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Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science

Drexel DESLA@Home student uses the scientific method to identify different species of salamanders.

In 2020, a DESLA@Home student used the scientific method to examine and identify different species of salamanders living in her backyard.

DESLA@Home students become community scientists as they explore their local environment. Our fully virtual summer adventure introduces students to the hands-on skills needed to research topics such as geology, watershed mapping, climate change and everything environmental in between. This at-home camp includes expert online instruction, plus supplies mailed in advance. This program is for rising sophomore, junior and senior high school students who want a broad understanding of what it means to be an environmental scientist or geoscientist, and what it takes to be a leader in these fields.

In 2020, a Drexel DESLA@Home student catalogs the botany of trees in his local neighborhood.

June 20-24, 2022 | $500

DESLA@Home is led by expert scientists from the Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science (BEES) and the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. If you're thinking of pursuing a degree in Environmental Science or Geoscience —or if you just want to learn more— this is the adventure for you!

Questions? Ask

Experience DESLA@Home

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Typical Schedule: June 20-24, 2022

Program content and sequence may change due to weather, staff schedules or other circumstances. Adjustments will be made for students who are not on East coast time and will be made with each student individually, as necessary.

Online format: Classes will be hosted on Google Classroom and Zoom primarily. Links and information will be sent out about a week or two ahead of camp.

Monday — Friday, approximately 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. EST

Activities and lectures optional depending on time zones and other variables. All DESLA@Home lectures will be recorded for later viewing.

  • Morning: Live discussions and classes via Google Classroom or Zoom to start the daily activities
  • Break for Lunch
  • Afternoon: Out in the field conducting your own research and activities
  • Break for Dinner
  • After Dinner: Lectures from guest experts and nighttime activities

Daily Topics

Topics may be moved around due to weather and other circumstances.

  • Monday: Welcome and Geo Explorations
  • Tuesday: Backyard Biodiversity
  • Wednesday: Quantifying Ecological Services
  • Thursday: Explore Your Watershed
  • Friday: Climate Change Bird Survey and Student Presentations

Program Directors

Ron Smith
Instructor, Department of Biodiversity, Earth & Environmental Science
Environmental Science Educator, Haddonfield High School, Haddonfield, NJ

Research Interests: Shorebird Ecology and Conservation; Amphibians of the NJ Pine Barrens; Restoration Ecology; Climate Change – Regional Effects and Education

Dane Ward, PhD
Assistant Teaching Professor, Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science

Research Interests: Urban Ecology, Conservation Biology, Pine Barrens Ecology, Marine Ecology, STEM Diversity & Inclusion, International Education, International STEM Mentorship

Questions? Email