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Undergraduate Field Study Mentors for the 2017-2018 Research Apprenticeship Program 

Connecting UA undergraduate students with graduate student mentors and middle and high school mentees – UA Science: Sky School ( is seeking individuals excited to engage with youth in science. We are recruiting undergraduate Field Study Mentors to work with students in grades 8-12 to develop and execute field-based research projects for the regional science fair, run by the Southern AZ Research, Science, and Engineering Foundation (SARSEF). This is a unique opportunity to gain experience with science education and communication. Training will be provided for effective mentoring of students, along with support throughout the mentoring process and feedback to mentors on improving facilitation, teaching, and scientific process skills.

Mentors will benefit by:

  • Improving their ability to conduct a field research project, communicate scientific information and model science-related career skills
  • Enhancing their ability to inspire, engage, and educate youth in STEM
  • Building their organizational skills while helping mentees conduct their projects
  • Gaining experience engaging with local environments and land managers
  • Developing a better ‘sense of place’ of the Tucson region, with attention to the natural and cultural history of the region
  • Earning an ‘Engaged Learning Experience’ notation on their transcript and/or earn academic credit as directed research

UA Mentor Commitments, 2017-18 school year:

Fall, 2017
(Transportation provided from the UA campus for all field days to Sabino Canyon)
·      Saturday, Sept. 30th, 8am-4pm- Training in Sabino Canyon for all mentors

·      Saturday, October 7th, 8am-4pm- First field day in Sabino Canyon for students & mentors

·      Sunday, Oct. 8th, 9am-1pm- Work day at UA Main Library

·      Saturday, Oct. 14th, 8:30am-3pm- Field day to test methods

·      Saturday, Oct. 21st– Depending on need, field day 8:30 am-3pm or work day 9am-1pm

·      Field days for data collection, 8:30am-3pm: 10/28, 11/4, 11/18, 12/2

Spring, 2018 ·      Saturday, Jan. 13, 9am-1pm—data analysis, poster, and presentation workshop for mentors at UA Main Library

·      Work days, UA Main Library, 9am-1pm: 1/20, 1/27, 2/3, 2/10, 2/17, 2/24 (optional), 3/17

·      Poster display & presentation practice- Saturday, March 31st, time & location TBD

SARSEF activities
(optional for mentors)
·      Wednesday, April 11—project set up at TCC between noon and 8pm

·      Thursday, April 12—judging: Middle School 10am-11:30am & High School 12-3pm

·      Friday, April 13—public viewing, 9am-8pm

·      Saturday, April 14—awards ceremony, times TBA

April 21-22, 2018 ·      Visit to our Mt. Lemmon campus for an overnight trip of hiking, meadow campfire, silly awards, telescope viewing, etc. for all involved in the project

Application Process: Email applications to Rebecca Lipson ( by Sep. 26th. Interviews will be conducted on an ongoing basis.

Please include:

  • Statement of interest, explaining your prior experience and qualifications, as well as your desired personal outcomes for the experience (one page limit)
  • CV or résumé, including any relevant experience with mentoring, education and outreach, outdoor activities, or research
  • Letter of support from an advisor, professor, or other person familiar with your work (can be sent under separate cover)




Graduate fellowship – Sky School Instructor

Positions still open for 2017-2018 – apply now!

The fellowships are designed to connect graduate students with K-12 students as research mentors and educators during residential or daytime educational programs. The fellowship is a unique opportunity to gain experience with science education and communication. Sky School staff will provide training for effective mentoring of students. Instructors will then mentor groups of K-12 students on 1-4 day programs throughout the year. Programs include instruction on general themes relevant to sciences in the sky island region—ecology, geology, dendrochronology, soil science, hydrology, astronomy, culture, and history— as well as opportunities for students to conduct inquiry projects on topics of their choice. Sky School staff will provide feedback to instructors on improving their facilitation and teaching skills.

Applicants must be enrolled in a graduate program at the University of Arizona for 2017-18. Those accepted must have transportation available to travel to program sites—locations in the Coronado National Forest, including our SkyCenter campus on Mt. Lemmon, and schools within the greater Tucson area (carpooling is often available). Most programs require overnight stays at the SkyCenter campus. Graduate students may receive this fellowship more than once and do not need to be United States citizens.

Each fellowship includes a stipend of up to $4,500, depending on hours committed, paid half in fall 2017 and half in spring 2018. Meals and lodging are provided for any overnight programs at our Mt. Lemmon campus.


  • Conduct lessons and mentor K-12 participants in designing, carrying out, and presenting research projects on Mount Lemmon or in a schoolyard or park for a minimum of 200 hours over the course of the academic year. Many programs are during the week and tend to be concentrated between September – November and March – May. Efforts will be made to accommodate each instructor’s academic schedule where necessary.
  • Pass background check and register fingerprints with UAPD
  • Assemble online resources and a reading list for students
  • Contribute to Sky School program ideas and lesson plans shared on our wiki:
  • Attend mandatory training events on the main University campus as well as on Mt. Lemmon
  • Commit to keeping First Aid/CPR training current

  • Evaluation Criteria

    Applications will be primarily evaluated for the ability to communicate with and relate to participants. Also important is the ability to explain your own research to young people, from elementary to high school ages. A research connection to resources unique to Mount Lemmon or the Sonoran Desert is helpful, but not necessary. We try to maximize the diversity of subject areas covered by all fellows. Applicants in non-science majors are welcome if they can show significant experience with scientific inquiry and/or engineering design. Experience teaching or mentoring youth as well as experience in the outdoors are helpful, but not required. Instructors will ideally represent diverse backgrounds and research areas. Applicants early in their graduate programs are especially encouraged to apply to facilitate holding a multi-year fellowship with the Sky School.Application Process
    Please email application materials to Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis.Application Materials

    • Brief statement of interest, explaining your prior experience and qualifications, as well as your desired 
personal outcomes for the fellowship (one page limit)
    • Brief description of your research interests written at a level appropriate to generate understanding and 
curiosity for a typical 8th grade student (one page limit)
    • Curriculum vitae, including any past educational, outdoor, or outreach activities relevant to this 
fellowship (two page limit)
    • Letter of support from your advisor (can be sent under separate cover)Further Information
      More information about the UA Science: Sky School program is available online at, on Facebook at, or by emailing Rebecca Lipson, Assistant Director of Education, at Examples of existing curriculum and lessons can be found on our wiki site: 
Please contact us or any of our current graduate instructors with any questions if you are considering applying.