When you were a kid, did your parents always tell you not to spend your summer days indoors? That shouldnt change now that youre an adult, and now you can get college credit along with the fresh air and sunshine.

West Virginia Universitys Davis College of Agriculture, Forestry and Consumer Sciences will offer a variety of courses in ecology and field study, outdoor skills and professional field experience during the Universitys summer sessions.

These condensed courses are exciting, highly concentrated and offer one to three elective credit hours, and draw a wide range of students in a variety of majors throughout the summer session at WVU .

All of these courses are designed to take students away from the traditional classroom,explained Beverly Hassler, WVU Off-Campus Summer Programs coordinator.Theyll learn things experientially rather than through textbooks.

Highlights of this years program include lessons in residential construction and four new courses.

The Residential Construction Utilizing Engineered Wood Products course will teach students basic skills and techniques used in residential construction. Course work will consist of short daily lectures, reading blueprints, safety and proper use of equipment. Students will also learn framing and installation techniques for doors, windows, staircases, trusses, shingles and siding.

Whether youre a beginner or someone who has experience, this course will have something for you,Hassler said.You wont simply learn about the techniques, youll actually put the knowledge to use building a small-scale structure.

Also added into the mix are five new coursesIntroduction to Birdwatching, Marine Ecology, Global Positioning Systems and Recreation Pond Management, and a series of wildlife management courses traveling to the Pymatuning Lab of Ecology.

Focusing on techniques for identifying birds, Introduction to Birdwatching is perfect for those who are just discovering the hobby. Participants will be able to experience the world of birding first hand during the peak of spring migration.

Discover the biological treasures of the Atlantic Coast Ecosystem during the six-day Marine Ecology course. Submerge yourself in the hands-on study of tidal pools, mud flats, oyster beds, anadramous, estuarine, and marine fishes and their ecology.

For the novice GPS user, the Global Positioning Systems course teaches students how the units work, how theyre used for data collection and analysis and problem solving. Each participant will also have the opportunity to purchase a unit at a discount after the class ends.

Recreation Pond Management provides students, land developers, extension agents and pond owners with the basic skills and information necessary to properly maintain recreational outdoor ponds. Key areas of focus include site and species selection, aquatic weed identification and treatment, principles of pond management, fish health, marketing, waste issues and aeration.

Other courses offered include Interpretive Bird Study, Vegetation of West Virginia, Stream Ecosystem Assessment, Basic Whitewater Skills and Wilderness First Responder. The college also offers two study abroad coursesExploration Fiji: Exploring Community and Nature-based Tourism in the South Pacific, and Design in Italy.

Students also have the opportunity to earn professional field experience with an agency or organization by working on a professional project.

Students who desire credit for a course and are not already enrolled at WVU can complete eligibility forms or request more information from Extended Learning atwww.elearn.wvu.edu.

For more information on courses and costs, contact Hassler at 304-293-2691, ext. 4527 or bhassler@wvu.edu .