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Vicki Penziner-Matson Field Trips

The Vicki Penziner-Matson Field Trips are endowed by a fund set up in the memory of Vicki who passed away during her senior year at Earlham. Vicki was a biology major, who had a strong interests in natural history and photography. Her love for the outdoors was great, and her parents and friends honored her by setting up the Vicki Penziner-Matson endowed fund with the College, the income to be used for natural history field trips that are open to all in the Earlham Community. The fund was set up explicitly to offer field natural history and photography experiences open to the Earlham community. 

The fund is distinctive, perhaps unique in higher education. It is restricted to supporting experiences not required by academic courses and programs. Since late 1970’s, this fund has supported travel, meals, equipment and lodging (usually tents or state park cabins) for weekend or spring break trips to various sites in Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Ontario, Kentucky, Florida, Texas and elsewhere. As our broader culture has become increasingly estranged from nature and the natural aspects of landscapes, this travel opportunity has become increasingly important for participants’ world-views and environmental insights.

Sandhill Crane 2022 photos

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Past trips

Sandhill Cranes and Dunes

  • Indiana Dunes
  • 2019

Sandhill Cranes and Dunes

  • Indiana Dunes
  • 2017

Florida Peninsula

  • Central peninsula of Florida
  • 2017

Florida Peninsula

  • Central peninsula of Florida
  • 2014

Texas Natural History

  • East and Central Texas
  • 2012

Illinois Greater Prairie

  • Prairie Ridge State Natural Area
  • 2011

The Tip of Canada

  • Point Pelee National Park and Holiday Beach Conservation Area
  • 2011

Archived trips

  • View more trips.

Like the locations represented on the trip map, the Vicki Penziner-Matson Field Trip experiences relate to a variety of initiatives and academic programs offered at Earlham.

Related programs:

Team leaders

NameEarlham AffiliationTrip Affiliation
Wendy P. ToriProfessor of biology 
Martha Sykes Hansen endowed chair in biology for ornithology
Led Florida, Texas, Indiana, Illinois, Canada trips
José I. ParejaScience technology learning specialist; Assistant professor of environmental programsCo-led Florida, Texas, Indiana, Illinois trips
Brent SmithProfessor of biologyLed Indiana trip
John IversonFormer director of Joseph Moore Museum; retired professor of biologyLed Florida, Texas, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Canada trips
Bill Buskirk ’66Emeritus professor of biologyLed Florida, Texas, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Canada trips
Jaime Coon (Faculty)Assistant professor of biology and environmental studiesLed Indiana
Matt Lachiusa ’10Biology alumnusLed Texas trip
Kevin Schmidt ’12Biology and chemistry alumnusLed Indiana, Canada trips
Joel Hogle ’12Biology alumnusLed Indiana, Canada trips
Erin Lewis ’17EC studentLed 2017 Florida Peninsula trip
Aiden Newman ’19EC studentLed 2017 Florida Peninsula trip
Andrea Ball ’17EC studentLed 2017 Sandhill Crane and Dunes trip
Caroline Wolfe-MerrittEC studentLed 2019 Sandhill Crane and Dunes trip
Lilly HartmanEC studentLed 2019 Sandhill Crane and Dunes trip
Jennifer Shamel `19EC studentLed Indiana
Hannah Grushon `19EC studentLed Indiana
Sylvan Gilkey `21EC studentLed Indiana

Ready for an adventure?

For details about upcoming Vicki Penziner-Matson Field Trip experiences and how to sign up for them, reach out to Associate Professor of Biology Wendy Tori.