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GOALS 2017-2018 Year End Report

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Girls’ Outdoor Adventure in

Leadership and Science

GOALS at UC Davis

John Muir Institute for the Environment

University of California - Davis

One Shields Ave, Davis CA 95616

goals.ucdavis@gmail.com

http://www.girlsoutdoorscience.com

2017-2018 YEAR END REPORT


All content © 2019 Girls’ Outdoor Adventure in Leadership and Science (GOALS) at UC Davis.

All Rights Reserved.


OVERVIEW

Girls’ Outdoor Adventure in Leadership and Science (GOALS) seeks to cultivate and

embolden the next generation of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math)

leaders. We do this through an immersive, field-based summer science program for high

school girls and gender expansive youth. Following the summer program, scholars are paired

with a university-affiliated mentor who advises them on next steps. GOALS celebrated our

first program in Summer 2018. Seven youth scholars from the Sacramento area ventured into

the backcountry of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, led by two UC Davis

undergraduate student trip leaders. The group hiked over 40 miles, spent 13 nights camping,

participated in two citizen science projects investigating the effects of climate change and

nutrient pollution on the park's unique alpine ecosystems, and created and presented about

their own scientific projects, all while engaging with science and leadership curriculum.

This 2017-2018 Year End Report details the program rationale, budget, logistics, and

outcomes of GOALS during our first year.


PROGRAM RATIONALE

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering,

and Math) careers are experiencing

economic growth, yet fewer women,

especially women of color, are beginning

STEM careers. Women account for only 28%

of the science and engineering workforce,

with women of color making up just 10% of

the workforce. Female participation in

fields such as engineering, computer

science, and mathematics is particularly

low, with women making up less than 25%

of the workforce in those fields.

white

women

women

of color

18%

10%

STEM

Workforce

72%

men

This gap in participation appears long

before women enter the workforce. Though

women earn half of the nation’s bachelor’s

degrees in science and engineering, those

degrees are largely concentrated in the

biological sciences. Women earn far fewer

than half of the degrees awarded in

mathematics (43.1%), computer science

(17.9%), physical sciences (39%), and

engineering (19.3%). At a younger age, girls

are less likely to rate their academic abilities

highly compared to their male peers,

resulting in a loss of STEM enrollment when

they enter college.

white

75%

People who

participate in

outdoor

activities

25%

non-white

Girls are less likely to rate

their academic abilities highly

compared to male peers.

Barriers To Access

cost

lack of time

At the same time, outdoor spaces are also in

need of a diversity and equity overhaul.

Though outdoor recreation is growing in

popularity nationwide, only 25% of

lack of information

travel distance

fear of being hurt by others


self-reported participants in outdoor

activities were non-white.5 Self-reported

barriers to access include the cost of outdoor

recreation, lack of time and information,

travel distance to outdoor recreation areas,

and a fear of being hurt by others.

Diversity in science leads to

creative solutions!

Broadening participation in outdoor

recreation is about more than outreach - it is

also about toppling the dominant narrative

of the outdoors as a place where fit, white,

heterosexual men discover themselves and

untouched places — a narrative that

forwards settler-colonial and exclusionary

notions of who participates in what types of

outdoor activities.

GOALS addresses inequity and

under-representation in both STEM fields

and outdoor spaces through a

wilderness-based, immersive science and

leadership education program for femaleand

nonbinary-identifying youth,

particularly those who may be further

marginalized in STEM and outdoor spaces

due to their race, sexual orientation,

socioeconomic status, gender identity,

immigration status, religion, or other

reasons.

4Nielsen et al. (2017)

STEM education and outdoor education

are intrinsically connected; for example,

place-based science education that takes

place in the outdoors has been linked to

enhanced student academic

achievement, increased stewardship

behaviors, and the development of a sense

of self-efficacy (Place-Based Education

Evaluation Collaborative). Additionally,

mental and emotional skills, including

perseverance through difficulty,

developed through participating in

outdoor activities can benefit students in

their academic life.

STEM education and

outdoor education

are intrinsically

connected.


YEAR ONE: BY THE NUMBERS


DESCRIPTION

GOALS embodies the radical notion that girls – inclusive of all trans*, cis, genderqueer, and

nonbinary youth who identify with girlhood – are scientists and leaders who are already

changing the world. We invite youth to see themselves this way through community science

projects and youth-led independent research projects, as well as through a social justice

teaching model of leadership. We help them develop the tools to succeed through a

culturally sustaining, place-based curriculum and structured guidance from female and

non-binary National Parks leaders and university scientists. In this way, GOALS builds capacity

for the next generation of STEM leaders.

The 2018 GOALS program served 7 youth scholars from the Sacramento area and employed

two UC Davis undergraduate students as trip leaders. The summer program lasted for 15 days,

13 of which were spent camping in Sequoia National Park. The scholars participated in two

backpacking trips, hiking a total of over 40 miles and spending 7 nights in the backcountry.

Scholars engaged in place-based, experiential scientific and leadership learning, contributed

to two community science projects identified as research priorities by the park, and

developed and implemented their own independent field research experiments, which they

presented to the public at the program’s closing symposium at UC Davis.

Following the summer program, the GOALS scholars have the opportunity to participate in a

year-long one-on-one mentoring program. All scholars have been matched with a mentor

from UC Davis including undergraduate and graduate students, as well as postdocs. Scholars

meet monthly with their mentors to continue conversations about science, leadership, career

goals, and identity development that began during the summer program. All mentors receive

training and monthly meeting resources to help them best support the youth scholars.


PROGRAM MODEL

We designed this program to foster symbiotic self-reinforcing relationships among Scholars

(Sacramento area youth), Trip Leaders (UC Davis undergraduate students), SEKI, and Program

Organizers (UC Davis undergraduate and graduate students, staff, and faculty), who all benefit

from this program.

GOALS builds capacity for gender and racially diverse people to excel in STEM (science, technology,

engineering, and math) and the outdoors in the following ways:

Outdoors

fg

Diversity, Equity, and

Program

Component

Backcountry

backpacking

Outdoor skill

instruction

Place-based

education

lessons

Trip leaders

are paid and

receive free

training and

WFR/WFA

certifications

Leadership

instruction

Free

programming:

No cost for

participation,

meals,

equipment, or

transportation

Daily

journaling

and

reflection

Short-Term

Outcomes

Independence;

sense of

accomplishment;

perseverance;

self-reliance;

joy in being

outdoors

Backcountry

skills (hiking,

gear use,

cooking, etc.);

Leave No Trace

SEKI, Sierra

Nevada, and

California-based

scientific,

historical, and

outdoor

knowledge

Professional

development

and skill

building;

mentoring

experience

Social change

leadership

capacity;

teamwork

skills;

increased

connections

Removing

financial

barriers to the

outdoors and

science

enrichment

opportunities

Promote

critical selfreflection;

synthesize

content; tie

lessons to

culture and

community

Long-Term

Outcomes

Increased

environmental

connection;

self-esteem;

self-efficacy

and leadership7

Increased

self-efficacy and

leadership;

participation

in outdoor

activities

Increased

academic

achievement;

ties to

community;

environmental

connection;

civic

engagement6

Increased

STEM

persistence;

increased

likelihood of

STEM career

attainment

Civic

engagement;

social change

leadership

behaviors,

leadership

identity and

development;

STEM career

attainment8

Increased

participation

in outdoor

activities;

self-efficacy;

increased

likelihood of

STEM career

Increased

self-awareness,

self-expression,

problem

solving, and

stress

reduction9


Inclusion (DEI)

fg

Science, Tech, Engineering, Math

Culturally

sustaining /

revitalizing

pedagogy

centered on

experiences of

scholars

Framework

for female*

university

affiliates to

engage in

science

outreach

Female and

gender nonconforming

mentors

Female* SEKI

partners who

help lead

backcountry

trips

Interdisciplinary

science

instruction

Opportunity

for scholars

to contribute

to two citizen

science

projects

Scholars

conduct

independent

research

projects

Experiential

education

lessons

Affirmation;

Legitimizing

ways of

knowing,

celebrating

heritage and

community

Professional

development;

collaboration;

hands-on

learning;

working in

partnership

with Scholars

Access to

science role

models that

Scholars can

identify with

Parks-specific

knowledge,

mentorship,

and

development of

professional

science

network

Science

knowledge

related to

California Next

Generation

Science

Standards

(CA NGSS)

STEM

knowledge;

knowledge of

the research

process; SEKI

research

agenda

Science

knowledge

related to CA

NGSS; field

research skills

and

methodologies

Hands-on skill

building,

application of

knowledge,

understanding

connection

between

science and the

outdoors

Knowledge of

and

appreciation

for practices of

communities;

connections

between one’s

experiences

and science;

increased

critical

reflexivity 10

Knowledge of

issues related

to DEI in

STEM fields;

how to talk

about DEI;

and skills to

create

inclusive

learning

spaces

Sense of

belonging;

confidence;

and STEM

retention 11

Sense of

belonging;

confidence;

and STEM

retention11

Increased

academic

achievement;

science

identity

development

Increased

scientific

knowledge,

awareness of

the diversity

of science 12

Science

identity

development,

academic

achievement;

STEM career

attainment13

Science

identity

development,

academic

achievement 14


OUTCOMES

Following the GOALS program,

scholars self-reported increases in:

• Belief in self as leader

• Belief in self as scientist

• Belief in ability to go backpacking

• Ability to apply the scientific method to real world

• Interest in outdoor activities

• Awareness of science, leadership, and the outdoors

in everyday life

• Confidence in ability to get into college of choice

Additionally, they reported attitudinal shifts in

two leadership behaviors:

• Consciousness of self

• Controversy with civility


2017-2018 BUDGET

Total revenue: $24,491

Funding Sources:

John Muir Institute for the Environment Seed Funding

American Association of University Women (AAUW)

Community Action Grant

National Geographic Society Early Career Award

Graduate Student Association, UC Davis

Community Donations

$5,000

$4,900

$4,890

$500

$9,201

Total cost: $11,103

Program Evaluation

Trip Leader Stipends

$1700

$48

$2081

Equipment

Incidentals

$776

Communications

$354

$1709

Food

Housing

$1550

$2885

Transportation


PARTNERS

GOALS was made possible by the hard work of many individuals across numerous organizations.

The GALS program at Duke University provided the initial inspiration and framework for GOALS,

and ongoing support from Duke GALS and other GALS programs across the country has been

crucial for program development. The John Muir Institute for the Environment (JMIE) contributed

extensive administrative and financial support, without which implementing a program like this

would have been impossible. We especially thank the following folks from JMIE: Diane Kruger,

Lindsey Dunn, Jenny Nickell, Ben Houlton, Mabel Oen, Mark Schwartz, Jeffrey Clary, Shane

Waddell, Sara Nicholls, and Sarah Oktay .

Sequoia National Park was a critical partner, and planning the program logistics would have been

impossible without their energetic collaboration. In particular, the creative vision, enthusiasm, and

hard work of Christy Brigham, Koren Nydeck, Annie Esperanza, and Kelly Martin at Sequoia

National Park were integral to the program’s success.

We are also grateful to our 2018 grantors, the American Association of University Women and the

National Geographic Society , for their financial support of this work. GOALS was also funded by

community support through Davis community fundraising and an online crowdfunding

campaign.

Finally, we thank the volunteers at UC Davis who spent countless hours dreaming up and

executing GOALS in our first year. Our founding GOALS leadership team consisted of Katy

Dynarski, Kait Murray, Olivia Winokur, Iris Holzer, Mary Clapp, Hannah Waterhouse, Jennifer

Schmidt, Aviva Fiske, Noelle Patterson, Karen Holcomb, and Emily Pacoe.

THANK YOU!


LOOKING FORWARD

We are excited to build on the successes and lessons of the 2018 program! Based on feedback

from program participants and volunteers, some opportunities for growth in 2019 include:

• More in-person outreach/advertising in Sacramento area high schools to

more effectively reach our students who would most benefit from

participation in GOALS

• Streamlining curriculum

• Involving more park scientists and introducing participants to more

scientific research projects currently being carried out in the park

• Purchasing key backcountry equipment items

• Designing rigorous, IRB-approved research about scientific leadership

identity development based on the GOALS program

• Career development and exposure for program alumnae


REFERENCES

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

National Science Foundation. (2017) Special Report NSF 17-310.

Xu, Y. (2017) Attrition of Women in STEM: Examining Job/Major Congruence in the Career

Choices of College Graduates. Journal of Career Development, 44(1):3-19.

Anaya, Lina and Stafford, Frank P. and Zamarro, Gema, Gender Gaps in Math Performance,

Perceived Mathematical Ability and College STEM Education: The Role of Parental Occupation

(November 10, 2017). EDRE Working Paper No. 2017-21.

Nielsen, M. et al. (2017) Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114(8):1740-1742.

Outdoor Industry Association. (2016) Outdoor Recreation Participation Report.

Sobel, D. (2004). Place-based education: Connecting classroom and community. Nature and

Listening, 4, 1-7.

Carsten Conner, L. D., Perin, S. M., & Pettit, E. (2018). Tacit knowledge and girls’ notions about a

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Diekman, A. B., Brown, E. R., Johnston, A. M., & Clark, E. K. (2010). Seeking congruity between

goals and roles: A new look at why women opt out of science, technology, engineering, and

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Hiemstra, R. (2001). Uses and benefits of journal writing. New directions for adult and

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Paris, D., & Alim, H. S. (2014). What are we seeking to sustain through culturally sustaining

pedagogy? A loving critique forward. Harvard Educational Review, 84(1), 85-100.

Dennehy, T. C., & Dasgupta, N. (2017). Female peer mentors early in college increase women’s

positive academic experiences and retention in engineering. Proceedings of the National

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Bonney, R., Phillips, T. B., Ballard, H. L., & Enck, J. W. (2016). Can citizen science enhance public

understanding of science?. Public Understanding of Science, 25(1), 2-16.

Stets, J. E., Brenner, P. S., Burke, P. J., & Serpe, R. T. (2017). The science identity and entering a

science occupation. Social science research, 64, 1-14.

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Hurtado, S., Newman, C. B., Tran, M. C., & Chang, M. J. (2010). Improving the rate of success for

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