Let our Great American Campout online celebration be just the beginning of your journeys to discovery. Our event contribitors provide a wonderful resource for information and educational activities. There are also numerous other online resources to help you engage in and explore the world around you. Now get out there and get exploring!
Great American Campout Content Partners
Temple Ambler EarthFest
Our mission is to provide meaningful, impactful educational experiences for all ages throughout the year. Instead of one day and one event, we invite you to celebrate the Earth at several smaller, student and family-centered events! EarthFest Presents events are designed to provide more personalized opportunities to interact with our exhibitors and engage in citizen science.
Ambler Arboretum of Temple University
The Ambler Arboretum of Temple University is an educational resource modeling the art and science of horticulture and environmental responsibility while fostering research, celebrating the achievements of women in horticulture, preserving the historic significance of the campus and highlighting the health benefits of nature, plants and gardening. The Ambler Arboretum of Temple University is proud to be a part of America's Garden Capital. The Ambler Arboretum is providing a series of videos designed to help you connect with nature and the outdoors. Take a summer walk with Arboretum Director Kathy Salisbury, make new “fronds,” learn about emerald ash borer, and more!
Temple Ambler Field Station
The Ambler Campus was designated in 2020 as the Temple Ambler Field Station, a platform for environmental field research and education. The Field Station leverages the 187-acre Ambler Campus and Ambler Arboretum as a living laboratory, providing access to a diversity of natural habitats including old growth and secondary forests, meadows, ephemeral streams, and our beautiful designed gardens. The Field Station’s goal is to be a platform for research across disciplines, from STEM fields to the liberal arts.
College of Science and Technology
The College of Science and Technology (CST), with more than 4,500 undergraduate and graduate students, is one of Temple University’s fastest growing schools. Through its innovative Undergraduate Research Program, students work side-by-side with experienced faculty researchers in the lab, in the field and in the classroom. External funding for advanced research — in big data, advanced materials, health and beyond — has increased by more than 85 percent in just the past five years, creating new opportunities for CST faculty to take on today’s toughest scientific challenges. The College of Science and Technology in copperation with TUTeach offers a wonderful series of FunScienceDemos. If you are a teacher in need of science readings, writing prompts and more, they also offer a comprehensive companion site.
Fun Science with the College of Science and Technology
Temple University's College of Science and Technology is offering a wonderful series of FunScienceDemos. Want to know how water breaks down rocks? They’ve got the video for you! If you are a teacher in need of science readings, writing prompts and more, they also offer a comprehensive companion site.
ProRanger Philadelphia is an academic and technical skills training and internship program that is cooperatively administered by the National Park Service and Temple University. The program was established to train and expose students to the career field of a law enforcement park ranger.
Temple University Kinesiology Department
Kinesiology is the study of how the body moves and the impact that physical activity has on overall health. Students in kinesiology explore the factors that influence physical activity and healthy movement, from sports training and fitness to psychology and neuromechanics.
Delaware Valley Chapter of the Appalachian Mountain Club
The mission of the Appalachian Mountain Club is to foster the protection, enjoyment, and understanding of the outdoors. The organization envisions a world where our natural resources are healthy, loved, and always protected, and where the outdoors occupies a place of central importance in every person's life.
Delaware Valley Amateur Astronomers
The DVAA has a long and illustrious history dating back to 1976. In the years since, the DVAA has had a storied existence; thousands of group and individual observing sessions, more than 200 Astronomical League awards, visits to all sorts of interesting places — observatories, planetariums, dark-sky sites, museums and more; on five different continents — some 500 General Meetings, eclipses marveled at on land, sea and air, myriad star parties, ideas shared, questions asked, education given, the wonder and majesty of astronomy shared with countless thousands, a community well served.
Philadelphia Insectarium and Butterfly Pavilion
The Insectarium is proud to be Philadelphia's newest science museum and to showcase one of the most diverse living arthropod collections in the United States. With two floors of new museum exhibits, a 7,000-square-foot tropical butterfly pavilion, and Next Generation aligned educational programming, the Insectarium offers a unique and interactive experience for all to enjoy. The Insectarium is fully committed to educating the public about the environmental importance of arthropods.
National Wildlife Federation
America's experience with cherished landscapes and wildlife has helped define and shape our national character and identity for generations. Protecting these natural resources is a cause that has long united Americans from all walks of life and political stripes. To hunters, anglers, hikers, birders, wildlife watchers, boaters, climbers, campers, cyclists, gardeners, farmers, forest stewards, and other outdoor enthusiasts, this conservation ethic represents a sacred duty and obligation to protect and build upon our conservation heritage for the sake of wildlife, ourselves, our neighbors, and — most of all — for future generations.
Leave No Trace
Leave No Trace provides research, education and initiatives so every person who ventures outside can protect and enjoy our world responsibly. To sustain healthy and vibrant natural lands, these are the problems Leave No Trace solves: damaged trails and natural areas; polluted water; connecting youth to nature; wildlife at risk; destructive fires; and crowded parks.
Learn More from Our Temple EarthFest Partners
Department of Earth and Environmental Science
Managing the complex system of land-water-energy resources underpinning our society is the grand challenge of the 21st century. To meet this challenge, the Department of Earth and Environmental Science at Temple University is exploring the interactions between Earth systems and human activities. The department’s research and teaching delves into the interface of the geosphere and hydrosphere in both ancient and modern systems. The department’s goals are to understand natural processes in these systems as well as how they are changed by the expanding impact of human activities through cutting-edge, interdisciplinary research.
Temple Biology Department
The Department of Biology at Temple University is a diverse department that teaches about 1,500 undergraduate majors, runs multiple graduate programs including a Ph.D. program in biology with research emphases in computational evolutionary genomics (computational biology), ecology, neuroscience, and cell/molecular biology. The department has also developed an exciting new PhD in Bioinformatics program with interdisciplinary tracks that span biology, chemistry, and computer science.
Temple College of Engineering
For the College of Engineering, teaching and student involvement remains the top priority and commitment even while the College is making breakthroughs in engineering. Collaborative and interdisciplinary research within the engineering disciplines and with Temple’s medical, dental, podiatry and pharmacy schools are an advantage for the College. Meanwhile Temple University has attained prominent research designations, which also opens new research opportunities for the institution and its colleges.
Temple University Office of Sustainability
Temple University educates a vibrate student body and creates new knowledge through innovative teaching, research and other creative endeavors. Temple aspires to serve as a model for urban institutions and to burnish its national reputation for excellence and commitment to principled policy and climate action. The Office of Sustainability fosters communication, collaboration, and coordination between stakeholder in the Temple University community. The Office of Sustainability consists of professional staff and dedicated student leaders who champion climate action inititives at Temple University and in our community.
iEcoLab is the Integrative Ecology Lab run jointly by Jocelyn Behm and Matthew Helmus at the Center for Biodiversity in the Biology Department at Temple University. The mission of the iEcoLab is to integrate biodiversity science with human ecology to understand contemporary patterns of biodiversity and its functioning within ecosystems.
The Cordes Laboratory in the Biology Department at Temple University studies deep-sea corals, cold seeps, seamounts and the deep sea using manned submersibles (HOVs), ROVs, AUVs, CTDs, oceanography, marine aquaria, physiology, phylogenetics, population genetics, RNAseq, community ecology, population ecology, statistical analysis, and predictive habitat modeling. Issues that the lab is tackling include oil and gas industry impacts and management, global ocean change, fisheries management, and biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction.
Landscape Architecture and Horticulture Programs
The Landscape Architecture and Horticulture programs in the Tyler School of Art and Architecture at Temple University share a vision of inspiring the next generation of professionals to lead the transformation of natural and built environments; and creating places that are ecologically sound, socially equitable and resilient, while addressing the challenges of climate change.
Resources from Our Regional EarthFest Partners
Elmwood Park Zoo
The Elmwood Park Zoo was founded in 1924. In 1985, the Norristown Zoological Society became an official non-profit organization and assumed control of Elmwood Park Zoo from the Borough of Norristown. Elmwood Park Zoo is dedicated to providing the community with varied learning experiences that encourage people to play an active role in wildlife and environmental conservation activities. Through the work of its Education Department, the zoo strives to empower its guests with the skills, knowledge and resources that may influence them to lead environmentally healthy lives. The Zoo’s mission is to foster an appreciation for wildlife and the environment that will inspire active participation in conservation. The Zoo participates in programs and initiatives that help save wildlife, and it teaches others how they can help prevent species extinction and resource depletion.
Elmwood Park Zoo — EPZoo2U
Elmwood Park Zoo is a community leader in providing fun and educational experiences to all of its guests, both young and old. They have a number of resources to educate and entertain home-bound supporters. Check out Bubby’s Club, Kamp Keeper, Animal Cams and the popular Zoo School Live! More EPZoo2U content is added on a daily and weekly basis. Check back often for the latest updates!
Philadelphia Insectarium and Butterfly Pavilion Virtual Tours
The Insectarium’s virtual experiences showcase a wide array of arthropods, including tarantulas, scorpions, praying mantids, and much more! Each tour incorporates current science curriculum and age-appropriate science standards. Their knowledgeable tour guides lead students on a virtual adventure into the wild world of arthropods, engaging and captivating them through the screen with the amazing array of insects in the museum.
Academy of Natural Sciences Educator Resources
The Academy of Natural Sciences is excited to offer lessons on water, climate, biodiversity and more for students in grades kindergarten through 12. The Academy has included some of their most recent research with video segments in most lesson plans. Check back regularly to find updated science information for educators and their students! Teachers, these lessons can enhance your classroom curriculum with activities and videos that you can share with your students, and all lessons follow Pennsylvania Academic State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards. Parents may also use these lessons to inspire activities with your kids.
Science from Home — Academy of Natural Sciences
The Academy of Natural Sciences' Science from Home provides simple science activities to try at home with your family, coloring pages, outdoor activities to explore the nature around you, and more! From “Ask the Scientists!” where kids lead the conversation with Academy scientists and educators, to Bug Fest to Academy Science Camp and more, the Academy is constantly adding and changing the contents of this page, so check back often!
Franklin Institute — Franklin Outside
Join Franklin Institute Environmental Scientist Dr. Rachel Valletta as she explores topics at the intersection between humans and our environment. Tune in live on The Franklin Institute's Facebook channel. You may also view past episodes online.
Franklin @ Home
Stay connected with science through Franklin @ Home, our collection of digital science resources to feed your curiosity. Explore the world with DIY hands-on activities, engaging videos, and deeper dives—because science never stops.
Delaware River Basin Commission
The members of this regional body - the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) - include the four basin state governors and the Division Engineer, North Atlantic Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who serves as the federal representative. Commission programs include water quality protection, water supply allocation, regulatory review (permitting), water conservation initiatives, watershed planning, drought management, flood loss reduction, and recreation.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region III
FEMA's mission is helping people before, during and after distasters. FEMA employs more than 20,000 people nationwide. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., FEMA has 10 regional offices located across the country. The FEMA Regiona III office, located in Philadelphia, oversees federal emergency management for Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, the District of Columbia, and seven Tribal Nations.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 3 (Mid-Atlantic)
The EPA Mid-Atlantic office serves Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, the District of Columbia and seven Tribal Nations. Experience the Mid-Atlantic Region’s significant strides in protecting our air, water, land, and public health through videos, mapping, stories, and personal accounts. Learn more about these success stories. The EPA also provides extensive resources on a wide variety of environmental topics, from water and greener living to air and health.
Upper Dublin Township
Upper Dublin Township was established in 1701, when William Penn ordered a survey of all townships in the Commonwealth. It was first settled in 1698 and was incorporated in 1719 according to records from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission regarding Montgomery County municipalities. The township's mission is to "work with each other and the community to make Upper Dublin Township the best place to live, work and play." The township provides a comprehensive series of resources, including its Stormwater Management Program.
Air Quality Partnership - Resources for Students, Teachers and Residents
The Air Quality Partnership of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission offers detailed brochures and handouts about a variety of air quality topics, from actions you can take to improve air quality, children and air quality, tools for schools and more!
For more than 60 years, Wissahickon Trails has worked to engage diverse communities of people to protect and enjoy the land and waterways of the Wissahickon Valley. The organization's partnerships with neighbors, activists, and local governments are essential to their work. Together, they use preservation and scientific innovation to strengthen our local ecosystems.
Stroud Water Research Center
Since 1967, Stroud™ Water Research Center has focused on one thing — fresh water. We seek to advance knowledge and stewardship of freshwater systems through global research, education, and watershed restoration. Stroud is involved in comprehensive freshwater research, environmental education and watershed restoration. Vist here for information about Stroud's environmental education programs.
Additional Exploration Resources
If you happen to be on campus observing wildlife, studying the plants and trees, or simply wandering in our gardens, why not engage in a little citizen science while you're here? You might come across any number of animals that depend on the creeks running through campus! Record your observations for the Temple Ambler Field Station and the Ambler Arboretum's new project page on iNaturalist! Any iNaturalist observation taken at the Ambler Campus will be automatically uploaded, which will prove invaluable for future campus research! iNaturalist shares your findings with scientific data repositories like the Global Biodiversity Information Facility to help scientists find and use your data. All you have to do is observe.
EBird is a platform that allows birders the chance to share their birding knowledge with the world. Run by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, users can easily create checklists of birds they have seen and upload those to the eBird platform. Once uploaded, these observations help researchers monitor current bird biodiversity, distribution, and abundance trends. With its easy to use collecting app, eBird can be used by novices, experts, and everyone in between. Visit here for a step-by-step guide on how to start collecting.
iMapinvasives is a platform that is focused on tracking invasive species throughout the North America. Each state can join the iMapinvasives network and create a custom list of species that are considered invasive in that area. Observations are shared with stakeholders throughout the state or region in order to coordinate control efforts and track the spread of invasion. The Temple Ambler Field Station currently has an active project tracking Spotted Lanternflys throughout our campus. With a dropdown menu of known invasive species preloaded on the app, observations are easy. Visit here for a step-by-step guide of how to start collecting.
Budburst, a project of the Chicago Botanic Garden, is a platform focused on bringing together educators, researchers, and citizen scientists. As a Budburst Partner, Temple Ambler Field Station has created a list of 10 commonly found plant species on our campus. With its hands-on guide to ecological observation, Budburst is the perfect place for new citizen scientists to learn the ropes. Plant observations, including features like flowers, leaf color, or fruits, are used by scientists to track plant life cycles. With a focus on education, Budburst also has plenty of resources for students of all ages. Visit here or a step-by-step guide on how to get started.
Earthwatch connects people with scientists worldwide to conduct environmental research and empowers them with the knowledge they need to conserve the planet. Earthwatch volunteers work and learn alongside leading scientists in stunning natural settings, conducting real-world research on threatened and thriving species and habitats the world over. Learn more about Earthwatch's committment to education.
Education in Observation
Observation and collecting information and data is an essential part of citizen science. As an observer, you'll notice things you never saw before. According to Nature’s Notebook, a project of the USA National Phenology Network, a dedicated observer may notice "the slightest blush on a maple leaf that foreshadows the coming fall; the new, more vibrant feathers warblers put on days before mating; the swelling of a Palo Verde bean pod as it grows. You develop a more nuanced appreciation of our natural world. Nature's Notebook is an excellent tool in your citizen science toolbox!
Explore Your World From Home
How would you like to visit an elephant wateringhole in Africa or watch a family of gorilla live? How about diving into the ocean with great white sharks or viewing the Aurora Borealis lighting up the night? Through dozens of live webcams located all over the world, Explore.org, a philanthropic media organization and a multi-media division of the Annenberg Foundation, provides educational and inspirational journeys for every interest. The website also includes 250 original films, 30,000 photographs and free lesson plans for educators.
Monitoring the Monarchs
The Monarch Butterfly observation season in this part of the country is underway! In this age of social distancing, collecting information about monarch migrations has become more complex. Monarch Watch wants you! Monarch Watch is seeking the immediate assistance of hundreds of monarch enthusiasts — citizen scientists — in collecting observations of adult monarchs in their area during the summer and fall. This project is an attempt to assemble quantitative data on monarch numbers at critical times during the breeding season. The data from these observations will be used to assess their value in predicting trends in the population.
In Search of the Lost Ladybug
Across North America, ladybug species composition is changing. According to the Lost Ladybug Project, over the past 20 years native ladybugs that were once very common have become extremely rare. During this same time, ladybugs from other parts of the world have greatly increased both their numbers and range. The Lost Ladybug Project is asking you to join them in finding out where all the ladybugs have gone so they can try to prevent more native species from becoming so rare!
For all "Budding" Citizen Scientists
Budburst, a project of the Chicago Botanic Garden, brings together researchers, educators, gardeners, and citizen scientists on a shared journey to uncover the stories of plants and animals affected by human impacts on the environment. They hope that sharing these stories will increase appreciation of plants and the natural world and inspire conservation action. Budburst teaches you how to observe nature and how to record your observations.
We Can All Lend a Hand!
If you're seeking ways that you can engage in science and environmental projects in your community, SciStarter is an excellent repository of thousands of possibilities! SciStarter is an online community dedicated to improving the citizen science experience for project managers and participants. More than 3,000 projects and events are searchable by location, scientific topic, and age level. SciStarter also supports researchers in managing projects, including best practices for engaging participant partners. SciStart alser also provides a great overview of citizen science, including the "Ten Principles of Citizen Science."
Take a Journey!
They say a journey of a thousand miles starts with one step. For bald eagles, monarch butterflies, gray whales, hummingbirds are much more, those journeys are vital for their continued survival! Journey North, a project of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum, is one of North America's premiere citizen science programs for people of all ages. Journey North provides online tools to track migration and the seasons! The project has broad participation, with over 60,000 registered sites in the US, Canada, and Mexico — including families, teachers, schools, nature centers, professional scientists and novices. Reported sightings are mapped in real-time as waves of migrations move across the continent. People report sightings from the field, view maps, take pictures, and leave comments.
Education in Your Own Backyard
Project Learning Tree is an environmental education program designed for teachers and other educators, parents, and community leaders working with youth from preschool through grade 12. Project Learning Tree uses trees and forests as windows on the world to increase students' understanding of the environment and actions they can take to conserve it.
Explore Your World From Home
How would you like to visit an elephant watering hole in Africa or watch a family of gorilla live? How about diving into the ocean with great white sharks or viewing the Aurora Borealis lighting up the night? Through dozens of live webcams located all over the world, Explore.org, a philanthropic media organization and a multi-media division of the Annenberg Foundation, provides educational and inspirational journeys for every interest. The website also includes 250 original films, 30,000 photographs and free lesson plans for educators.
Visit the NOAA National Ocean Service
The National Ocean Service provides data, tools, and services that support coastal economies and their contribution to the national economy. NOS is dedicated to advancing the following priorities: Safe and efficient transportation and commerce, preparedness and risk reduction, and stewardship, recreation and tourism. Tha National Ocean Service also provides a variety of ocean facts and education resources for educators, students and kids!
Gearing Up for an Outdoor Adventure
Are you ready to explore the outdoors but you don't have the gear to do it? There are several online options to rent camping and hiking gear. Below are just a few that deliver throughout the country. Please Note: These listings are examples and are not an endorsement from Temple University Ambler or Temple University of the products rented or sold by these establishments. Do your homework and find the best gear for you!
- Provides fast, free reservations for gear.
- Prices start at $23/day.
- Ships directly to your home with no-contact delivery.
- Pre-sanitized following CDC guidelines.
- Free returns.
- Free shipping to destination.
- Free returns.
- Prices starting at $35/day.
- Provides more "comfort" and "glamping" options.
- Prices starting at $69/day.
- Reservations for equipment must be scheduled at least 10 days in advance.
- Shipping across the U.S.; guaranteed to arrive one day in advance.
- Sanitation standards based on CDC guidelines.
- Prices starting at $29/day.
- Shipping directly to destination.
- Free returns and exchanges.