Penn State requires all students, faculty, staff, and visitors — regardless of vaccination status — to wear masks indoors at all campuses. Learn more about Penn State's health guidelines.

The Shaver’s Creek Field Laboratory was founded by Penn State in 1976 as an outdoor classroom for students to get hands-on experience learning and teaching in, and about, the natural world. Since then, “Penn State’s Nature Center” has expanded to offer more than 40 credit courses a year, including our AURORA first-year student orientation programs, environmental interpretation courses, adventure and leadership courses, and our capstone-integrated SEED Semester.

Hundreds of students a year from across the University also earn credit with Shaver’s Creek by becoming camp counselors for a week of Outdoor School, a residential environmental education program for fifth graders, or by becoming costumed presenters at Shaver’s Creek’s Maple Harvest Festival or Children’s Halloween Trail.

AURORAAURORA Penn State Outdoor Orientation Programs
AURORA - The AURORA Penn State Outdoor Orientation Programs offer first-year students a unique entrance into Penn State life, forging unforgettable adventures and friendships.
Outdoor SchoolGroup of happy Outdoor School campers and their counselors
Outdoor School - Outdoor School is a four-day residential program for upper-elementary school students, run by Shaver’s Creek and staffed by Penn State student counselors.
Credit CoursesRPTM 325 Student Explaining
Credit Courses - Shaver's Creek partners with many academic colleges across Penn State to offer courses in environmental interpretation, outdoor/adventure education, and leadership.
SEED SemesterSEED Semester
SEED Semester - The forests, fields, and creeks become your classroom for this full-semester experiential journey of outdoor leadership and environmental interpretation courses.
Graduate Student OpportunitiesA graduate student references a book as fellow students work in a garden in the background
Graduate Student Opportunities - The Shaver's Creek Field Laboratory offers a number of Penn State graduate assistant (GA) positions, ranging in focus from adventure education to environmental interpretation.
Work-StudyTrail maintenance on the Point Trail
Work-Study - Work-Study is a Federal student financial aid program for Penn State undergraduate and graduate students.

Undergraduate Programs

Shaver’s Creek’s undergraduate programs are listed with many departments around the University, including:

While some of our classes meet on campus, many are held at the Center.

Graduate Programs

Shaver’s Creek instructors also teach a number of graduate-level courses in RPTM and as part of the interdisciplinary dual-title intercollege graduate degree program, Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and the Environment (HDNRE).

Shaver’s Creek also offers a number of graduate student opportunities, including the use of our field laboratory as the basis of graduate research.

Internships

People from around the country travel to Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center to be a part of our unique internship program. Although we are a unit of Penn State, our internship program is open to anyone interested in the fields of environmental education, team development and adventure programming, or nonprofit marketing.

Volunteering

Many students get involved in other ways at Shaver’s Creek, too, by volunteering to maintain trails or to help in the Klingsberg Aviary, earning income through a Penn State work-study position, or joining the Shaver’s Creek Society, our official Penn State student club.