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About the Caltech GO Outdoors Program

Logo of Caltech GPS Outreach – Outdoors, with orange mountains with black silhouettes of students learning.

What is Caltech GO Outdoors?

The Caltech Geological and Planetary Sciences Outreach – Outdoors (GO Outdoors) Program connects Caltech GPS scientists with local K-12 teachers for accessible and inclusive field-based outreach.

Place-based and outdoor field-based education are powerful tools for teaching. Developing fieldwork skills (such as making and recording observations) is not only fundamental to geoscience education, but also empowers students to be comfortable and observant in the outdoors. However, communities and individuals with limited access to field-based geoscience education may be excluded from opportunities to build these skills.

Our mission is to increase K-12 students' exposure and access to the geosciences field, particularly in the area of field-based outdoor activities.

Through the lesson plans, field trips, classroom visits, and other resources we offer, we hope to facilitate teachers' and school districts' development of outdoor field-based curricula. We work in partnership with our local Pasadena Unified School District to develop these resources, and we collect feedback from teachers and the Caltech Center for Teaching and Learning (CTLO) to vet and improve our lesson plans.

Two conjugate goals of our mission are to 1) improve the broader geosciences fieldwork climate and 2) increase the efficacy of outreach and science communication by Caltech Geological and Planetary Sciences (GPS) students, postdocs, and faculty. This webpage is an entry point for those within the Caltech GPS community who are excited about joining these efforts.

This site provides resources to begin learning about barriers to participation in field sciences and ways to address issues surrounding the culture of fieldwork. We ultimately strive to build a more welcoming and inclusive fieldwork environment not only within the Caltech GPS division, but also in the broader geosciences community.