Overview of Class

Each class is ~2 hours long and students attend each class twice. Our classes are not like traditional school classes; every class is hands-on and involves a lot of hiking, observations, and study in nature itself.

Herpetology + Mammology

Day 1: Herpetology

Campers will discuss native Arkansas reptiles and amphibians, how to identify them in the wild, and specific protocols and safety measures needed if they encounter specific species in their life.

They will be able to hold various snakes, alligators, turtles, and other reptiles and amphibians.

In the evening, they will go on a guided nighttime herpetology walk, deploying the skills and observation techniques they learn during the day.

Day 2: Mammology

Campers will study living and non-living specimens with a focus on Arkansas native mammal species.

Native Arkansas species include but are not limited to black bears, red foxes, raccoons, and various rodents.


This is the study of arthropods, a scientific classification that includes insects and spiders.

Campers will learn how to classify and identify various arthropods and will go out into nature to look for insects like dragonflies, butterflies, beetles, and more.


Campers will learn about Arkansas-native plants and discuss various invasive species, preventative and combative measures against them.

Campers will also learn how to classify plants using a dichotomous plant key.


Campers will be educated on the importance of birds in the ecosystem, and how humans can help birds.

They will learn how to identify birds by their song, behavior, field marks.

Every camper will be able to participate in early morning bird walks.


Day 1: Foundations of Geology

Campers will learn about the natural geological divisions of Arkansas, and specifically cover the geology of the Ouachita Mountains.

They will also learn about the various classifications and formations of rocks throughout ecosystems.

Day 2: Mining!

Campers will mine for pyrite in the streams around the camp.

Aquatic Biology 

Day 1: Foundations of Aquatic Biology

Campers will learn about the importance of water in all ecosystems, and about water conservation strategies.

They will then use nets to capture plankton (daphnia, cyclops, etc) and observe them under microscopes.

Lastly, campers will explore aquatic food webs; what eats what and how these cycles keep the ecosystems stabilized and thriving.

Day 2: Surveys

Campers will engage in a Macro-invertebrate survey; they will look under rocks to find organisms, and then use the organisms they find to determine the water quality.

If mayfly nymphs, stoneflies, and water pennies are present, this indicates high-quality water.

If midge flies and lunged snails are present, this indicates low-quality water.

There is high-water quality in the water around the camps!

If you have any specific questions about the educational topics covered in the Halberg Ecology Camp, please email Executive Director Tamzen Bryant at ttumlison@gmail.com.