Field Science Leadership

BySternberg Museum

Field Science Leadership

Financial Aid
Student testimonials
Parent testimonials
  • Outdoor skills training.
  • Wilderness First Aid certification.
  • Science communication training.
  • Organization and logistics management.


This camp program emphasizes developing leadership, organization, and communication skills. Students will be trained in organizing and managing groups of students in field settings.

We use a combination of discussion and practical, scenario-based training to build knowledge, skills, and confidence over this six day program. Students are also trained in strategies and techniques for teaching science in the field, leading discussion groups, addressing student questions, and field crisis management.

We treat this camp as a training program for potential future camps counselors and teaching assistants. We present knowledge, content, and skills we look for in students who have advanced to staff positions within our camps program. This training takes place here in western Kansas, visiting paleontological as well as wildlife-centric field sites as backdrops for our training lessons and activities.

Program Cost

Tuition is $630 per member, and $700 per non-member.

Contact Us

For questions about the Sternberg Science Camps programs, contact Education Director David Levering at, or 785-639-5249.

Application Requirements

– All application materials must turned in no later than May 1st, 2018.
– Student applicants must be ages 14 to 18 as of June 2018.

– 2 page (4-6 paragraph) letter of interest from the student applicant.
– Letter of recommendation from the non-family member for the student applicant.
– Financial aid application paperwork (if applying for financial assistance).
– Complete online registration.
– Submit correctly filled out, signed waiver and release form.

Additional Information and Logistics

Drop off is 8:00am on the first day. Pick up is by 5:00pm on the last day.

Please see Frequently Asked Questions for information about attending the camps for out of state students.

You can follow along with our camp programs on Twitter and Instagram at @SternbergMuseum.

In order to stay safe and healthy during field work, students will receive instruction on loading and fitting a backpack, optimal attire, hydration, footwear, self-awareness and group safety. Awareness and proper planning for weather and temperature conditions is extremely important for extended treks in the outdoors. Preparation is key, and we will make sure your student has the information to be prepared.

Taking initiative, staying organized, and effectively communicating are all important skills for working with a team in the field. Over the course of the program, students are coached on developing these areas. With guided opportunities to lead portions of field work, students are encouraged to develop their voices, organize team efforts, and build confidence in their abilities.

From staying hydrated to dealing with bad weather, students are introduced to the hazards of field work and how to effectively, safely deal with them. Staff provide lessons on safety through discussion, making sure students have a clear understanding of problems that can arise and how to effectively avoid them, or mitigate their effects afterwards.

Students will be introduced to delivering educational content in a field setting to their peers. At the core of our teaching curriculum is practice, practice, practice! Examples of content delivery will be followed by explanations and breakdowns of techniques used to communicate with your audience. Students will also practice effectively simplifying complex information for non-scientist audiences, and strategies for engaging with an audience. For any student going into the sciences, strong communication skills are very important. Our goal is to build a foundation for students to build on as they continue to gain experience and further their education.

Knowing some basics of camping is essential to field work. Field paleontology is often done in remote or semi-remote locations, making camping skills necessary to being able to do field work at all!

Training includes:
– Putting up tents
– Camp cooking
– Setting up and breaking down camp
– Leave No Trace strategies
– Efficiently loading and unloading field vehicles
– Environmental injury and illness mitigation
– Building and safely managing a campfire

Working with the outdoor medicine organization SOLO, students in this program will have the opportunity to earn a Wilderness First Aid certification. From the SOLO website: “Accidents happen. People get hurt, sick, or lost. The temperature drops, the wind picks up, and it starts to rain. Would you know what to do? Many backcountry emergencies are preventable, and even when bad things happen, sometimes the wrong care can make things worse. By learning a few basic skills, you can make the difference between a good outcome and a bad one-and maybe even save a life.”

Smartphones and GPS units can lose their signals, and have batteries that die. It is important for students learning to do field work to understand how to read and orient a map. Students are trained in use of aerial photos and compasses to navigate field areas and locate established field sites using cardinal directions and landmarks.