In the spring semester of 1998, Dr. Rick Stinchfield of UNI's Center for Energy and Environmental Education offered a Presidential Scholars Seminar called Wildness and Wilderness. The seminar was similar to his previous "Colorado Capstones", consisting of in-class discussions about environmental issues and a 23-day trip to various wilderness areas throughout the American west.
Ten scholars were chosen for the seminar. During the class sessions the students were responsible for reporting on current environmental issues and preparing for all aspects of the trip. Each scholar was also responsible for meeting a physical fitness requirement of running 5 miles in 50 minutes. Dr. Stinchfield's wife, Lynne, greatly assisted the class in areas of wilderness trip planning. Dr. Stinchfield's daughter, Holly, would also accompany the group on the trip, offering her wilderness knowledge and experience.
The trip began July 25, 1998 and would take us over 5000 miles and through 9 states. By the conclusion of the trip on August 16, each of us who participated realized that we had just participated in one of the most significant experiences of our college careers, if not our lives. This is a "scrapbook" of the trip, detailing each of the days and each of the participating scholars.