Olympic Park Institute
MESA students stay at Nature Bridge in Port Angeles for one week during the summer. Every day is filled with science and explo-ration activities that include hiking and canoeing through the National Park and usually end the evening with campfires, kickball games, dancing and time for students to make new friendships.
Areas of Study
Nature’s Bridge unique educational opportunities highlight the rich natural wonders of Olympic National Park. They create an educational environment that engages students in active learning and complements classroom studies.
Life Sciences & Ecology
Forest Ecology: Investigation of Olympic National Park’s old growth forest inspires a deep understanding of the components and intricate interconnections of forest ecosystems. Microscope and skins and skulls laboratories provide opportunities for detailed, hands-on discovery of soils and animal adaptations.
Marine Science: In-depth studies of coastal habitats, from sandy beaches to rocky shores to muddy tide flats, teach students how their actions affect the ocean, no matter their distance from it, and how in turn the ocean affects all of us.
Watershed Science: From the Elwha River to the Sol Duc hot springs to the coastal tidelands, the Olympic Peninsula offers many opportunities for students to learn about the structure and function of aquatic ecosystems and the role of water in terrestrial systems.
Earth Science & Geology
Students engage their science process skills and discover why the Olympic Peninsula has developed over geologic time to have its unique character and how these lessons apply to their home communities.