The Wilderness Education Center at the University of California, Merced, connects Yosemite National Park with diverse college students in their own communities. This on-campus center offers awareness about natural and cultural resources through outreach, education and experience, while inspiring future leaders to think about issues affecting parks and wild places.

The student ranger-run Wilderness Education Center proactively reaches out to students, so they can build relevancy to national parks in their own communities. With your support in 2015, UC Merced student rangers educated more than 1,200 local students on topics such as wilderness conservation and “Leave No Trace” principles; led 30 stewardship-based field trips to Yosemite; and shared resources with more than 28,200 people.

The center also provides primary support for the Yosemite Leadership Program (YLP), which offers an enriching two-year curriculum integrating leadership training with personal and professional development opportunities. Together, these on-campus resources are inspiring a new generation of socially engaged, environmentally aware park stewards.

Your gift helped Yosemite continue to strengthen relationships with local communities by supporting valuable on-campus resources that help youth and adults connect with their nearby national park.

Completed in partnership with Yosemite National Park and UC Merced.

Jesse Chakrin

UC Merced Wilderness Education Center Director

Project Notes

The Yosemite Leadership Program at UC Merced integrates training in leadership skills, education on the theories and practices of leadership, crystallizing park based wilderness experiences, and personal and professional development opportunities to create generations of socially engaged, environmentally aware stewards of Yosemite and the earth.