ESEP Program Details

Elwha Science Education Project

Students from the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe learn about the cultural and natural history of the Elwha River through scientific investigation.

NatureBridge at Olympic
111 Barnes Point Road
Port Angeles, WA 98363

Investigating Interconnections

The Elwha Science Education Project provides students from the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe an opportunity to learn about the cultural and natural history of the Elwha River through scientific investigation at several sites in the Elwha River watershed. With guidance from our research partners, we have selected methods and studies that are designed for students and linked to anticipated changes in the ecosystem. Equipped with the techniques and skills gained through our programs, students are able to design and conduct their own projects, investigating the interconnections between forests, rivers, and lakes

Our culturally responsive curriculum is centered around four themes:

  • Using Klallam culture, stories, and traditional sites as a foundation
  • Connecting those sites, stories, and culture with science
  • Allowing diverse educators to share and teach
  • Valuing both the geosciences and the Klallam culture

Geoscience program

High school students within the Port Angeles and Crescent school districts take part in a week-long residential and culturally responsive environmental science program at NatureBridge. Upon completion of the program, students share their research in a community presentation. Each student who successfully completes the 40-hour program earns .25 high school science credits.

Naturally Native program

Middle school students learn skills to prepare for the Geoscience Program in a week-long residential environmental science program at NatureBridge.

Monthly field trips

Each month during the school year, students have the opportunity to visit local sites to gain a better understanding of the Klallam culture, explore aspects of the geosciences, and have fun. Field trips typically take place on a Saturday or other non-school day.

Sample trips include:

  • Native plant hike
  • Insect hike
  • Snowshoe hike
  • College visits
  • Fall harvesting adventure
  • Bird watching/identification
  • Stream monitoring
  • Cultural singing and dancing

Academic support and mentoring

Elwha Science Education Project staff members spend time with students during and after the school day to assist them in meeting educational standards in their core classes: math, science, and language arts.


A Proud Partner of the National Park Service