Educational Opportunities for Elementary and Middle School Students
Visit Yosemite and turn the outdoors into a learning experience of both the natural and cultural history of the park. On the forefront of protection and preservation, Yosemite offers programs led by an education ranger that last from one to two hours. During the Parks as Classrooms programs, students have the opportunity to explore the following topics: bears; climate change; flora and fauna; geology; giant sequoias; American Indian culture; park management; pioneer history; watersheds; and wildlife. Other notable programs include the Environmental Living Program, NatureBridge environmental education programs, and Yosemite Conservancy Outdoor Adventures. The Environmental Living Program lets 4th and 5th grade students take on the roles of various historical figures from the 19th and 20th centuries during their stay at the Pioneer Yosemite History Center. The NatureBridge environmental education programs are award-winning field science programs aligned with state learning requirements lasting from two to five days. The Yosemite Conservancy Outdoor Adventures are a series of activities in which participants hike, camp, and more while gaining a deeper appreciation for Yosemite's sites. For more information about student opportunities in Yosemite, contact Shauan Potocky, Branch Chief of Education, by email at Shauna_Potocky@nps.gov or phone at (209) 375-9505.
Educational Opportunities for High School Students
High school students can also take advantage of Yosemite's educational value by enrolling in Adventure Risk Challenge (ARC). The leadership and literacy program offers a 40-day course pairs adventure with academic lessons. When not backpacking, rock climbing, kayaking, white water rafting or navigating through a ropes course, students spends time at the Yosemite Field Station improving their English skills, learning environmental science, and exposed to community service and stewardship activities. In its fourth year, ARC shows promising signs of longstanding success: 92% of youth who complete the intensive program pass the California High School Exit Exam compared to 42% of English Language Learners or 72% for socio-economically disadvantaged students and 77% are attending either a 2 or 4 year college or university. Although the course costs about $5,000 per student, all participants are on scholarship with funding provided by the Stewardship Council, Yosemite Conservancy, Merced County Office of Education, and many more. Furthermore, applicants no longer need to be English-language learners. Weekend retreats, writing workshops, and tutoring is also made available through ARC. For more information, contact Sarah Cupery Ottley, Merced/Yosemite Program Director, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at (559) 676-5096.
Educational Opportunities for College Students
The Yosemite Leadership Program (YLP) is exclusively available for UC Merced students through SNRI. It aims to inspire tomorrow's leaders with a passion for environmental advocacy and social change through multiple innovative, ethical efforts. The two year program moves from education theories and practices of effective leadership to practical, field-based experiences. The first year of YLP includes leadership seminars; wilderness and team-building experiences; speaker series events; cohort meetings; and networking opportunities. The second year of YLP allows students to build personally and professionally with a capstone legacy project and community-based development. Additionally, they are given the chance to apply their newfound skills when mentoring local high school students and leading community workshops and volunteer initiatives. For more information, email email@example.com.
The Yosemite Environmental Science Research Training (YESRT) Research Experiance for Undergraduates (REU) is available to all college students, at UC Merced, colleges in the Central Valley of California, and colleges and universities nationwide. It is a ten week paid intership that takes place largely in Yosemite National Park. Sucessful applicants will be working with mentors from UC Merced, Yosemite National Park Service, and the United States Geological Survey, Western Ecological Research Center. There are a broad range of potential projects available, from conservation, biological diversity, to engineering and social science. Students will be living at the SNRI Yosemite Field Station located in Wawona.