The 2024 UTSA Honors College Trailblazing the National Parks (HON 3253) investigates landscape, history, and cultures of seven national parks and earns participants a Wilderness First Aid certification in a mini-mester course, taking place April 20-21 + May 11-23, 2024.

students standing in front of scenic view in Yellowstone National Park        Students hiking through Mesa Verde National Park

This trip offers a life-changing learning experience in dramatic landscapes from the Colorado mountains to deep canyon country of Utah and Arizona. Students with a range of majors will join instructors with natural sciences and experiential education backgrounds to investigate how humans impact and value the natural world. On hikes and guided tours, in exhibits and sacred spaces, around campfires, river rafting, and riding horses, we confront key environmental and social challenges in these diverse natural and cultural landscapes. Using interdisciplinary and experiential approaches, students will explore the significance of aesthetic, ecological, historical, social, and even spiritual forces of our parks and why we need environmental stewardship leaders to protect them for the future. By participating in this program, students will earn a NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) Wilderness First Aid (WFA) certification. This program will also count toward Honors Requirements as an Engaged Living Experience.Go to Honors Requirements

Learn more about Engaged Living

Karen Engates


Karen Engates

Honors College Senior Lecturer

Honors College

2024 Locations
National Parks
  • Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, CO
  • Canyonlands National Park, UT
  • Arches National Park, UT
  • Capitol Reef National Park, UT
  • Zion National Park, UT
  • Bryce Canyon National Park, UT
  • Antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
  • Mesa Verde National Park, CO


Honors College National Parks Trip May 2024 Info Session

Wed October 25, 2023 from 7:00-8:00 PM

Register on Rowdylink.


Want to know more?

This program will be led by UTSA Honors College Faculty Dr. Karen Engates. Please email Dr. Engates for more information.

Program Application Due Date

Your completed program application and transcript showing Fall 2023 grades and spring 2024 coursework is due no later than by Friday, Jan 26, 2024, by 5:00 PM CDT but application window may close early if sufficient applications have been received.