In partnership with the University of California, Merced, the park is working to educate, inspire and, ultimately, employ a new cadre of diverse public lands leaders. Many UC Merced students come from populations that historically have been underserved by Yosemite and other parks.

Three interconnected programs help bridge gaps between the park and neighboring communities, while shaping the next generation of environmental champions:

  • Student rangers based at the on-campus Wilderness Education Center help their community connect with Yosemite through educational resources, field trips and stewardship projects, and they lead activities for local fourth-graders through the Every Kid in a Park initiative.
  • The academic-year Yosemite Leadership Program encourages undergraduates to become lifelong stewards through four semesters of environmental studies, personal and professional development, and hands-on projects.
  • Through the annual Yosemite Leadership Program Summer Internship, college students spend 12 weeks working with professionals in the park, where they receive valuable on-the-job training and complete projects that benefit Yosemite. This highly regarded program serves as a pathway to public lands careers for students who otherwise might not have the chance to visit or work in a national park.

Your contribution helps shape a new generation of leaders on campus and in the park.

Partnering with Yosemite National Park and University of California, Merced, as well as numerous local, regional and national organizations

Sabrina Diaz

Acting Division Chief of Interpretation and Education, Yosemite National Park

Project Notes

The Yosemite Leadership Program Summer Internship is poised to become a national flagship for youth programming and Department of the Interior pathways into public lands careers.