NatureBridge Olympic National Park photo 2720392406 8bd9ea6227 b NatureBridge Olympic National Park
Photo by stevevoght cc

2015 Funding Priority | Amount Needed $15,000

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Each year, approximately 4,000 students attend a residential field science course at the campus of NatureBridge, located on Lake Crescent in Olympic National Park. Due to a lack of funding for National Park Service staff, most never have the chance to meet a ranger during their three- or five-day course. The “Ranger on Campus” project would provide funding for a ranger to be stationed on campus and to teach alongside NatureBridge educators, bringing the “flat hat” to campus. The ranger would be on campus during the busiest spring season, from March through June.

Public support for science and research begins with a public that is scientifically literate. As students conduct their own inquiry science project, the “Ranger on Campus” will lead students in the process of science in a national park. Some of the learning involves participating in long-term monitoring of park resources. These activities promote the understanding that managing parks require scientific data on the resources that are protected.

The “Ranger on Campus” program has the potential to reach thousands of students each year, strengthening their connections to the parks and creating the next generation of passionate parks people. NatureBridge provides scholarships and works with schools that serve diverse students, many of whom have never had a chance to visit a national park.