k-12 class

Outdoor Science Education Program (OSEP)

This elementary and middle school science program is the largest element of our outreach effort.

Program Goals

  • Provide an under-served student population with meaningful, hands-on science experiences
  • Give students exposure to scientific research
  • Provide students with exposure to scientists as role models, particularly students underrepresented in science
  • Give highly motivated students the opportunity for in-depth study
  • Provide science education training to local teachers

School Field Trips

We provide age-appropriate, field-based learning opportunities at both SNARL and Valentine Camp for approximately 2000 students in spring and fall of each year.  Classes come to the reserves for these field trips from 4-8 schools in several different school districts. The regional schools and the Reserve teaching staff have aligned their curricula, and the field trips include a 2-3 age appropriate lesson and activites at the reserves. Some typical lessons are ant ecology with ant tracking and food preference experiments; aquatic invertebrate identification and classification; introduction to forest mammals (with skulls and furs); and conifer identification and forest fire ecology. Many lessons include simulation games with graphing and data analysis. The schools provide transportation to and from the reserves, supervising teachers, and chaperones. This part of the program is offered through the generous support of Mammoth Mountain Ski Area.

Summer Program

Our summer program consists of a variety of weeklong classes offered June through August for students in grades 1-8. Younger students study habitats, insects, bats, or trees, while the older students may study life skills of early man, natural history, forest ecology, or art in nature. We employ up to 9 teachers for the program with a wide variety of specialties. The program is fully subscribed each year. This part of the program is self-supporting through fees charged to the students.

Our 2018 Summer Program preview is now available. Registration will begin on March 27, 2018.