The Lawrence Hall of Science
The public science center of the University of California, Berkeley.
Open Wednesday - Sunday
10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
April 1 - 9 open daily
Bring your students to The Lawrence, or bring our inquiry-based 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 biology and forest management? Step into the shoes of a forest biologist, 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 a variety of field research methods to observe and study organisms and their interactions, biodiversity, and the health of forest ecosystems, as well as the opportunity to design and conduct your own field-based research investigation. This program, based at the Sagehen Creek Field Station, includes downtime, hikes, and other social activities to make new friends. Join us to gain skills, knowledge, and insight into the field of forest ecology while adding valuable experience to your college and career pathways.
Dates: 10:00 a.m. Sunday – 4:00 p.m Friday, 06/25/2023 – 06/30/2023
Location: UC Berkeley Sagehen Creek Field Station, Truckee National Forest
Housing: On-site housing is included in the cost of this program. Runs Sunday, June 25 through Friday, June 30.
Food: 2 cooked meals daily, plus supplies for a packed lunch each day.
Program Tuition: $2,250 or $1,995(reduced)
Our days begin with optional hikes and/or morning rituals that teens are invited to lead from their own practices and experience. Then we share a communal breakfast and go over the plan for the day. Earlier in the day we may find ourselves out in a field, at the creek, or deep in the forest. We will learn observational practices as well as methods of field research and investigation. Over the course of 6 days we will come to understand the forest and creek ecosystems better: by observing connections between organisms and their habitat. During the program we will meet some of the graduate students to learn about their research and pathway into environmental sciences, and how climate change is impacting flora and fauna, including forest fires. Over the course of our time together, teams will design and carry out experiments that try to answer some of the questions that have come up in the field. In the evenings, after dinner, we may play cards or a board game, take a night hike, or sit around the campfire (only when permitted). By 10:30 p.m. it’s back to the cabins to allow for a well-earned rest for the next day of activities.
Rachel Walsh, Ph.D., is a curriculum developer at the Lawrence Hall of Science. She has taught camps and classes at the Lawrence since 2016, and has previously taught at the undergraduate level at UC Berkeley as a teaching assistant for field biology, animal behavior, and other biology classes. She is currently part of the team that writes the Amplify Science curriculum, a K-8 science curriculum used in schools throughout the U.S.
Rachel has a B.A. in biology from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in biology from UC Berkeley. She has focused her studies on animal behavior and ecology, and has experience with field research on a variety of species, including spiders, parrots, monkeys, and chipmunks. For her Ph.D., she focused on habitat use by chipmunks, in the context of understanding their responses to climate change. In her spare time, Rachel coaches gymnastics and also enjoys hiking, running, and board games.
We provide transportation to and from the site. Parents/legal guardians can arrange to drop off or pick up their teens at Sagehen if preferred. We will not be able to arrange special pickups or drop-offs midweek. A mode of transportation will stay with us for the entire length of the program for any travel or evacuation needs.
Each day includes various activities and starts with morning opening, breakfast, science activities and investigations, and then lunch, downtime, social time, and special activities.
Teens need to be able to walk to and from investigation sites, in the forest and over small creeks and rocks. 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 Sagehen are rustic-cabin style, with 2 to 4 teens sharing a room and shared, gender-specific communal bathrooms with private stalls. Our program instructors are housed in the same areas. Meals are served in the large cabin-style dining room with a porch facing a beautiful forest view.
Staff, with teens’ help, make all the meals. They prepare two hot meals and supplies for a packed lunch each day. With prior notice we can also accommodate most dietary requirements. Meals are enjoyed in camp dining-hall style and many times can be enjoyed outside on the porch.
We plan for 14-18 teens in each program, which is just the right amount for having great social dynamics as well as a meaningful science experience.
Yes, absolutely. We plan the week with plenty of teen social time throughout the day and every evening.
Cell coverage is unpredictable at all the sites visited during this camp. 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.
We do not provide transportation to and from any airports. It would be best to make those arrangements with plenty of transition time. Partial participation is not allowed.