Field Trips

AESS conference field trips offer attendees a chance to explore on and off-campus sights in and around DC. From hiking to museums, there’s something for everyone. Trips will require a reservation (made during regular conference registration). Costs will be paid on site. Further trip details will be emailed to participants prior to the event. Scroll to read trip descriptions.

CANCELLED Anacostia Historical Site Exploration

Participants will begin with a guided tour of the Frederick Douglass House and then visit the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum, where the main exhibition on view will be “A Right to the City”.  This comprehensive, multi-media exhibition looks at the concept of “community change” over the past several decades through the eyes of six specific DC neighborhoods.

Logistics: Participants will travel by Lyft to Anacostia and walk approximately 2.5 miles total. Estimated cost: $20.

"Billy Goat Trail A" by C&O Canal NHP https://flickr.com/photos/chesapeakeandohiocanal/8365974468 is licensed under CC BY-SA

Washington, DC Urban Gardens (weather dependent)

Participants will visit two urban gardens and discuss their environmental, health, and community building goals and activities.

Logistics: Group will take Lyft to the gardens, where tours will involve about 1 mile of walking. Estimated cost: $20.

"Cultivate the City" by marktegethoff https://flickr.com/photos/marktegethoff/24523100433 is licensed under CC BY

National Building Museum - CANCELLED

This tour provides an opportunity to learn about architecture, landscapes, and urban design. Participants will be given a guided tour of a current exhibit, Making Room: Housing for a Changing America, followed by time to independently explore other exhibits. The historic building, completed in 1887, is now a museum dedicated to educating about the built life.

Logistics: Group will travel by metro to the museum. Estimated cost: $10.

"National Building Museum" by Phil Roeder https://flickr.com/photos/tabor-roeder/33563573331 is licensed under CC BY

Smithsonian National Zoo (weather dependent) - CANCELLED

Participants will take a walking tour of the zoo to learn about the Smithsonian’s “We Save Species” mission and work including conservation research, education, and reintroduction efforts, including the famous panda program. Participants have the option to eat lunch at the zoo.

Logistics: Group will travel by metro to the zoo. Total walking will be 3.5 miles. Estimated Cost: $15. 

"Don't go!" by ucumari photography https://flickr.com/photos/ucumari/304626330 is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND
"Frederick_Douglass_House" by Thomanication https://flickr.com/photos/thomanication/6217224954 is licensed under CC BY-ND
"Frederick_Douglass_House" by Thomanication https://flickr.com/photos/thomanication/6217224954 is licensed under CC BY-ND

Billy Goat Trail Hike (weather dependent) -- FULL, with waitlist

This hike in Great Falls, VA is well known for its beautiful views of the Potomac River. Hike together while considering the importance of natural areas and park access.

Logistics: Participants will travel either by shared car or Lyft to and from the site. Hikers should be prepared for a moderately difficult hike including climbing across rocks. Good shoes are strongly recommended. Estimated cost: $20.

"Hellbender" by brian.gratwicke https://flickr.com/photos/briangratwicke/4626787390 is licensed under CC BY

Sustainable Brewery Tour

*Tentative based on minimums required to run.*

Group will tour the Hellbender Brewery to learn about its sustainability initiatives including: mash filter system, grain to feed/compost program, and hop farm in upstate New York. You will also learn about their efforts to help save the Hellbender Salamander. At the end of the tour there will be an opportunity to sample in the tasting room. Logistics: Travel will be by Lyft and group will eat lunch at the brewery. Approximate cost: $25 (without alcohol).

"Gachala emerald" by greyloch https://flickr.com/photos/greyloch/9121222906 is licensed under CC BY-SA

Smithsonian Natural History Museum

The Museum features a variety of environmental education exhibits including Sant Ocean Hall and the annual conservation photography winners, as well as a variety of conservation themed IMAX films and indoor and outdoor butterfly gardens. Participants will have the option of exploring the museum individually or in independent groups. Group members have the option to eat lunch at the museum café.

Logistics: Group will travel by metro to the Smithsonian Mall. Estimated Cost: $10.

photo by AgnosticPreachersKid https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AWashington_National_Cathedral_-_bell_tower_view.jpg is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
photo by AgnosticPreachersKid https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AWashington_National_Cathedral_-_bell_tower_view.jpg is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

National Cathedral and grounds walk - CANCELLED

Group will visit the National Cathedral as well as walk through their small primary forest and native plant gardens. The group has the option to eat lunch at Open City café on the Cathedral grounds.

Logistics: Group will travel by Lyft to the Cathedral and walk about 1 mile on the grounds. Estimated cost: $25.

American University Sustainability and Arboretum Tours and Discussion

American University is a certified national arboretum and ranked highly for its sustainability efforts. Representatives from AU’s Office of Sustainability and Arboretum will meet with interested participants for a guided informational tour of campus, a discussion of AU’s strategies over time, and sharing of resources for you to take to your campus communities.

Logistics: Walking approximately 2 miles on campus.

"US Green Building Council Tour 38620" by tedeytan https://flickr.com/photos/taedc/13138977145 is licensed under CC BY-SA

US Green Building Council (LEED coordinators)

At the Green Building Council in downtown DC, participants will receive a guided tour of the GBC LEED building and see sample materials for LEED certification. The tour will include time to discuss diverse LEED certification options, school models, and how individuals can train in LEED.

Logistics: Group will travel by metro to the site, including about 1 mile of walking. Estimated cost: $10

"East Capitol Urban Farm in Washington, D.C." by chesbayprogram https://flickr.com/photos/29388462@N06/36730075732 is licensed under CC BY-NC

African Art Museum - CANCELLED

Participants will have the opportunity to see African art and the Smithsonian Castle. The guided tour, called Currents: Water in African Art, spans the African continent to explore the importance of water for both practical and artistic purposes.

Logistics: Group will travel by metro to the Smithsonian Mall. Estimated Cost: $10. 

"Smithsonian Castle" by RLBolton https://flickr.com/photos/robertlylebolton/10110967236 is licensed under CC BY

Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial and Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial (weather dependent) - CANCELLED

Participants will visit both memorials and the small national park exhibits and have an opportunity to discuss the environmental choices made in the design of these parks. The group has the option to eat lunch at the Holocaust Museum’s kosher cafe.

Logistics: Group will travel by Lyft to the Memorials and walk approximately 1 mile. Estimated Cost: $20.

"Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial -- Washington (DC) December 2011" by Ron Cogswell https://flickr.com/photos/22711505@N05/6617712661 is licensed under CC BY

Trip details will be emailed to participants later in the spring after registration. In general, breakfast will on your own before trips leave from AU. Participants will have the opportunity to eat lunch with their trip or on their own on- or off-campus. Trips will return to campus in time for the catered lunch unless noted otherwise.