Apply to be a 2017 GeoGirls Volunteer

Thank you for your interest in volunteering!  Volunteers are crucial to the success of GeoGirls.  The roles of GeoGirls volunteers are varied, but all volunteers participate with GeoGirls to become part of supportive, fun community of female geoscientists and ecologists of all ages which facilitates an empowering, adventuresome experience for the GeoGirls.  Volunteers are selected based on their availability, their desired involvement, and our program needs and resources.  Some volunteers participate in the full length of the program; some volunteers join GeoGirls for a day or two.  Some volunteers lead Field Trip Activities and/or Research Projects; some volunteers focus on their role as a mentor to the GeoGirls.  There are a lot of ways to be involved with GeoGirls!  If you have any questions about volunteering with GeoGirls, contact Sonja Melander, MSHI Science Education Coordinator, at smelander@mshinstitute.org

Read through the information below to learn more about the ways you can volunteer. 

If you wish to become a volunteer, fill out a GeoGirls Volunteer Interest Form.  We will accept GeoGirls Volunteer Interest Forms until February 15, 2017.  Selections will be announced February 22, 2017.  Please note that the dates and roles list in your proposal are a tentative, but not a final, commitment on your part should you be selected as a GeoGirls Volunteer.  If selected, you will be expected to make a final commitment by February 28, 2017.

 

GEOGIRLS SCHEDULE

DAY

BASIC SCHEDULE

DAY 1 Sunday, July 30, 2017 Check in at Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument Headquarters, Field trip stops with Field Trip Activities: Ape Cave, Trail of Two Forests, Stratigraphy viewpoint, Lava Canyon.  Drive to Windy Ridge camp in time for dinner
DAY 2 Monday, July 31, 2017 Field trip hikes on the Pumice Plain with Field Trip Activities
DAY 3 Tuesday, August 1, 2017 Research Project day 1 at Windy Ridge side of mountain in 5 groups, then drive to Coldwater that evening, dinner in town on the way
DAY 4 Wednesday, August 2, 2017 Research Project day 2 at Coldwater in 5 groups, evening program at Coldwater
DAY 5 Thursday, August 3, 2017 Activities at Coldwater (including volcanic crisis mission/hazards game), head to Cascades Volcano Observatory for tours & final presentations for parents

GEOGIRLS LOCATIONS

Windy Ridge Camp

Mount St. Helens Institute Ridge Camp is a rustic camp on the northeast side of the volcano near Cascade Peaks Information Station. Ridge Camp is equipped with canvas walled tents, wood stoves, excellent open-air cooking facilities (health department certified), and a campfire pit.

Coldwater Science and Learning Center

The Coldwater Science and Learning Center is a re-purposed visitor center. It includes a commercial kitchen and excellent views of the volcano. The Science and Learning Center is located 43 miles east of Castle Rock, WA. Bathrooms and running water are available in the building, but showers are not.

 

VOLUNTEER ROLES
  • Mentor a group (~6 girls) and stay the entire week.
  • Help mentor a group for part of the week.
  • Plan field trip activities for Day 2: Pumice Plain.
  • Lead Field Trip Activities
    • Day 1: Ape Cave
    • Day 1: Trail of Two Forests
    • Day 1: Stratigraphy Viewpoint
    • Day 1: Lava Canyon
    • Day 2: Pumice Plain
  • Assist with leading Field Trip Activities:
    • Day 1: Ape Cave
    • Day 1: Trail of Two Forests
    • Day 1: Stratigraphy Viewpoint
    • Day 1: Lava Canyon
    • Day 2: Pumice Plain
  • Plan and lead Research Projects:
    • Day 3: Windy Ridge side of MSH
    • Day 4: Coldwater side of MSH
  • Assist with leading Research Projects:
    • Day 3: Windy Ridge side of MSH
    • Day 4: Coldwater side of MSH
  • Other ways to be involved:
    • Help review applications
    • Drive other GeoGirls Volunteers during the program
    • Lead or assist leading short educational activities/games
    • Lead or assist leading short non-educational activities/games
    • Share your stories around the campfire
    • Play guitar or other musical instrument

 

FIELD TRIP ACTIVITIES

On Day 1 and Day 2, GeoGirls will embark on field trips to a number of locations.  Learning goals for the Field Trip Activities on Days 1 and 2 include practicing observation skills, learning the basics of geology/volcanology, learning how to identify key features in volcanic rock, learning how features in volcanic rock can tell a story, and developing a familiarity with Mount St. Helens.  Field Trip Activities can range in length from short activities to those lasting several hours.

Past Field Trip Activities:

Day 1- Ape Cave, Trail of Two Forests, Stratigraphy Viewpoint, Lava Canyon
  • Ape Cave: Guided tour, Lava flow features scavenger hunt
  • Trail of Two Forests: Brief tour on boardwalk path, Brief volcanology demonstrations/experiments at nearby picnic benches
  • Stratigraphy Viewpoint Drawing stratigraphic columns, outcrop scavenger hunt
  • Lava Canyon: New location, no past activities.
Day 2- Pumice Plain
  • Stratigraphic column sketches and Ground Penetrating Radar survey
  • Guided observations: the relationships between geology and life
  • Glacial history lecture
  • Identifying deposits (blast vs. tephra fall vs. pyroclastic flow)

Our greatest need for volunteer-planned Field Trip Activities is during Day 2 on the Pumice Plain.  The most successful field trip activities are those that minimize lecture time and maximize the time GeoGirls are actively involved with activities such as making and recording guided observations, writing in their journals, and handling equipment.   If you are interested in planning a field trip activity and need more information, contact smelander@mshinstitute.org.

 

RESEARCH PROJECTS

On Day 3 and Day 4, GeoGirls will participate in Research Projects, which generally last ~4-5 hours (morning to early afternoon).  Day 3 and Day 4 will each consist of 5 separate Research Projects.   Each of the 5 GeoGirls van groups (5 Geogirls, 1 High School Mentor, and 1 Teacher Mentor) will conduct one of the Research Projects each day.  GeoGirls participants will be assigned their Research Projects before GeoGirls begins.

Day 3- Windy Ridge side of MSH
  • No power available except van inverters.
  • No internet available.
  • Past locations: Pumice Plain, Meta Lake, Ghost Lake, MSHI Field Camp, outcrops on nearby Forest Service roads
  • Past Research Project topics: Balloon Mapping/Photogrammetry, Ecology Field Study, Tephra Mapping/Isopachs, Deformation
Day 4- Coldwater side of MSH
  • Power available at the Science and Learning Center
  • No internet available
  • Past locations: Science and Learning Center, Hummocks Trail, Lakes Trail, South Coldwater Trail, Coldwater Lake, Outcrops on State Route 504
  • Past Research Project topics: Deformation, Seismology, Landslides and Mapping, Sedimentological Study of Coldwater Lake, Photogrammetry

Like the Field Trip Activities, the most successful GeoGirls Research Projects are those that minimize lecture time and maximize the time GeoGirls are actively involved.   If you would like to plan and lead a Research Project, consider the following before you submit your proposal.  Contact smelander@mshinstitute.org if you have any questions.

  • What technique or topic does your proposed Research Project focus on?
  • What supplies do you need for your proposed Research Project?  Which of these supplies can you provide and which can’t you provide?  
  • What are the learning outcomes or results you anticipate for your Research Project?  Remember, a Research Project only lasts 4-5 hours in total, driving included.  What are the 3 most important things for GeoGirls to learn from your project?
  • Where is the location (or possible locations) for your Research Project?  Is this location accessible by minivans?

 

Read more about past GeoGirls Field Trip Activities and Research Projects here:

https://geogirls2016.wordpress.com/

https://geogirls2015.wordpress.com/

 

Volunteer Selection Process and Next Steps
  • If you would like to become a GeoGirls Volunteer, you need to fill out the GeoGirls Volunteer Interest Form.  This form includes a section in which you can submit a proposal(s) for a Field Trip Activity or Research Project. 
  • We will accept GeoGirls Volunteer Interest Forms until February 15, 2017.  Selections will be announced February 22, 2017.  Please note that the dates and roles list in your proposal are a tentative, but not a final, commitment on your part should you be selected as a GeoGirls Volunteer.  If selected, you will be expected to make a final commitment by February 28, 2017.
  • If you are selected, MSHI will shortly thereafter reach out to you.  Before you are officially a GeoGirls Volunteer, you will need to:
    • Confirm the dates that you will be volunteering.
    • Complete the Mount St. Helens Institute Volunteer application form.
    • Complete Mount St. Helens Institute Volunteer Waiver.
    • Complete and pass a criminal background check, driving record included.
  • Please note that all GeoGirls Volunteers will be expected to attend (either in person or via web/phone conferencing) the Staff and Volunteer Coordination Meeting, which will be the morning (PST) of July 11, 2017 at Cascades Volcano Observatory.