Mount St. Helens Summer Ecology Program

Sunday July 23 - Thursday July 27, 2017

Summer Ecology Program is an adventuresome science camp in the heart of the Mount St. Helens blast zone. Participants will work with scientists on their research, conduct their own field ecology projects and explore the landscapes and organisms of Mount St. Helens.

DOWNLOAD the Summer Ecology Program Flyer to print & share!


Students ages 15-17


Sunday July 23. Meeting time will vary based on meeting locations.


Meeting locations will vary based on selected high school participants.

What Skills are Necessary:

No previous experience in ecology, hiking or camping is necessary. It is essential that participants are in good physical condition and are comfortable being outside.

How much?


*Need-based scholarships are available.  Financial aid applications will be made available here on March 29, 2017.  We STRONGLY encourage all interested high school students to apply!  Scan or take a photo of your completed financial aid application and send to

How to Apply:

Applications open March 29, 2017.  Rolling admissions until July 1, 2017. 

Application materials, including a link to a teacher recommendation form, will be made available here.

Applications will be considered once BOTH the application and the Teacher Recommendation Form are submitted.

Max Number of Youth:


What We Will Do:

After meeting, the group will we will travel through old-growth forest similar to pre-eruption Mount St. Helens to the Mount St. Helens Institute’s Field Camp near Windy Ridge where we will set up our base camp. Each day during the week we will explore aspects of field ecology research which may include stream surveys, road surveys, wildlife camera traps and plant ecology. Small research teams will work alongside researchers from the US Forest Service, universities and non-profits on their research. We also conduct our own research projects and have plenty of time to explore, relax and reflect in this incredibly dynamic landscape.


The Mount St. Helens Institute operates a field camp at 4,000 feet in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Camp consists of canvas-walled sleeping tents with cots, an outdoor kitchen and an outdoor toilet with a lovely view of Mount Rainier.

Meals are home-style, nutritious and are made on-site. We are able to accommodate numerous dietary requests.

Think of the accommodations and meals as up-graded camping with an amazing view of Cascadian volcanoes.

Needed Supplies:

Not much. You will need sturdy shoes, a sleeping bag, a daypack/school backpack, a ball cap or sunhat, and 2 good water bottles. We have sleeping bags for loan.

Staff & Scientists:

Staff are trained educators who are passionate about volcanoes and ecology. All staff undergo background checks and have at minimum first aid and CPR training. Scientists are experts from the US Forest Service, Gifford Pinchot Task Force and regional universities.