Frequently asked questions

Please click on the question to reveal the answer!

What does GOALS stand for?Girls’ Outdoor Adventure in Leadership and Science.
Who runs GOALS?GOALS was started at UC Davis by a team of graduate and undergraduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and staff members. We are a student organization affiliated with the John Muir Institute for the Environment at UC Davis, and we have a partnership with Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Our dedicated volunteer team works throughout the year on trip planning, curriculum development, fundraising, and much more to ensure a successful trip for all participants!
Who are the trip leaders and mentors?Using a rigorous application process, GOALS finds UC Davis students to lead our trips. Students and postdoctoral scholars also apply to be mentors for our program participants. In Sequoia, National Park Service scientists join the team for the backpacking trip.
How much does the GOALS summer program cost?Nothing! GOALS is completely free for all participants, thanks to a combination of grant funding, support from UC Davis, and community support.
What are the program dates for 2021?Stay tuned!
Are there other dates I need to be available besides the program dates?Not for 2021.
I’m only available for half the program dates. Can I still participate?Unfortunately, no.
How do I apply? What are the application dates?See our application page for more details.
When will I know if I’ve been accepted or not?Application decisions will be sent via email. We will update this with more information regarding 2021 soon!
How old do I have to be to participate in GOALS?All applicants must be rising high school juniors and seniors. That means starting 11th or 12th grade the fall immediately after the summer program.
Who can participate in GOALS? GOALS is an opportunity for people who have had that experience of walking into a classroom, a lab, or an outdoor space and finding that no one else looked like them. If you’ve doubted that you belong in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) or the outdoors, GOALS is for you. We particularly encourage people of color, trans, nonbinary, genderqueer, and LGBTQ+ people to get involved with GOALS: this is for you! GOALS seeks to create a nurturing environment for scholars to grow as scientists and leaders while exploring, sharing, and celebrating the many facets of our identities, including:
  • Race and ethnicity,
  • Sexual orientation and gender identity,
  • Cultural background and upbringing,
  • Hometown and family dynamics,
  • Personality,
  • Socioeconomic status or class,
  • Languages spoken at home,
  • Education level of family members,
  • Immigration status,
  • Body size and ability,
  • Religious or spiritual identity, and
  • Other identities and life experiences.
Do I need to live in the Sacramento area to apply to this program?Yes, you must live within 35 miles of Davis, California. However, we are a partner organization of the growing ScienceGALS network, which offers programs in: Please check out our alternate opportunities page for even more programs!
How is GOALS funded?We are funded through a combination of private donations and grants. We have received grants from National Geographic, the American Association of University Women, and the John Muir Institute for the Environment at UC Davis. If you are interested in donating to GOALS, you can find more information on our donation page.
I’m a UC Davis student. How can I get involved?We are always excited to have new members. Please check out our Get Involved at UCD! page.