June 11 through July 6, 2018

Information for 2018 Participants


Dabney S. Lancaster Community College
Clifton Forge, Virginia

Projected dates for the 2019 Field Ecology Summer Regional Governor's School:

Salamander Study: June 10 through June 20, 2019
Forestry Study: June 24 through July 5, 2019

Learn science by actually doing science.

The Field Ecology Summer Regional Governor's School is designed to inspire in you, the academically gifted student, a respect for the bountiful natural environment that is your heritage-a heritage that might soon be lost if each generation is not taught to preserve and cherish it. We aim to awaken an awareness and interest in native plant and animal life as a rich and varied natural resource. We will emphasize the interrelationships between organisms and their natural environments and on the role and impact of humans on these ecosystems.

"In school they give you a book expecting you to learn from it. In Governor's School you actually apply your knowledge so that you see why your knowledge is useful." --Participant

"Definitely not your typical classroom and textbook SOL Course!" --Participant

"This 'school' isn't really school at all." --Participant

Tree Measure

Welcome to the unpaved world!

"I learned that there is more to life than cell phones, TV, electronics. This program has opened my eyes to a whole new world." --Participant


See what we did in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018.

"Vintage" photos from 1985 through 1999.
Camping in the Laurel Fork area of Highland County, Virginia.


Typical "Itinerary" for your Journey into Field Ecology of Virginia

Measuring dbh


1st Session - Salamander Study

Introduction to program and campus
Salamander study: data collection & analysis
Three-day camping trip
Creation & presentation of electronic field guides


2nd Session - Forestry

Introduction to program and campus
Forestry methods: data collection & analysis
Three-day camping trip
Creation & presentation of forestry field guides


Transportation to and from the DSLCC campus and all meals are the responsibility of each student's family.

Measuring the diameter of a tree.

Students are current 8th, 9th, and 10th Grade students living in the school attendance zones listed below. You have one thing in common: a desire to explore academic and/or field studies at a level not always possible in your home schools.



"You aren't sitting in a classroom all day reading about science, you are out doing it--out exploring." --Participant


"Best summer I ever had" --Participant

Field trip to Douthat State Park, Bath County, Virginia.

Instructors for the Center are college and high school teachers who have experience with both the subject matter and the education of gifted students. Guest lecturers also present a variety of topics.

The program enhances your critical thinking skills and your understanding of how science works.

"Provides more than high school can--more challenging and in-depth." --Parent

Roaring Run Falls


In addition to challenging your intellectual skills, we feel the program should be equally demanding of your physical capacities in order that you might have a complete sense of accomplishment at the program's end.


"... the most mentally and physically challenging experience of my life.... wonderful, exciting, and fantastic!" --Participant

"I did things I never thought I'd do." --Student

Enjoying the vernal pool at Douthat State Park, Bath County, Virginia.


Participating School Divisions

Alleghany County Clifton Middle School
Alleghany High School
Bath County Bath County High School
Botetourt County Central Academy Middle School
Read Mountain Middle School
James River High School
Lord Botetourt High School
Buena Vista Parry McCluer Middle School
Parry McCluer High School
Covington Covington High School
Highland County Highland High School
 Lexington  Lylburn Downing Middle School
Rockbridge County Maury River Middle School
Rockbridge County High School


How to Apply

Applications for 2018 will be available from your guidance counselor by mid-March.
Or contact Jane DeGroot at Covington High School.

Application FAQ
Downloadable Application Information & Instructions
Downloadable Application
Applications may be turned into your guidance counselor or mailed directly to:
Jane DeGroot, Covington High School, 606 S. Lexington Ave., Covington, VA 24426

Application Timetable

Mid March Pick up application.
Late March / Early April Return completed application to your guidance office.
Mid April Participants and alternates selected by their schools.
Late April Participants notified of acceptance into the program.
Late May Orientation session for participants and their parents.
Mid June Governor's School begins.

Red Eft

"I want to come back. I wish it was all summer." --Student