per student (maximum of 72 students each day)
Winter snowshoe programs at Haviland Lake: $10 per student (maximum of 60 students each day)
Additional mileage fee of $0.50 per mile for schools outside of Durango
*Teachers and parent chaperones attend free of charge

To register:
Complete a registration form online, using the following links
Fall and Spring CDN Registration Form
Winter STW Registration Form
Or contact Andrea McAlpin, Education Director at (970) 769-9377 or


“Habitat is Where It’s At” (Fall or Spring Season)

In the Classroom: Students will investigate what organisms need to survive and the
interaction between the living and nonliving components of any habitat.
At the Nature Center: Students will explore the different habitat zones and identify
components that make each ecological zone unique.
Standards: Meets 4th grade CO Science Standards 2.1 & 2.3
Performance Indicator: Conduct an investigation to gather evidence and explain that in a
particular habitat some organisms can survive well, some organisms less well, and some
cannot survive at all.

“Surviving and Thriving in Winter”  (Winter Season)

In the Classroom:  Students will study the transfer of thermal energy, or heat loss, in the environment through participating in hands-on activities to fully understand conduction, convection, radiation, and evaporation.


At Haviland Lake:  While hiking on snowshoes, students will take scientific measurements to help them better understand the non-living components at play in a Ponderosa Pine dominated ecosystem.  Using this data, students will step into the paws of a Tassel Eared Squirrel and through a simulation, learn how the squirrel is able to survive in this environment.

Standards:  Meets 4th grade CO Science Standard 1.1 and 2.3 

Performance Indicators:  Develop models of the interactions and interdependence between and among living and nonliving components of ecosystems.

Please reload