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DESLA Camp: Lacawac Sanctuary

Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science

Drexel DESLA students canoe at Lake Lacawac Sanctuary

DESLA students engaged in an ecological assessment of new sites for fish, water chemistry and forest composition in 2019.

The Drexel Environmental Science Leadership Academy at Lacawac Sanctuary is a summer adventure and learning experience for high school students at the Lacawac Sanctuary & Field Station in Lake Ariel, Pennsylvania. Students gain hands-on experience while studying and working in the lush forest and lake ecosystems of the Pocono Mountains.

July 24-30, 2022 | $1,800

The Lacawac Sanctuary summer camp 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, Sustainability or Geoscience this is the adventure for you!

Questions? Ask DESLA@drexel.edu.


Experience Lacawac Sanctuary

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Drexel Environmental Science Leadership Academy 2018 - Lacawac Sanctuary Drexel Environmental Science Leadership Academy 2018 - Lacawac Sanctuary Drexel Environmental Science Leadership Academy 2018 - Lacawac Sanctuary Drexel Environmental Science Leadership Academy 2018 - Lacawac Sanctuary Drexel Environmental Science Leadership Academy 2018 - Lacawac Sanctuary Drexel Environmental Science Leadership Academy 2018 - Lacawac Sanctuary Drexel Environmental Science Leadership Academy 2018 - Lacawac Sanctuary Drexel Environmental Science Leadership Academy 2018 - Lacawac Sanctuary Drexel Environmental Science Leadership Academy 2018 - Lacawac Sanctuary Drexel Environmental Science Leadership Academy 2018 - Lacawac Sanctuary Drexel Environmental Science Leadership Academy 2018 - Lacawac Sanctuary Drexel Environmental Science Leadership Academy 2018 - Lacawac Sanctuary Drexel Environmental Science Leadership Academy 2018 - Lacawac Sanctuary Drexel Environmental Science Leadership Academy 2018 - Lacawac Sanctuary Entrance to Lacawac Sanctuary and Field Station. The dining room in the Lodge. Lacawac Lodge bedroom. Lodge living room with fireplace


Schedule: July 24-30, 2022

Program content and sequence may change due to weather, staff schedules or other circumstances.

Day 1

  • Arrival
  • Student Check In, Lacawac Facility Tour
  • Introduction to DESLA and BEES
  • General Ecology of the Poconos
  • Evening Program – Overview of Lacawac – History and Ecology
  • Mock Town Meeting – Student Activities

Day 2

  • Road Trip – Ecology and Geology of the Poconos at Hickory Run State Park
  • Evening Program – Night Hikes – Exploring Nocturnal Adaptations

Day 3

  • AM – Forest Ecology – Community Composition and Diversity; Tree Assessment
  • PM – Lake Ecology – Water Chemistry Study of Lake Lacawac
  • Evening Program – Amphibians of Northeastern Pennsylvania, Frog and Toad Study

Day 4

  • AM – Reading the Landscape – USGS Topo Maps, GPS and Navigating in the Field
  • PM – Freshwater Fish of the Poconos – Seining
  • Evening Program – Freshwater Algae; Insect Study

Day 5

  • All Day Boat Trip on Lake Wallenpaupack
  • Water Sampling, Bird Survey
  • Evening Program – Contra Dance

Day 6

  • AM – Student Field Study Initiative - Ecological Assessment of New Sites for Fish, Water Chemistry and Forest Composition
  • PM – Student data organization and preparation
  • Evening Program – Site Ecological Presentations

Day 7

  • AM – Morning Paddle on Lake Lacawac
  • Family Picnic and Farewell Program
  • PM Departure

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 DESLA@drexel.edu.