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Earth Camp Earth Camp

High School Earth Camp (Grades 10-12)

1 Arches

2 Girl

3 Boats

Single Boat

Capt. Laurel Salton Clark

July 7-18, 2010

Earth Camp, an environmental summer program for teens, is a partnership between the University of Arizona College of Science and the Arizona- Sonora Desert Museum.

Conceived to honor the legacy of Columbia space shuttle astronaut Laurel Clark, the goal of Earth Camp is to educate and inspire youth to build leadership skills through experiential learning and conceptual understanding of earth processes. Earth Camp seeks to expand youth awareness of the interdependency of all living things, create a sense of wonder related to the Sonoran Desert and ecosystems worldwide, as well as open their eyes to the "awe-inspiring" universal perspective. Earth Camp High School provides hands-on ecological research experience to help youth appreciate how science can be used to help people make better choices in a rapidly changing world.

Earth Camp 2010 will challenge youth entering grades 10-12 to explore global changes in climate, water and landscapes as well as how these changes impact sustainability issues. Students will work together in small-groups exploring the ecology and climate from southern Arizona to eastern Utah.

The bulk of our investigations will take place during a 5 day rafting trip down the Green River's Desolation Canyon in Central Utah. Desolation Canyon's 90 river miles offer the perfect venue to study the history of water resource policy, development of the West and its impacts on the flora, fauna and ecology of our region. We will gain an understanding that turning on any faucet in the West has wide ranging impacts that can be felt from the Sea of Cortez to the headwaters of the Green and Colorado Rivers in the Rocky Mountains. As we engage in our own exploration of the Desert Southwest and the Colorado Plateau we will gain insights into the explorations of early western explorers such as Major John Wesely Powell, who in 1869 charted the last truly uncharted and wild portions of the west including the Colorado River system and our destination, Desolation Canyon. We will compare and contrast the life and work of early explorers with that of modern day pioneers and explorers such as Laurel Clark, and see how even today in an era of scientific enlightenment, there is ample territory for new explorations and discovery.

Students will be immersed in the ecology of the Sonoran Desert at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum where they will have the chance to interact with live animals and learn about the unique qualities of the Sonoran Desert. As we travel north from Tucson to Moab Utah, they will explore several distinct ecosystems as we travel up and out of the Basin and Range of the Sonoran Desert and arrive on the expansive Colorado Plateau and the Great Basin Desert. In our travels we will stop along the way to see sites of natural and cultural significance such as Canyon De Chelle National Mounument, Monument Valley, and the Glen Canyon Dam. Students will consider how past, current and future environmental change will affect them wherever they live. Upon our return to Tucson, campers will have the opportunity to utilize the vast resources of the University of Arizona where they will assimilate their newly accquired knowledge and understanding of how people use, change and can protect the landscapes we have visited.

During the entire twelve days, campers will record their journey in photos, drawings, observations, data and personal reflections in field journals, which will then be transferred to individual web pages. Campers will compute and evaluate their personal and collective environmental impact and use this ecological footprint to inform future choices.

Please note: this is a field excursion and students will camp under the stars (or in tents) in the desert and on the river beaches each night. The river excursion portion of the trip is a genuine wilderness experience and campers will need to come prepared for the rigors of outdoor living and the joys and challenges that come with it.

A Learning Celebration at the end of the camp gives the students an opportunity to share their discoveries with each other and with their families.

Participants are selected by an application process. Applications must be received April 3rd, 2010. Application deadline extended to April 20th, 2010. Space limited to 20 youth. One credit from the University of Arizona and/or high school credit may be available to high school Earth Camp participants. Academic merit and financial aid scholarships are available.

For more information call Amy Orchard at 520-883-3083.

AGES: Entering grades 10, 11 or 12
LOCATION: ASDM, University of Arizona, Canyon de Chelly and the Green River in eastern Utah
DATES: July 7-18, 2010
HOURS: This is a residential camp
FEES: $1500 (academic merit and financial aid scholarships are available)

Important Forms

About the Instructors

Lynn Orchard - Picture Lynn Orchard holds a Masters of Science degree in Hydrology from the University of Arizona, and a Bachelors of Science degree in Watershed Science from Utah State University, and is currently a Chief Hydrologist for the Pima County Regional Flood Control District. His main area of expertise is in flood hydrology/hydraulics and geomorphology of natural river systems. He has supervised research in the wilderness canyons of the Green, Colorado, San Juan and White Rivers in Utah, Colorado, and Arizona. He is currently the project manager of an 80-acre riparian restoration project in Pima County that included planting over 7,000 native trees. Lynn has been a volunteer in the Earth Camp programs for the past several years and enjoys sharing his knowledge and excitement about the natural world with youth. He is an avid recreational kayaker and a former commercial river guide.

Holly Thomas-Hilburn - Picture Holly Thomas-Hilburn is the Earth Camp collaborator from the University of Arizona's Water Resources Research Center. She holds a Master's Degree in Education with an emphasis on environmental learning, and currently works for Arizona Project WET (Water Education for Teachers), helping teachers across the state teach about water in their classrooms and beyond. Holly is an experienced teacher that has taught in non-traditional classrooms such as the Sierra Nevada mountains, a fifteen passenger van driving around the busy border city of Nogales, Sonora, and the central plaza of a small town in Mexico. She is a native of California and enjoys sewing, cooking, hiking and running.

Amy Orchard - Picture Amy Orchard has worked at ASDM since 2001. She has a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies from Prescott College and has 17 years experience educating youth of the desert southwest about its flora and fauna. Amy currently manages the teen programs at ASDM and has taught natural history to youth groups in numerous exciting locations such as Arches National Park, on raft trips down the Colorado River and in the Catalina mountains. Amy has facilitated youth programs such as a six-year course, which included survival skills and overnight backpacking trips. Amy is an experienced whitewater river guide and enjoys knitting, hiking, scuba diving and hanging out with her family.

Jesus Garcia - Picture Jesús Manuel García was born and raised in Magdalena de Kino, Sonora, México. He completed a degree in Elementary Education, (Escuela Normal del Estado) in Hermosillo, Sonora, and then moved to Tucson and graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, with a minor in cultural Anthropology. Jesús has been associated with the Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum since 1991. Currently, he is an education specialist teaching natural history programs to the Hispanic community of the Tucson area schools as well as in the border region of the state of Sonora, Mexico. Jesús has many interests such as conservation biology, cultural ecology, languages, music, gardening, and art.