Youth Outdoor Leadership Opportunity (YOLO)

Spark your passion for science and local climate action. Be a part of a once-in-a-lifetime outdoor expedition.

SYRCL is excited to announce a FREE five-day summer science expedition for local 10th-12th graders and graduating seniors to engage in local climate action and watershed restoration efforts!

Apply for our Youth Outdoor Leadership Opportunity (YOLO) Expedition, and if you’re selected, spend a week on a fully funded research expedition studying meadows in Tahoe National Forest alongside real scientists and other students.

Questions? Contact us!

Monique Streit
River Education Manager
(530) 265-5961 ext. 218

Are you a family member or student who wants to learn more? This informational webinar with SYRCL’s River Science & Education teams covers the importance of meadow restoration and research and where you’d come in as a citizen scientist, as well as what to expect from our daily itinerary, trip safety, our COVID-19 contingency plans and other trip logistics! 

Surrounded by the gorgeous Sierra Mountains, you’ll get a chance to conduct hands-on field work and meadow restoration research. You’ll be collecting the data needed to help answer some of California’s most pressing environmental questions!

You’ll also get a chance to connect with your teammates throughout the expedition, discuss important environmental justice issues, hone your leadership skills and make new friends while exploring the beautiful landscapes that make up our North Yuba Watershed.


With the safety of students and community members participating in SYRCL’s River Education Program being our top priority, we are taking action based on guidance from Governor’s Executive Order N 25-20, as well as public health experts. Thus, in order to maintain a safe environment and slow the spread of COVID-19, the YOLO expedition dates are tentative and subject to change as we receive new information.

While the dates for our upcoming 2021 YOLO expedition are subject to change, we are still in the process of recruiting students for the program, as we would like our team to be ready for yet another awesome YOLO trip when the time comes.

If you’re interested in applying (or know someone is), and is willing to be flexible on program dates and structure, our (tentative) program dates and details are below


2021 YOLO Dates: June 14-18, 2021

*YOLO Expedition is scheduled for one week between June 4 and June 18, 2021, but is subject to change based on the most up to date health information.

Tentative Program Itinerary

  • Monday – Thursday  Meet at the SYRCL office at 8 am and return at 5pm.
    Travel to our meadow restoration sites to engage in fieldwork surrounding:
      • Install fencing for an aspen enclosure 
      • Water quality monitoring
      • Restoration activities such as collecting and/or planting native riparian vegetation to ensure health of stream-channels.
      • Conducting biological surveys to assess meadow restoration success
      • Hikes to highlight the impacts of human activity on meadow health or the correlations of meadow health to watershed health.
      • Team-building, personal reflection and leadership skills development
  • Friday  Fieldwork in the morning with the afternoon by the Yuba River; return to the office for pick-up

Food and transportation to the meadow expenses covered*

*Excludes personal expenses

Field Site

  • Most of the time will be spent outdoors at Loney Meadow in the Tahoe National Forest, 30 minutes outside of Truckee.


  • Bear and Yuba Watershed high school sophomores, juniors and graduating seniors, ages 15-18**
    **Preference will be given to students from Nevada, Yuba, Placer and other counties within the Yuba Watershed boundaries, but other students in the Central Valley region may still apply.
  • Able to attend orientation on June 5. Orientation
  • Available to work 5 days in the summer, with the willingness to work as part of a team.
  • Comfortability with physical work and hiking.
  • Creative thinkers and motivated learners.
  • Excited to work in a team dynamic with peers & local scientists.


  • April 6  Applications Open (download application here).
  • May 16  Applications Due. Keep in mind the application requires at least one letter of recommendation.
  • May 21  Receive notification from SYRCL as to whether or not you’ve been selected.
  • June 5 mandatory orientation location TBD.
  • June 14-18  YOLO Expedition

Many thanks to National Forest Foundation for making this opportunity possible!