Weather & Outdoor Activities
The Hoover Dam was built in Black Canyon, a short distance from Boulder City, Nevada. According to U.S. Climate Data, the average July temperature in Boulder City is 99 degrees! Participants should expect physical activity on a daily basis, occasionally in very hot conditions.
During the dam’s construction, journalists, engineers, and laborers alike describe the heat as suffocating and relentless. Edmund Wilson remarked in a 1931 New Republic article that, “Even the government engineers who were the pioneers at Black Canyon describe it as ‘Hells Hole’ where you get ‘goofy with heat.’”
Erma Gobdey, who lived near the damsite and whose husband worked on the dam, is quoted in the book Building Hoover Dam: An Oral History Of The Great Depression (2001) as saying, “It was terrifically hot. My God, it was terribly hot and dusty… It would get to be 120 by nine in the morning, and it wouldn’t get to be below 120 before nine at night…I would wrap my babies in wet sheets just so they could sleep.”
It is safe to say that it will be extremely hot. We will also be doing quite a bit of walking: from architecture tours, to tours of the dam, to an all-day excursion to Lake Mead and the Valley of Fire. You should expect moderate physical activity each day in very hot and dry conditions. We will make every effort to ensure that participants are well hydrated and to avoid strenuous activities in the hottest parts of the day, but you should be prepared to be outside in the Mojave Desert in the summertime. We highly recommend hats with wide brims, sunglasses, sun screen, clothing that is cool yet shields you from the sun, and comfortable walking shoes.
Stipend: Those selected to participate in our institute will receive a stipend of $1,200 at the end of the residential workshop session. Please see the housing page, and the application page for more information about the stipend.
End of Program Presentations: At the end of the program, participants will be expected to share with the group their reflections on the week, as well as lesson plans, curricular integration strategies, and/or research topics they’ve developed in order to aid fellow educators in augmenting their own teaching and scholarship.
Evaluations: Participants will be expected to fill out anonymous evaluations of the program at three different stages: 1) after individual sessions using feedback forms designed for each day’s activities so that staff may make adjustments to the schedule, pace, and activities for subsequent days; 2) at the conclusion of the workshop using the online NEH evaluation form and a separate survey to indicate overall satisfaction and impact of the workshop; 3) six months after the workshop using an electronic survey to gather information about how educators have implemented workshop materials and topics into their curriculum.
Principles of Civility
NEH encourages an ethos of openness and respect, upholding the basic norms of civil discourse. For more information, please go to the NEH’s Principles of Civility information page. NEH welcomes comments, concerns, or suggestions on these principles at firstname.lastname@example.org
Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed on this website or at this institute do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.