The Lawrence Hall of Science
The public science center of the University of California, Berkeley.
10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Animal Discovery Zone
11:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
We’ll bring our science programs to you.
We partner with school districts to support science learning. We offer district-wide elementary, middle, and high school programs, either virtually or in-person.
We collaborate with a range of partners to innovate in science education. Together, we go further.
Are you interested in the fields of Biology and Ecology? Step into the shoes of an ecologist and learn how scientists are studying and protecting ecosystems in the face of climate change and increasing wildfires. Your days will be filled with learning and practicing various field research methods to observe and study organisms and their interactions, biodiversity, and the health of ecosystems. You will be able to design and conduct your own field-based research investigation. This program also includes downtime, hikes, and other social activities to make new friends. Join us to gain skills, knowledge, and insight into the field of terrestrial ecology while adding valuable experience to your college and career pathways. Parents are invited at 2 p.m. on the last day to see and hear teens share their projects and receive their U.C. Berkeley certificate of completion.
Your days begin with breakfast, an opening program, and the plan for the day. In this morning, we may find ourselves out in the field, at the nearby redwood forest, or exploring the local fields. For 6 days, you will come to understand these ecosystems better by observing connections between organisms and their habitat and by sampling organism populations, then comparing our data to those from long-term monitoring projects to tell us about change occurring over time. Weather permitting, we will take our lunch breaks outdoors in the field. In the afternoons, you head to our own lab space to take a closer look at the samples you’ve collected or perhaps to begin your own investigations. During the program, you will meet some graduate students to learn about their research and their pathway into field ecology. During our time together, teens will design and carry out investigations that try to answer some of the questions that have come up in the field about how organisms interact with their environment. In the evenings, after dinner at the dorms, you get to mix with teens in the adjacent program, play games, take a night hike, or enjoy other social activities together. By 10:30 p.m., it’s lights-out to allow for a well-earned rest and prepare you for an early start the next day.
No, we do not provide transportation to and from the U.C. Santa Cruz campus. Parents or legal guardians must arrange to drop off or pick up their teens. More detailed information will be provided after registration for the program.
Once on-site, transportation for programming needs is provided for the duration of the program.
Each day includes various activities, starting with morning opening, breakfast, and science activities and investigations, followed by lunch, downtime, social time, and special evening activities. See the section “A day in the life” for more info.
Teens need to be able to walk to and from investigation sites near the ocean and over sand and rocks. For Field Ecology, this may include through forest and brush. The weather can change from one day to the next, so be prepared for a range of clothing needs. It’s always a good idea to have clothing that can get dirty when we are outdoors.
Accommodations at the U.C. Santa Cruz campus are student dorm-style rooms that are triple-occupancy with shared gender-specific bathrooms. Our program instructors are housed in the same buildings as the participants. A third gender-neutral restroom will also be available to youth who prefer that option.
Meals are served in the style of a student dining room. Campus staff provide two cooked meals (breakfast and dinner), plus supplies for a packed lunch each day. With prior notice, they can also accommodate most dietary requirements. In addition, we will provide snacks.
Yes, absolutely! We plan the week to allow for plenty of teen social time throughout the day and every evening, including meeting teens from the adjacent research track.
Cell coverage is unpredictable at all the sites visited during this program. That said, we will have Wi-Fi access at certain times, based on location and activities.
You will receive a packing list once registered for the program, along with the name of a contact person to answer any questions you have.
We do not provide transportation to and from the airport. It would be best to make those arrangements with plenty of transition time. Partial participation is not allowed.
We can’t tell you how to spend your summer vacation. That said, we require the parents and/or designated legal guardians to be accessible to contact and available for a pick up in case of emergency. Perhaps the Everest trek can wait for another week during your summer.