OSEP Classes

Outdoor Science Education Program (OSEP)

Our summer Outdoor Science Education Program (OSEP) consists of a variety of weeklong classes offered June through July for students in grades 1-12, on topics ranging from photography and art, to natural history. Courses are taught by experienced outdoor educators and take place at either Valentine Camp or the Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Lab (SNARL). Students who enroll should have a strong interest in science, love being in the outdoors, and be willing to participate in all aspects of these academic classes. Students are expected to behave in an appropriate, respectful, and safe manner. In an effort to allow as many students to enjoy all of our camps, priority will be given to students who have not previously attended specific camps. All classes are geared to next year's grade level. 

Scholarship Information 

We don’t want a family’s financial difficulties to prevent any child from participating in our Outdoor Science Education summer programs. We offer full and partial scholarships for those in need. If your family is facing financial difficulties, we invite you to complete our confidential scholarship application. Scholarship awards are limited, based upon need, available funds and number of qualifying applicants. Applications are reviewed on a case by case basis. Please contact Carole Lester - carole.lester@ucsb.edu, 760-914-3722 for an application and if you have any questions.

To register for a class:

  1. Choose your class
  2. Click on register and fill in the required information
  3. You will see a message that you have successfully registered 
  4. In order to complete your registration proceed to Buy Now button
  5. Your class will show up in the shopping bag icon on the lower right
  6. You must register for each class individually but you can hold them in your shopping cart and pay all at once
  7. You child will not be confirmed in a class until you receive an email from carole.lester@ucsb.edu

If you have any problems or concerns please call/text or email Carole at 760-914-3722 or carole.lester@ucsb.edu

If you prefer to register by mail you can also download a schedule and registration form pdf here - Summer Programs PDF

Summer 2019 OSEP Classes

Capturing Science through a Lens | June 17 to June 21 | Grade(s): 6-8 | Valentine Camp
Students will use digital photography to capture the essence of the flora and fauna of Valentine Reserve. Technology, art and science will be combined in this photography class. All students will need to bring a digital camera. Computer experience preferred. REGISTER
Painting Nature (CLASS IS FULL. WAIT LIST ONLY) | June 17 to June 21 | Grade(s): 5-6 | Valentine Camp
Learn basic acrylic painting surrounded by the beauty of Valentine Reserve. Through a series of fun and easy projects and exercises the students will work up to creating a beautiful painting. They will also have lots of time to explore Valentine and hear stories of famous artists. CLASS IS FULL. REGISTRATION FOR WAIT LIST ONLY REGISTER
Beautiful Bats (Class is full. Register for Wait List) | June 24 to June 27 | Grade(s): 2-3 | Valentine Camp
Bats are familiar to nearly everyone, yet most people have never seen one up close. Are bats dangerous? Do bats get tangled in your hair? Folktale and fantasy are all part of people's ideas about bats. In this class you will learn the truth about bats is more astonishing than any of the stories about them. REGISTER
Ecological Diversity in the Eastern Sierra | June 24 to June 28 | Grade(s): 9-12 | SNARL
This course will explore the diverse Sierra Nevadan aquatic environment. We will visit and survey lakes, both freshwater and saline, high elevation and low, as well as a variety of streams and hot and cold springs. Students will experience the variety of flora and fauna that exist in these environments, both macro- and microscopic. We will employ and enhance your studies in biology and chemistry to introduce you to biotic and abiotic sampling and analysis techniques. The course is modeled after a university level introductory aquatic biology course. It will give you hands-on experience with environmental techniques and a view into the phenomenal aquatic realm. REGISTER
Science through Art (CLASS IS FULL. WAIT LIST ONLY) | June 24 to June 28 | Grade(s): 5-7 | Valentine Camp
This course will explore science through the eyes of the artist. Looking at broad landscapes and delicate wildflowers, students will use a variety of media to enhance their observational skills while pursuing their artistic talent. THIS CLASS IS FULL. YOU MAY REGISTER FOR THE WAIT LIST REGISTER
Sifting through Science | June 24 to June 28 | Grade(s): 1 | Valentine Camp
Young children are natural scientists. This week our little scientists will use their senses as they eagerly explore and investigate the environment at Valentine through experiments, stories, games, and nature walks. We will use magnets, sand, water, dirt, rocks, and sift our way trough science. REGISTER
Animals at Night!(CLASS IS FULL REGISTER FOR WAIT LIST) | July 01 to July 05 | Grade(s): 1 -2 | Valentine Camp
Animals at Night will take you into the secret world of our nocturnal critters living at Valentine. Did you know that many of your favorite animals sleep during the day and are active at night? Every day we will hike, sing, play games, and make art to celebrate these amazing creatures.(Class is full. Register fo the wait list) REGISTER
Involving Dissolving | July 01 to July 05 | Grade(s): 3-4 | Valentine Camp
Come see what happens when we mix powders with liquids, play with evaporation, and create crystallized masterpieces. Will everything we mix dissolve? We'll use resources at Valentine, read stories, and create chemical reactions involving dissolving during this week of scientific exploration. Please note, non-toxic materials will be used. (CLASS IS FULL. REGISTER FOR WAIT LIST) REGISTER
Bones, Beads, and Baskets(Dual Language Class) | July 08 to July 12 | Grade(s): 5 | Valentine Camp
DUAL LANGUAGE CLASS: Must be proficient in Spanish/English at 4th/5th grade level; admission subject to instructor. What would it be like to live off the land in a time before Vons? This class will become a small tribe and learn how early people in America hunted and gathered food and medicine, celebrated important events and played games. Students will use and make artifacts modeling Native American ways. REGISTER
Hurray for Habitats (CLASS IS FULL. WAITLIST ONLY) | July 08 to July 12 | Grade(s): 1-2 | Valentine Camp
Owls, mule deer,rabbits,coyotes, bugs and bees all make their homes at Valentine. We will observe animals or evidence of animals that live in the high desert and/or riparian zones of the Eastern Sierra. As young scientists, we will record our findings and observations on our Habitat Boards. If you like to hike, explore, play games, and do outdoor science activities, then come join this expedition. CLASS IS FULL. REGISTER FOR WAIT LIST REGISTER
Involving Dissolving | July 15 to July 19 | Grade(s): 3-4 | Valentine Camp
Come see what happens when we mix powders with liquids, play with evaporation, and create crystallized masterpieces. Will everything we mix dissolve? We'll use resources at Valentine, read stories, and create chemical reactions involving dissolving during this week of scientific exploration. Please note, non-toxic materials will be used. REGISTER
Rocks & Dirt! (Dual Language Class) | July 15 to July 19 | Grade(s): 1 | Valentine Camp
Dual Language Class. Must be proficient in Spanish/English at 1st grade level; admission subject to instructor. Rocks and dirt are all around us, but how much do you know about them? What is dirt made of? Do rocks sink or float? How do we use rocks in everyday life? This week we will have fun creating a science journal to record everything that we learn about rocks, dirt and fossils. Come be a rock hound with us! REGISTER
Wild Island Adventure (CLASS FULL. REGISTER WAIT LIST ) | July 22 to July 26 | Grade(s): 4-5 | SNARL
Get ready for a week on the Wild Islands at SNARL. From the water we drink to the oceans that circle the Earth, liquids are everywhere.We will explore the properties of water and the wetlands surrounding the islands by observing the creatures that live there and discovering how liquids do what they do. Come prepared to get wild and wet as you learn all about our most precious resources. REGISTER
Drawing with Lori Michelon at the Valentine Reserve | September 29 | Grade(s): Adults | Valentine Camp
Drawing at Valentine Reserve Our natural world is a fascinating place. Being able to observe and replicate it through drawing provides insights into life that can change how we think about ourselves and our surroundings. With this in mind Spend a few hours in the beautiful Valentine Reserve, walking and sketching the micro and the macro of the environment, in pencil and pen. Supplies included REGISTER
Journaling at Valentine with Kyle Oslund | October 13 | Grade(s): Adults | Valentine Camp
Naming and walking are two of the most primal things we do. Both start when we are infants and continue if we are fortunate to the day we die. When we apply the practice of naming to a place, the process becomes one of intimacy, drawing us closer to the land through the words we cultivate. Walking, an equally rich practice is one that exposes us to the sights, smells, and climate of a place - forcing an encounter – that is utterly unique. In this course at the spectacular Valentine’s Preserve, we will be combining these two practices as we spend the day walking and journaling in one of the most pristine spaces throughout the whole Sierra. Please bring a journal and pencil or pen. REGISTER