Sierra Nevada Journeys

Our mission is to deliver innovative outdoor, science-based education programs for youth to develop critical thinking skills and to inspire natural resource stewardship.

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Address: 1331 Garden Highway, Suite 100
Sacramento, CA 95833
County or Parish: Sacramento
Primary NTEE: Youth Development 
Sub NTEE: Youth Development Programs 
Executive Director: Eaton Dunkelberger
Contact Email:
Primary Phone: 916-601-0992
Fax: 775-329-1689
Sierra Nevada Journeys is a 501(c)(3) non-profit agency with the mission to deliver innovative outdoor, science-based education programs for youth to develop critical thinking skills and to inspire natural resource stewardship. Our vision is to build a community of youth who are leaders, scientists, and stewards of the natural world.

Working with 1st-6th grade students, Sierra Nevada Journeys' programs include field-science experiences and in-class lessons, professional development opportunities for teachers, family outreach initiatives, and enriching overnight science camps at our 1,500-acre Grizzly Creek Ranch in Portola, CA. We now celebrate more than 100,000 students and 6,000 teachers served throughout the greater Sacramento and Reno areas.

Sierra Nevada Journeys programs ensure all students, regardless of economic background, foster a connection to the natural world creating lifelong learners and stewards of our local resources and environment.
Sierra Nevada Journeys has a waiting list of 35 teachers who want our top-tiered science programs for their classrooms. Additionally, these teachers would like to participate in our three-day teacher professional development boot-camp at our Grizzly Creek Ranch campus in the Sierra Mountains. These classrooms/teachers are located in low-income communities in the Sacramento region and lack the funding and resources to participate in outdoor-science education. Most of these teachers have not received science-related professional development in the last three years as well.

Our top needs:
  1. Funding: Program - Classrooms Unleashed: A four-part series that uses the classroom, school-grounds and local nature sites like the American River and Deer Creek Hills to turn kids into ecologists, geologists and water engineers.
  2. Funding: Program - Overnight Science Camp: A three-day adventure for 6th-grade classroom students to become full-blown field scientists at our Grizzly Creek Ranch campus in the Sierra Mountains (40 miles north of Lake Tahoe).
  3. Funding: Program - Teacher Development Boot-camp: A three-day immersive professional development workshop for teachers to embrace the Next Generation Science Standards recently adopted by CA and use them in their classrooms.
  4. Volunteers - Volunteers to help sheppard local field trips are always needed and shows these young students their community cares about their exposure to science and the outdoors.
  5. Funding: Other -
"According to a recent National Wildlife Federation Report, students involved in outdoor and environmental education improved their math and reading scores, performed better in science and social studies, were more fully able to transfer learning into familiar contexts, and learned to "do science," rather than just learn "about science."

At Sierra Nevada Journeys, we use science and the outdoors to build our next generation of STEM-based workforce and environmentally literate citizens. Our focus on elementary-aged students gives us the opportunity to build a life-long passion for science and the outdoors, and we are inspired by seeing this spark ignited in our students. This past year we turned 10 years old and celebrated our 100,000th student served, most of whom live below the poverty line.

We are proud of the impacts our team members and supporters have made during the past decade, particularly our Sacramento programs growing ten-fold in the last three years and over 5,000 sixth-graders receiving their overnight science-camp experience in 2017 because of Sierra Nevada Journeys!"

Eaton Dunkelberger
Executive Director
Sierra Nevada Journeys