Lead a Field Trip!


Deadline for trip submissions: December 11, 2020

Field Trip Safety & COVID-19

After canceling spring trips, we were able to successfully reboot our 2020 Field Trip season with COVID-19 safety measures in place.

Feedback from both leaders and participants indicated our approach was safe and they appreciated the opportunity to participate in our Field Trip program despite the pandemic. We anticipate having the same safety measures in place for 2021, though we will closely monitor the public health recommendations and adjust as necessary. See our special notes for Field Trip leaders.

COVID-19 adaptations to our Field Trip program include:

  • Outdoor only trips with small group sizes.
  • Social distancing of 6’ apart for leaders and participants of different households.
  • We ask that that everyone wears a mask during their Field Trips.
  • We will avoid exchanging physical objects (pens, binoculars, spotting scopes, equipment, etc.).
  • We ask that participants do not attend a trip if they have a fever, other symptoms, or an active COVID-19 infection.
  • We encourage participants to attend local Field Trips and limit travel.

Be a Field Trip leader!

Do you have passion for Wisconsin’s natural resources and want to share it with engaged and interested people in a profound and meaningful way? We would love to hear it!

Since 1994, NRF has offered a vibrant Field Trip Program engaging over 5,000 adults and youth annually in learning about various aspects of Wisconsin’s lands, waters, and wildlife. Leading a field trip for the Natural Resources Foundation is a great way to share your passion and knowledge of Wisconsin’s incredible places and creatures with others.

We are open to most all Field Trip ideas, so feel free to be creative! Trips can be geared toward adults only or families with children. If you are doing something special to protect or conserve an animal or ecosystem, we would love if you would share your passion! From simple hikes to biking trips, canoeing and kayaking, or even wildlife research, we are open to a whole breadth of possibilities.

Not sure what kind of a trip you want to lead? 

Get ideas and inspiration by looking through our 2020 Field Trip Guidebook!

Program summary and trip leader expectations


Trips occur from May to October, are generally 2 or more hours in length, and can be varied in the experiences they offer to participants. If you are doing something special to protect or conserve an animal or ecosystem, we would love if you would share your passion! From simple hikes to biking trips, to canoeing and kayaking, or even to wildlife research, we are open to a whole breadth of possibilities.

*Note, due to COVID-19 trips must take place outdoors (no indoor field trips), and no buses.


In general, our participants are ages 45-70; respectful, interested, outdoorsy and educated folks. We are very open to offering trips geared towards kids too (accompanied by a responsible adult) – please indicate this on the online form.


Please know that the NRF charges participants a $18 per person ($8 for kids) registration fee to attend any trip, this pays for the overhead of running the program. Any fees that you ask for will be paid by participants above and beyond this amount. Also, anyone who registers must be, or become, a NRF member to join us on our field trips.


If canoe/kayak rentals are needed for your trip, you as the leader are responsible for coordinating these rentals. The NRF will collect the money from participants during registration to cover the costs of these rentals (see the question on the form), and then the NRF will pay any invoices that you incur (just make sure the invoices are sent to us).


OUR TRIPS RUN RAIN OR SHINE. However, there may be situations where leaders need to delay, end a trip early, or cancel the day of the trip due to severe weather. We do not recommend canceling prior to the day of the trip as weather forecasts frequently change.


Please let property managers know you will be visiting their property for your field trip. If your trip is on a State Park, please let Park Managers know about your trip date/time. Also, participants will pay the park entrance fees themselves as they enter the park.


  • Fill out the online survey with your Field Trip details, and someone from the NRF will email you to review the details and fill in any holes.
  • The trips will be written up and be put into a booklet that is sent out to NRF members in February. Some trips may also be included in the April edition of Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine.
  • Registration for trips starts mid-March for NRF members, and opens to the public April 1st. Most trips fill up in the first few weeks of registration. Yes, even for those trips that happen in the fall!
  • The NRF will send out an email to participants of your trip with the details and directions of your trip about 2 weeks prior to your trip date.
  • A few days before the trip the NRF will send you a roster of participants which they will need to sign for their liability waiver. Please return the signed roster to NRF after your trip is complete so we have a record of who attended.


In gratitude for your leading a trip, we send you a snazzy t-shirt with a fresh design each year. We request that you wear the shirt when you are leading your field trip.


  1. Leader and co-leader contact information*
  2. Title of field trip*
  3. Date of trip including start and end times*
  4. Maximum number of participants that can be accommodated on this trip*
  5. Paragraph describing the field trip*
  6. Rate how physically strenuous the trip is on a scale of 1-5*
  7. If the trip is strenuous, what should participants know before signing up?
  8. Costs (if any) you, as the leader, may need for the field trip*
  9. Which of the following themes does your trip best fit into? WI public lands, citizen based monitoring, State Natural Area, birding, endangered species, family friendly (geared toward participants 10 and under- then tell us the appropriate age)
  10. Nearest town to meeting place*
  11. County in which trip will take place*
  12. Trip meeting address*
  13. Specific driving directions to the meeting place
  14. Cell phone number where you can be reached on the day of the trip (this will only be shared with staff and trip participants)
  15. Web link to a Google map of the meeting location (if you have or can make one)
  16. What should participants bring and wear on the trip?*
  17. Are there bathroom facilities on the trip?*
  18. Are there any additional web links or information that may be useful to participants?
  19. Are you fluent in Spanish and feel comfortable conducting your Field Trip in either Spanish or English?
Christine Tanzer

Christine Tanzer

Director of Field Trip Program

(608) 409-3123

Christine coordinates the many facets of the Foundation’s vibrant Field Trip Program. Passionate about showcasing Wisconsin’s amazing natural treasures, she has organized well over 2,000 Field Trips since joining NRF in 1997.