International Field Studies (IFS) is a public, non-profit, educational and scientific organization established to promote and assist teachers with field study programs. Established in 1970, IFS grew out of the increasing teacher interest in implementing field study experiences for their students with minimal organizational difficulty and expense. In response to this interest, IFS began by supporting field studies throughout the United States with administrative assistance, financial coordination, group insurance coverage, and transportation. At the time of its incorporation, IFS’s goals were outlined as follows:
“To provide opportunities for students to learn about their environment, in all disciplines, through direct field study experiences; to provide the structure for developing an intensive field study program with competent leadership; to promote educational and scientific activities through direct field experiences; to cooperate with school systems so students may receive academic credit for field studies.”
Today, IFS continues to promote the concept of field studies as an important educational method. These hands-on learning experiences, outside of the classroom, are successful in almost every discipline, including the natural sciences, creative arts, history, and physical education. IFS believes an interdisciplinary approach to learning is especially well suited to the field studies environment. IFS functions as a facilitator for educational groups seeking expertise and logistical support. Staff members, experienced field instructors, and resource materials are available to assist teachers and group leaders with educational development, site planning, and budgeting for a successful comprehensive field program. By working with IFS to develop a proposed field study, teachers are able to offer their students high quality field study opportunities.