GALS North Carolina

GALS North Carolina Sample Itinerary

Note that the exact itinerary may differ and will be sent to you in your acceptance package.

Day 1 | You arrive at Catawba College for the start of GALS. We spend some time getting to know each other and getting fitted for gear before heading out for our first night of camping!


Days 2-5 | We embark on our first backpacking trip. We explore Pisgah National Forest while learning about our surroundings. During this section of the program, you learn about the scientific process and engage in small group projects. When we leave the back-country, we stop at the Cradle of Forestry Visitor Center to learn about the birthplace of forestry and the landscape that we’re exploring.

Days 6-7 | We spend two days in the front-country focusing intensely on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem surveys. Other scientists (students and faculty) join us for these two days to provide additional perspective and expertise. We use sensors, camera traps, and chemical tests to gain a greater understanding of these ecosystems.


Days 8-11 | We continue scientific exploration on a second adventure (backpacking or paddling) in another section of Pisgah National Forest. During this section of the program, you engage in individual research projects of your choosing. You develop hypotheses and methods, then carry out an experiment which you design!

Day 12 | We head out of the woods and drive back to Salisbury, NC.

Day 13 | We spend a day at Catawba College, giving you time to finish your independent projects. You learn about statistical analyses, which you apply to the data that you collected. With your results, you make figures, draw conclusions, create a poster, and develop a presentation. Everyone
takes turns practicing presentations and providing each other with feedback. We will also have a preparing for college panel and a science careers panel.

Day 14  | You deliver presentations of your individual projects to parents, guardians, friends, and Catawba faculty and students. This is followed by a causal reception with lots of snacks and beverages.

See here for the GALS 2017 research presentations.
See here for the GALS 2018 research presentations and posters.

Find out more about the GALS NC program in this article.

GALS North Carolina 2023 will be held on June 18th-July 1st. If you have questions about the GALS NC program now, feel free to email

See here for a typical day in the life of a GALS participant!