Trip Leaders

Applications are now open and are due February 22nd at 11:59PM!

Thank you for your interest in becoming a trip leader for the 2019 GOALS trip! Please read the following information before applying. When you are ready you may apply via Google forms using this link.

GOALS Girls’ Outdoor Adventure in Leadership and Science – is a free summer science program for high school students to learn science hands-on while backpacking through Sequoia National Park. During the two-week immersive program led by UC Davis and National Park scientists, GOALS scholars learn how to design and conduct field-based scientific experiments while developing leadership and outdoor skills. 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. GOALS was created to increase opportunities for high school students who are from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). For our trip leaders, scholars, and mentors, we particularly encourage people of color, trans, nonbinary, genderqueer, and LGBTQ+ people to apply.

GOALS is seeking trip leaders for its second immersive summer program from July 13 – July 28, 2019!


  • Work as a team of leaders to guide 6-10 high school students through the backcountry of Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Parks from July 13 – July 28, 2019 (itinerary will be provided)
  • Lead lessons and activities to teach scientific, leadership, outdoor skills, and environmental stewardship content throughout the program (curriculum materials will be provided)
  • Lead the students in citizen science data collection projects and assist the students in developing small independent research projects
  • Foster a supportive, welcoming, and inclusive learning environment for students of diverse backgrounds and experiences who may be new to the outdoors
  • Respond to any emergency situations (including medical emergencies) or difficulties that may arise in the backcountry portion of the trip
  • Participate in a leader training workshop (dates TBD; tentatively in June) to become familiar with the curriculum content and overall structure of the GOALS immersive program, plus additional hours as needed for leader training
  • Participate in a one-day orientation hike with the other leaders and the high school participants on June 15, 2019.
  • Participate in final trip preparation on July 12, 2019.


  • $850 stipend
  • Food are housing are provided for the duration of the trip
  • Assistance with backpacking gear procurement for the trip is available as needed.


  • UC Davis affiliate (undergraduate student, graduate student, post-doc, staff, faculty).
  • Will have completed at least two years of undergraduate education by July 2019.
  • Identify as female, femme, or gender-nonconforming
  • Available for the training workshop for program leaders and a one-day hike for program leaders and the high school participants, as well as final trip preparations on July 12, plus additional time as needed.
  • Available for the duration of the program: July 13 – July 28, 2019. GOALS is an immersive program that largely takes place in the backcountry of Sequoia National Park – leaders MUST be available for the duration of the trip, as it is not feasible for leaders to either meet up with the group late or leave the group early.
  • Good physical health and able to hike up to 7 miles a day with a 40 pound backpack
  • Current, valid certification as a Wilderness First Responder (WFR) or in Wilderness First Aid (WFA), or be willing to take a WFR or WFA course if not certified prior to July 1st. If determined necessary for the program, GOALS will arrange and pay for your certification.


  • Prior backpacking experience (overnight in the backcountry)
  • A valid US driver’s license
  • Must be a minimum of 20 years old
  • Prior or current involvement in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math)
  • Will contribute to the diversity of the trip leader team (diversity takes many forms, including race, ethnicity, sexual and gender identity, religion, cultural background and life experiences) and able to identify with GOALS participants from diverse backgrounds
  • Able to lead collaboratively, mitigate conflict, and overcome challenges


  • Experience leading/guiding backpacking trips
  • Ability to speak another language
  • WFR/WFA/First aid certified


The application will be completed in Google forms. Once you start the application, you will not be able to save it. This application asks you to complete short essay questions. Before you begin, we suggest typing out the answers to these essays in a Word Document and saving them. Since you are not able to save your answers in the application as you go, we do not recommend drafting your essays in the application. The essay questions are:

  1. Why are you interested in being a leader for GOALS? As a trip leader, how do you see yourself fulfilling the mission of GOALS? (2000 characters max)
  2. Describe your previous backpacking experience, including details such as length of the trip(s) and your role as leader or participant. Please share any experiences you have had handling adverse environmental conditions or situations in the backcountry. (1500 characters max)
  3. Please describe your previous experiences related to teaching and/or mentoring. Please include the duration, degree of involvement, your specific responsibilities, and the age of students/participants you worked with. (2500 characters max)
  4. Have you been or are you currently involved in the fields of science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM)? Please describe. (1500 characters max)
  5. We are assembling a diverse group of GOALS participants with a focus on identities that are underrepresented in STEM and the outdoors. In what ways do you think you will be able to identify with the students in GOALS? How has identity shaped your personal experiences and challenges in science and the outdoors? (2500 characters max)
  6. What skills and personal qualities do you bring to a leadership role? What skills and qualities would you want in an ideal co-leader (i.e. what kind of person would be complement/balance your leadership style)? (2000 characters max)

When you are ready, please apply via Google forms using this link.


You must answer all questions for your application to be considered complete. If you are unable to fill out the online form, please email for a downloadable application, fill it out, and mail to: GOALS at UC Davis, John Muir Institute for the Environment, The Barn, 1 Shields Ave, Davis CA 95616. All materials must be submitted online or received in the mail by February 22, 2019.


Applications are due February 22nd at 11:59PM. If you are mailing your application, February 22nd is also the deadline to receive any mailed applications. If you apply online, you are not required to mail anything.

You will be notified by March 4th if you are selected for an interview, and interviews will take place March 11th and 12th. Final notifications will be sent out by March 20th.

If you have any questions, please contact us at

Apply via Google Forms here.

Sage & MK
2018 trip leaders: MK and Sage