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News and events

News & events

Students kayaking through rapids on the Salmon River, water droplets in the air

The river of no return

August 24, 2018

Story by Brian McNeill, University Public Affairs
Photos by James Vonesh, Ph.D., associate professor and assistant director for the Center for Environmental Studies

In the wilderness of Idaho’s Lower Salmon River this summer, Virginia Commonwealth University student Abby Wright pushed herself to do things she’d never done before.

Along with her classmates in a new experiential course series at VCU, Wright — a sophomore biology major in the College of Humanities and Sciences — camped in backcountry with no contact to the outside world for a week, learned how to paddle down a river in an inflatable raft, and cooked for all 22 students, faculty and guides on the expedition.

“I made friends with people with similar interests to mine that I otherwise would have never met,” Wright said. “I feel incredibly inspired to push myself further now in my life outside of this class, trying to do more things that scare me every day.”

The series of classes, The River of No Return: The Lower Salmon River Experience, launched this summer as a collaboration of the VCU Outdoor Adventure Program, the Center for Environmental Studies in VCU Life Sciences, and the Department of Biology.

Read and see more from "The river of no return."


Watch the video,  "An expedition education on the river of no return."


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