This pilot program partnered with Westview Middle School (St. Vrain Valley Schools), RMNP and Estes Park Environmental Center to help train “Citizen Scientists” in field-research techniques necessary to monitor the ecological health of the Endovalley/Fall River drainage in RMNP. This two-week course featured multiple days in the Park, conducting field research focused on two animals (Wilson’s Warbler, puma) and one plant community (willow).

Students took classes at Westview, where they learned the protocols used by scientific researchers, and spent four days conducting field research in the park. They documented their work following standardized methods used by professional researchers. In addition, a separate team of students worked as a film crew to document the entire process in a filmmaking project, following the scientific research team and helping make videos to communicate their work. (These programs worked concurrently, participating either as film crew or science researchers.)

This intensive two-week program filled all four sessions of the STEM Academy, and students had
to apply to the program managed by Westview staff members Mr. Cribby and Mr. Kline.