Girls* on Rock

Girls* on Rock

Girls* on Rock is a unique, FREE, wilderness science education program for high school girls* ages 16-17. Each summer a team of 9 participants and 3 instructors spend 12 days exploring and learning about the alpine landscapes of the Rocky Mountains through art, rock climbing, and conducting scientific field studies with our team of professional female glaciologists, ecologists, mountain guides, and artists. 

As part of Inspiring Girls* Expeditions, our purpose is to give girls* a feeling for the processes that create the natural world and provide an environment that fosters the critical thinking necessary to all scientific inquiry. We encourage the participants to observe and think like scientists by making observations and inferences about the world around them. They develop their own experiments to test ideas and answer questions. At the end of the expedition, they present their findings to an audience of their peers, instructors, and visiting scientists. 

The girls* on the team also challenge themselves and gain self-confidence in their physical, intellectual, and social abilities. An Inspiring Girls* Expedition is the science version of a “language immersion” experience – where we connect science with all aspects of daily life with the goal of creating lifelong advocates for Earth science, specifically, and the scientific process as a whole, regardless of whether or not they decide to specialize in science in their future career.

Our selection of participants is not based on grades or other accomplishments. We focus on creating a diverse team and emphasize providing this experience to those who might not otherwise be able to have an opportunity like this. We welcome all girls* to apply, including cisgender girls and transgender, agender, Two Spirit, intersex, nonbinary, and genderqueer youth. 


Pre-register through this survey link to be notified when applications open! 

Applications for participants open in December at

Email us at to learn about volunteer opportunities and other ways to support Girls* On Rock.



Pacifica Sommers

I am a research affiliate in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department at the University of Colorado Boulder. I am interested in the forces that maintain - or undermine - biological diversity, especially at the microscopic level. My current research is on forces controlling microbial diversity on and around Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine glaciers.




Day 1Summary document for GOR

More About Girls on Rock

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Phone: 303-492-5670
Fax: 303-735-3644


CIRES Education and Outreach
University of Colorado Boulder
488 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309-0449

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