Apply to be a GeoGirls Science Mentor

Like many organizations and businesses, we've had to adapt quickly and make tough decisions. After extensive deliberations, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to cancel our 2020 summer programs. You can read more about our response to the COVID-19 pandemic here.

Information about how to apply for GeoGirls 2021 will be available in November.

Thank you for your interest in volunteering!  Science Mentors are crucial to GeoGirls.  The roles of GeoGirls Science Mentors are varied, but all volunteers become part of supportive, fun community of female (cis and trans gender) geoscientists and ecologists of all ages to facilitate an empowering, adventuresome experience for middle and high school 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.  There are a lot of ways to be involved with GeoGirls! 

GeoGirls Science Mentor Roles

The GeoGirls Science Mentor team will include a several "champion" roles.  Champions are GeoGirls Science Mentors who take a leadership role in the planning process of GeoGirls.  Champion roles include Research Project Leaders as in years' past, but include new roles pivotal to the planning process.  Please see HERE for a list and descriptions of these roles.  If you are interested in volunteering with GeoGirls and are interested in a Champion role, please thoughtfully review these roles and consider how you would intend to fulfill the responsibilities of the Champion role.

You can learn more about past Research Projects HERE.

In addition to Champion roles, we have created a sign-up list of all the boots-on-the-ground tasks that the team of Science Mentors will lead or assist with, including tasks such as loading/unloading vehicles, assisting with kitchen cleanup, leading Ape Cave tours, sharing your stories or other talents around the campfire, leading short activities/games, and more.  This list will be available to Science Mentors as they are selected so that they can sign up for tasks/shifts.  Not all Science Mentors will be Champions and the Science Mentor team as a whole will complete these tasks.

How will we select GeoGirls Science Mentors?  

  1. Champion roles will be assigned before other Science Mentors are selected. 
  2. Once they are selected, Champions will have the opportunity to sign up for tasks/shifts for during GeoGirls.
  3. After Champions have signed up for shifts/tasks during GeoGirls, other potential Science Mentors will have the opportunity to sign up for tasks.  More detailed instructions will be given at that time
  4. When all of the needs of the program are met, GeoGirls Science Mentor selections will be complete.

How do I apply to be a GeoGirls Science Mentor?

  • If you wish to become a volunteer, fill out a GeoGirls Science Mentor Application Form.  Information, including the application form link, for how to apply to be a 2021 GeoGirls Science Mentor will be available in November 2020.
  • Before you are officially a GeoGirls Science Mentor, you will need to:

    • Confirm the dates that you will be volunteering by signing up for shifts/tasks
    • 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.
  • Shortly after becoming an official volunteer, you will receive lots of information to help you prepare for GeoGirls!
  • 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 they may attend in-person or online.

Basic Schedule



DAY 1 Sunday Check in at Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument Headquarters, Field trip stops  to Ape Cave and other sites on the south side of Mount St. Helens.  Drive to Windy Ridge camp in time for dinner.
DAY 2 Monday Field trip hikes and activities on the Pumice Plain and nearby area.
DAY 3 Tuesday Research Project day 1 at Windy Ridge side of mountain in 5 groups.  Drive to Coldwater afternoon to evening, dinner in town on the way.
DAY 4 Wednesday Research Project day 2 at Coldwater in 5 groups, evening program at Coldwater
DAY 5 Thursday Activities at Coldwater (including volcanic crisis mission/hazards game), head to Cascades Volcano Observatory for tours & final presentations for parents

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
Day 4- Coldwater 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, Ground Penetrating Radar, Water chemistry

Lodging: 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, and a campfire pit.

Power available at the Science and Learning Center

A limited amount of internet may be 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, Sedimentology study of Coldwater Lake, Photogrammetry

Lodging: 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.

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