Golden Gate School Programs | Environmental Science

School & Group Environmental Science at Golden Gate

On the shores of the Pacific Ocean, on the site of a historic WWII military post, students study environmental science, learn teamwork, and strengthen their connection with nature.

Sample Day

One of the best ways to get a sense of a student’s NatureBridge experience is to see the daily schedule. Below is a rough sketch of a typical day for our environmental science participants. 

6:45 a.m.  Wake up

Students rise each morning and walk out of their dormitories to the sounds of the nearby ocean. They will use this time to shower, dress, and prepare for their day. 

7:10 a.m. or 8 a.m.  Breakfast

Breakfast is served in the dining hall on campus. Since multiple schools visit NatureBridge at one time, meals are served in shifts. Schools will always eat with members of their school. Meals are served buffet-style with numerous options to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. 

9 a.m.  Morning meeting

In this large-group meeting, education on food waste and composting are integrated in a fun and engaging manner. The campus coordinator facilitates discussions that energize the students and complement the education that will take place in the field.

9:15 a.m. – 4 p.m. Instructional day 


Learning groups consist of one NatureBridge environmental science educator, up to 16 students, and one or two parent chaperones or class teachers. NatureBridge educators provide the activities and curriculum; chaperones assist with group management and participate as an active member of the team. The NatureBridge environmental science educator assigned to your group will work with the same students every day. Depending on your program, students may find themselves:

  • Analyzing the health of our watershed by hiking to the pond and collecting macroinvertebrates.
  • Hiking up Hawk Hill to view the raptor migration while learning about the adaptations that help different birds survive in their habitat.
  • Touching a live sea star in our marine lab while learning about how different cultures use ocean resources.
  • Completing team-building and leadership challenges while hiking to the top of nearby Hill 88. 

12:30 p.m.  Lunch in the field

Learning groups enjoy lunch in the field, prepared daily by NatureBridge's team of chefs. Members of the group take on responsibilities of carrying an element of the lunch in their backpacks until lunchtime when the group assembles and eats lunch in the field.

4 – 6 p.m.  Recreation time and/or Eco-Athletics


This is a time students can use to shower and change, work on journals, or play outside. Students can also visit the beach if supervised by a chaperone. A school may also use this time for structured learning activities. Teachers and chaperones supervise during recreation time. If you are on the early dinner shift, you will have additional recreation time after dinner. 

5 or 6 p.m.  Dinner

Like breakfast, dinner is served in two shifts. The food served is nutritious, plentiful, and kid-friendly. Meals such as grilled chicken with rice, tacos, pizza, and spaghetti with marinara sauce frequently appear on our menu and are always accompanied by a fresh and colorful salad bar. 

7:10 p.m.  Evening meeting

Students give reports on food waste from their dinner and create goals for reducing waste the following day. The meeting also focuses on weather and includes a student-generated weather forecast. 

7:30 p.m.  Evening program

Evening programs complement the material being presented during your field day. These large-group programs are engaging, educational, and inspiring. Students may participate in an active game and lesson on animal adaptations, sing songs around a campfire, or participate in a night hike down to the beach to look for bioluminescent plankton. 

8:30 – 9:15 p.m.  Get ready for bed

This time is used for students to use bathrooms, change clothes, and brush their teeth.  Teachers and chaperones supervise their students during this time. 

9:15 p.m.  Story time and lights out

NatureBridge staff visits all dorms to make sure lights are out and may share a song or story. 

Each day is a new learning adventure!

Golden Gate National Recreation Area offers infinite destinations and learning opportunities. The more days your group spends with NatureBridge, the deeper the students will connect with their surroundings, with each other, and with themselves.

Or inquire via phone:
Jeanelle Steiner
415-332-5771 ext 28


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