GeoFORCE Alaska is the perfect summer program for you! GeoFORCE Alaska is an outreach program for 8th through 12th grade students from the North Slope Borough and the Northwest Arctic Borough. Students who are admitted into the program are given the opportunity to travel around Alaska and throughout the country, meet new and inspiring people, and learn about geology and about the career paths in the geosciences.
Each summer, GeoFORCE Alaska coordinates field academies to spectacular geologic settings across the state of Alaska and the United States. These places include Denali National Park, the Grand Canyon, Crater Lake, and Yellowstone National Park. If you want to learn more about specific field trips check out the Summer Academy page.
GeoFORCE Alaska Summer Academies are 10-day excursions that will allow you to see the many geological wonders of the United States.
Through in-class coursework and hands-on field trips, you will learn about the formation of the Earth, and the geological processes that shape it. The Academies are led by UAF geologists, who are assisted by high school science teachers, and industry professionals. UAF geology undergraduate and graduate students will serve as counselors.
You will experience science in ways you never have before in a classroom. You will be fascinated, awestruck, and amazed. You will learn more than you ever expected, and you will form deep and lasting friendships.
Check out where students in the Summer Academies travel to each summer.
The first year of Summer Academy is the beginning of the GeoFORCE Alaska adventure for students. The trip begins at the University of Alaska Fairbanks where students stay in the college dorms and experience a bit of college life. They will visit field sites around Fairbanks, including the Fort Knox gold mine, Trans-Alaska Pipeline, and the Chena River.
The students will then get on bus and drive south through Alaska, where they will study the geology of the Alaska’s glaciers, mountains, and rivers. Students will see Denali (the highest mountain peak in North America), hike on a glacier, and cruise on a glacial lake. The trip focuses on surficial processes, and on sedimentary environments. In the end, students will be able to use the geologic knowledge and the confidence they gained on this field trip when they return as freshman in high school and prepare for their 2nd summer in GeoFORCE.
The second year of Summer Academy is the second year of the Academy program. Students have their freshman year of high school under their belt and we are ready to open their eyes to the geology of the Southwest region of the United States.
We land in Las Vegas, Nevada and head to Utah, crossing into Arizona briefly on the way, so that the students will have traveled in four states in a few hours. Students will encounter some of the most spectacular scenery of the United States and learn about the rocks and the processes that created them over millions of years. We will visit Zion National Historic Park, Glen Canyon Dam, and the Grand Canyon. We also stop at Meteor Crater, Wupatki Ruins, and Sunset Crater. The students get the opportunity to take a gentle raft ride down the Colorado River and take an awesome hike down into the Grand Canyon on the South Kaibab Trail. The trip builds on the Alaska experience by introducing a wider variety of sedimentary rocks, older rocks, and discussions of deep geologic time. A few young volcanoes foreshadow next summer’s adventure.
The third year of Summer Academy will take the Academy students on their third GeoFORCE adventure. They have now finished their sophomore year of high school and are eager to return to the wonders of geology.
The students have had a chance to study carbonates and sedimentary rocks, in Alaska and Arizona respectively, they will now be able to see first hand how volcanoes and mountains are formed. Students will learn what causes earthquakes; they will get to see ancient lava flows and some of the largest volcanoes in the U.S. The Academy will visit such spectacular places as Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Hood, the Columbia River Gorge and the clear blue waters of Crater Lake. Students will also visit the Oregon Coast and the Oregon State Aquarium. With their geologic knowledge building each year, this trip adds igneous rocks and active tectonic processes to their knowledge base. As the summer ends, the students will now have three summers of GeoFORCE experience to prepare them for their 12th grade Academy trip.
The fourth year of Summer Academy completes the GeoFORCE adventure. Students have learned about the basic principles of geology, and are ready to apply them in a more complex environment.
The final trip takes the students to the Rocky Mountains. We fly into Salt Lake City and make our way to Bozeman, MT. This is a brand new trip for the summer of 2015, and GeoFORCE staff from Texas and Alaska are working together to make a phenomenal capstone trip for the GeoFORCE students.
GeoFORCE has really changed my life. Without your help and support I wouldn't be here today and I wouldn't know what I would want to do with the rest of my life.
I personally enjoyed learning about how the cliffs or nuna gets eroded by the waves because back at home, we could find new ways to prevent our nuna and cliffs from being eroded so that land loss wouldn't be a problem.
We will begin accepting applications for our 2018 First-Year Academy in September. Check back soon!
Students in the North Slope and the Northwest Arctic School Districts are eligible to apply to the GeoFORCE program. In addition applicant must:
Applications are accepted from 8th or 9th graders, and students accepted to the program stay with the program all through high school. The program is competitive; we accept a limited number of students each year. Students who are qualified but not chosen as the first year remain on the waiting list in case vacancies develop.
Thanks for your interest! The new recruitment cycle will open in September 2017!
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