Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Where is the Cooper Center and how do I get there?
A: We are located along the eastern slopes of the Tucson Mountains. Our physical address is 5403 West Trails End Road, Tucson, AZ 85745 (Our mailing address can be found here.) Click for Directions to the Cooper Center.
Q: How does field trip registration for the Cooper Center work?
A: Field trip registration starts on the day that Tucson Unified School District teachers return for the semester, usually early August/late July. It continues through the first week in September, and field trip confirmations are sent out to teachers during the month of September. The longer your requested field trip, the more likely you are to receive a field trip date. For example, multi-night experiences (Earthkeepers, Sunship III) are given preference over Day and Overnight Programming; overnights are given preference over full-days and half-days. You are welcome to Contact Us about scheduling field trips after the registration deadline, but your chances of receiving a field trip date are far smaller.
Q: Can my non-school group use the Cooper Center?
A: Our programs can be used with clubs and organizations outside of school. Our facility can also be rented for use with your own programs, meetings, workshops, etc. Check out our Rental information or Contact Us if you have other questions.
Q: What if it Rains?
A: If the weather is questionable it is your decision whether or not to cancel your visit. We are more than willing to teach outside in anything but thunder and lightning. The biggest concern is whether or not your students are properly prepared (i.e. raincoats, warm clothes). The Cooper Center is education in the natural world, so if your group decides to come to the center on a rainy day, be prepared to be outside – we have very limited indoor spaces. Contact the Cooper Center if you have any questions regarding the weather, especially if you have concerns in the days leading up to your trip, or even the morning of the trip.
Q: What if I need to cancel/reschedule/change my trip?
A: If you think you may need to cancel your trip, for any reason, please Contact Us first. We may be able to help you. Our calendar is full, but if you decide to cancel for a legitimate reason (weather, schedule conflict beyond your control, etc) we will reschedule your field trip if there is an opening or approach another group about possibly switching days. Weather-related cancellations take priority. Cancellations for any reason may result in the loss of your field trip; our calendar is typically completely full with a waiting list. If your concerns are related to other issues (parent assistance, student behaviors, etc.), we may be able to shorten your trip (i.e. change an overnight to a full-day).
Q: Can all grade levels spend the night?
A: Yes. All grade levels are eligible to come and spend the night. There have never been restrictions about this.
Q: Do the Cooper Center Staff Members stay at the Center overnight too?
A: No. The Cooper Staff go home in the evening. The teachers are in charge of the Center while the Cooper Staff are not present.
Q: Does the Cooper Center have a gift shop?
A: We sell t-shirts, water bottles, buttons, pins and note cards in our office. Items may be ordered ahead of time or purchased during your visit. Funds help support our educational programs. Click here to see items for sale.
Q: Do I have to follow the suggested schedule?
A: The schedule for our Day and Overnight Programs is very flexible. We are happy to discuss changes to the schedule if you Contact Us. Examples of changes include extending lunchtime to allow for a barbecue, adding evening activities to a full-day trip, bringing in outside programs to add to the experience, using your own activities during the afternoon instead of using Cooper’s, etc.
Q: Where is the most up to date material for the Cooper Center?
A: Here on our website! There have been many changes in the past few years so please do not rely on past years’ materials for correct information.