Sierra Nevada Field Campus

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Registration opens for Sierra Nevada Field Campus summer classes

Anyone can be a part of the scenic campus’ 75-year history by taking a class

Registration for the 2024 summer season at San Francisco State University’s Sierra Nevada Field Campus (SNFC) is now open. This year will be the field campus’ 75th anniversary, and the summer course lineup is as strong as ever. The 7.1-acre campus is in the remote Sierra County near the Sierra Buttes and the North Yuba River. Both landmarks inspire countless SNFC visitors.

“SF State students have an incredible opportunity to take a class in the Sierra Nevada with expert instructors, enjoy three meals a day and connect with a whole community of people with shared interests in the environment and the arts,” said SNFC Director Darrow Feldstein. “This season will be filled with great opportunities for learning and connection.”

With nearly 40 different classes and workshop offerings — an SNFC record — there’s something for everyone. (And everyone’s welcome to register since SNFC classes aren’t just for San Francisco State students.) From June to mid-August, the campus will offer a variety of accredited classes (through SF State’s College of Professional & Global Education) and non-credit workshops with experts in everything from science and art to climate change and conservation.  

The 2024 listings include courses in natural history, local flora, watercolor and pastels, and even a new course on bear tracking (yes, bear tracking). Also new this year are a few courses about climate, culture and social justice that SF State students can take for credit.


Two women holding snakes
Three people smiling at a fourth person's finger with a butterfuly sitting on it
Someone standing outside near a cabin exterior wall of pastel art
Backs of three people painting as they face a mountain and trees
Starry night sky with trees and cabin light up with the glow from a campfire

Students and SNFC visitors can chose to participate in a variety of experiences, including engaging with wildlife, learning a variety of art forms or crafts using natural materials, and making new friends around a campfire. SNFC students and expert instructors come from SF State and beyond.


SNFC offers mini-grants and scholarships to students interested in summer courses or research experiences. Throughout the year, student and faculty researchers use the campus as a basecamp for field research. Beyond the summer classes and research, SNFC is also increasing opportunities for people to volunteer, hold events or get involved in other ways.

“This place was created 75 years ago for the University community and beyond. Everyone should be taking advantage of this incredible place whether for a class, a job or just to enjoy the mountains and take a break from it all,” Feldstein said.

Consider registering for an SNFC summer course or reach out to get involved in other ways.

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Registration for SF State’s Sierra Nevada Field Campus now open

Anyone can enroll in courses ranging from birding to painting to astronomy at the scenic SNFC

Situated in the Gold Lakes Basin and Sierra Valley regions of the Sierra Nevada — a little more than 200 miles northeast of the main campus — is San Francisco State University’s Sierra Nevada Field Campus (SNFC). With scenic views and lots of wildlife, the campus makes for a unique classroom experience for anyone who enjoys learning about (and being in the middle of) nature. Registration for the SNFC’s 2023 workshops and classes is now open.

Every year from June to mid-August, the campus offers a variety of opportunities to learn about a range of topics, from birding and alpine painting to courses in insects, flora, fungi and more. Participants can immerse themselves in the beautiful locale as they learn. This year the SNFC is offering seven accredited classes (through San Francisco State’s College of Professional & Global Education) as well as 25 non-credit workshops.

Registration is open to SF State students as well as the general public. The campus is also home base for researchers studying the local terrain.

“That’s one of the nice things about the field campus in general is that we have a really broad variety of classes and workshops,” said SNFC Director J.R. Blair. “We have the researchers and we have people of all kinds of different backgrounds who come here, and they interact informally usually at dinner or perhaps around a campfire if we have that. It’s really neat to witness that there’s a lot of interaction.”

Though the SNFC was closed for the 2020 and 2021 seasons due to COVID-19, last year’s season may have been the biggest it’s ever had, Blair says, estimating that there were about 300 registrants compared to previous highs closer to 200.

“I have to say that our instructors are fabulous … ,” he explained, noting that one professor emeritus has been coming for 40 years. “And there are many instructors who’ve been doing this for 20, 25, 30 years. Everybody is really good at what they do, and the response from students is almost 100% favorable across the board. They really like it. Plus they like the food!”

SNFC has also hired a new SNFC Lead, Darrow Feldstein, who begins in early February.

Learn more about the Sierra Nevada Field Campus and register for classes today.