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DESLA at Lacawac Sanctuary in Lake Ariel, PA

Lake Lacawac

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

The Lacawac Sanctuary summer camp will be led by expert scientists from the Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science (BEES) at Drexel University and the Academy of Natural Sciences. If you think you might want to pursue a degree in Environmental Science, this is the adventure for you!

Lacawac Sanctuary & Field Station

Check out these photos from DESLA at Lacawac Sanctuary and Field Station.

Entrance to Lacawac Sanctuary and Field Station. The Historic Lodge at Lacawac listed on the National Register of Historical Places. The dining room in the Lodge. Lacawac Lodge bedroom. Lodge living room with fireplace Lacawac’s environmental laboratory. Lacawac’s environmental laboratory. Lacawac’s environmental laboratory.

See more photos from summer camp in the poconos

Curriculum and Schedule

Sample Schedule for Lacawac Sanctuary & Field Station Summer Camp

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 Director

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

Faculty

Ted Daeschler

Ted Daeschler, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Biodiversity, Earth & Environmental Science; Associate Curator of Vertebrate Zoology, Vice President for Systematic Biology and the Library, Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University

Research Interests: Vertebrate paleontology, specifically vertebrate fauna of the Late Devonian Period in eastern North America


Jon Gelhaus, PhD

Jon Gelhaus, PhD
Professor, Department of Biodiversity, Earth & Environmental Science
Curator, Department of Entomology, Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University

Research Interests: Biodiversity, evolution and ecology of freshwater insects, particularly Diptera, in New World and Mongolia; Biodiversity of insects in New Jersey Pine Barrens


Richard Horowitz

Richard Horwitz, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Biodiversity, Earth & Environmental Science
Senior Scientist, Fisheries Section Leader, Ruth Patrick Chair of Environmental Sciences, Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University

Research Interests: Ecology of freshwater and estuarine fishes; watershed planning, management, and restoration; conservation of rare species; invasive species; phylogeography of freshwater fishes


Marina Potapova

Marina Potapova, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Biodiversity, Earth & Environmental Science; Assistant Curator, Diatom Herbarium, Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University

Research Interests:Taxonomy, ecology, and biogeography of freshwater diatoms


David Velinsky

David Velinsky, PhD
Department Head and Professor, Department of Biodiversity, Earth & Environmental Science
Vice President for Environmental Research, Director and Senior Scientist, Patrick Center for Environmental Research Section Leader, Biogeochemistry, Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University

Research Interests: Fate and transport of chemical contaminants, Stable isotope and nutrient biogeochemistry; sediment geochemistry and deposition, water quality

Staff

Frank Acker: Phycology

Paul Overbeck: Fisheries

Jordan Teisher: Botany

Roger Thomas: Operations Manager

Amanda Leslie: Administrator



Questions about DESLA at Lacawac Sanctuary and Field Station? Email us at DESLA@drexel.edu.