Environmental Science Research Camp

Program Overview

An environmental science camp at the Truckee Donner Land Trust’s Webber Lake Campground for students going into 7th grade and older.

Foundations of the program:

1. Scientific Research

Students work with a cohort of peers at Webber Lake and with professional scientist mentors to create questions around their environmental topics of interest and develop these questions into a research project.

2. Mentorship

The students will be mentored by scientists for guidance through their project. These career-scientists can help with recommendations for how to turn an idea into an executable project.

3. Professional caliber scientific exploration

Participants are given the chance to practice science just like a professional would, analyzing data and finally creating a research talk. If they would like to create a paper they should also join our Summer Research Experience and at the end, they submit their paper for publication. They can get all of their data collected for the summer-long program during this week at Webber Lake.

2024 Program Details

Dates: July 9th – 13th

Camping: Participants will camp at our Webber Lake study site.

Location: The campground is located at Webber Lake in Truckee, California at the Truckee Donner Land Trust campground.

Ages: For students entering 7th-12th grade.

Cost: $750

Registration opens February 1st.

Financial Assistance is available. Apply here.

General Camp Outline

Students will create:

Students will create:

  • An original research project complete with research methods and data collection.
  • A polished research presentation. This can be used as a starting point for science fair or other bigger projects.
  • The opportunity to join the Summer Research Program to publish their paper.

Schedule: participants will camp at Webber Lake to do data collection from July 9-14.

July 9: Drop-off between 6-7 pm (please eat dinner first), Set up tents, 7:30 pm parents leave, welcome campfire

July 10: Learn environmental science and ecology data collection methods from our staff scientists and mentors, scientific literacy, scientific question asking

July 11: methods development, and data collection

July 12: finish data collection and service project for the Truckee Donner Land Trust, data analysis, presentation building

July 13: 9 am Presentations for the Truckee Donner Land Trust Hike, 12 pm pickup

July 16th: 6 pm virtual data analysis and presentation-building session

July 18th: 6 pm live recorded digital presentations

For a full summer option, you can also signup for the Research Experience and use this program as a way to collect your data for that project.

Students will gather virtually following the program to present their research to friends and family via live stream on July 18th.


Please contact Morgan Long: morgan@headwatersscienceinstitute.org with any questions.


Cancelations are subject to a $50 fee and are only allowed until June 1st. If there is someone else to fill the spot we will accept trades.

Camp Sponsors

Staffing and Emergency Policies:

Headwaters Science Institute is committed to maintaining the highest safety and security standards for our programs.  When your children are in our care, you can trust that they are safe.

  • All employees and contractors are background checked before they start working with us. We use a national-level background check program called National Crime Search (nationalcrimesearch.com) that searches all states and county records for any criminal records, sex & violent offenders, and includes a terrorist search.
  • Our staff members are all first-aid and CPR certified. Some are Wilderness First Responder certified as well.
  • We have a safety plan for every field site we use and know where the nearest fire station is located. We are never more than a few minutes walk to the nearest road.
  • In the unlikely event of an emergency, we always work in areas that are easily served by 911. Our field site on Donner Summit is less than 2 miles from the nearest fire station with full-time EMT services and the hospital is a short 10-minute ride away.