Fundamentals of Wilderness Stewardship Certificate - Cohort Beginning October 1st

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Explore the history, philosophy, and application of wilderness law and policy in the United States.
This seven-month course of study provides a comprehensive understanding of the basics of management in designated wilderness areas.

This certificate is designed for early-career, full-time, NWPS Wilderness program managers.

Interested in a similar experience for those federal agency personnel working in units with Wilderness or seasonal Wilderness rangers? See our Basics of Wilderness Stewardship Certificate.

Download the 2018 Fundamentals of Wilderness Stewardship Certificate Course Syllabus




The current cohort is underway; To be placed on a mailing list for future course announcements, contact the instructor of record.


The fundamentals certificate comprises four online courses that explore the history, philosophy, and application of wilderness law, regulation and policy in the United States. Also included are in-depth, place-based assignments that build upon each other and the student’s growing understanding of their wilderness area of choice. These assignments are rigorous and robust.

A key component of this verified certificate program is the one-on-one mentoring provided by experts in the field of wilderness management. Each student’s mentor acts as a guide through the certificate course of study. Mentors provide feedback and grade students assignments.

This certificate is our premier offering in preparing and connecting wilderness managers for career movement in the field of wilderness stewardship. Successful learners leave this intensive training with key contacts in the wilderness profession as well as an endorsement from the Arthur Carhart National Wilderness Training Center and the Society for Wilderness Stewardship.


Fundamentals of Wilderness Stewardship

Basics of Wilderness Stewardship



(grading/feedback by wilderness professional)


(grading/feedback from Eppley Institute)


Seven months (28 weeks)

Four months (16 weeks)


> 10



Four (4) 

Four (4)


Five (5): directed and focused to student’s Wilderness

Five (5): based on selected Wilderness and scenarios

Intended Audience:

Early-career, full-time, NWPS Wilderness program managers 

Agency personnel in units with Wilderness; seasonal Wilderness rangers




Course Schedule

The course of study begins October 1st and student work is completed by April 30th. During the seven months, students complete four e-courses and a series of five, field-based assignments. Students will also participate in a monthly discussion forum and attend two webinars. Their journey is guided by an assigned expert mentor who is a seasoned wilderness professional.

Course Progression:

The Fundamentals of Wilderness Stewardship Certificate incorporates the following four online courses:

  • Course 1: The Wilderness Act of 1964
  • Course 2: Deciding to Keep Wilderness Wild: Four Cornerstones for Wilderness Managers
  • Course 3: Writing a Minimum Requirements Analysis
  • Course 4: Wilderness Stewardship Planning Framework

The certificate program includes the following elements:

  • A virtual classroom site for navigating courses, managing assignments and feedback
  • Four self-paced, self-study e-courses
  • Companion assignments, which apply wilderness knowledge and technical skills
  • Individualized mentoring by expert wilderness professionals

Learn to

  • Identify and describe wilderness character
  • State prohibited uses of wilderness and exceptions to these prohibitions
  • Describe the ‘special provisions’ made by the Wilderness Act
  • Distinguish between untrammeled and natural conditions
  • Identify and describe how to protect wilderness character
  • Define and explain the concept of minimum requirements, and the process used for determining whether action is necessary, and the minimum activity used to achieve that action

Recommended Background

The certificate is intended for wilderness professionals working in federally managed settings who are interested in advancing their career potential in wilderness management and preparing themselves for more effective wilderness stewardship.

For more information on the Wilderness Stewardship Certificate Program, the program mentors, and curriculum, visit

Contact the Instructor

Email the instructor at or by phone 812-856-3881.


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