GALS: Girls on Outdoor Adventures for Leadership and Science



GALS is a free summer science program for high school (9th to 12 grade) female students to learn science hands-on while backpacking through the wilderness. GALS was created in 2016 by four female PhD students in Biology and Ecology programs at Duke University to increase opportunities for students who identify as female, students of color, students from low socioeconomic backgrounds, and other groups underrepresented in fields of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).

GALS NM/TX was established in 2018 by Dr. Boeing (Department of Fish, Wildlife & Conservation Ecology) at NMSU.

Also check out the article that was published at NMSU and the Las Cruces Sun News about our 2018 GALS program:

You can also follow us on Facebook or Instagram for occasional updates:


GALS strives to cultivate a passion for environmental science and stewardship, develop leadership abilities, enhance critical thinking skills, and promote teamwork. This program provides female students with the unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience in science and experiential education while immersed in a supportive community of peers.

Our Program

Graduate students from NMSU's Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Ecology department are bringing the program here to New Mexico. Each Summer, GALS of southern NM and west TX will run a one-week outdoor science experience for local girls from grades 9-12.

During this one-week experience, students will learn ecology, wildlife science, earth science, and other topics by exploring your surroundings with local scientists. This mentally, physically, and academically challenging trip rewards you with a deep understanding of your natural surroundings and your own leadership strengths.

Three girls, one holding a tadpole
Learn the real-world skills needed to become a natural scientist.
Image of GALS outdoors walking thru a trail and a group picture in full backpacking gear
Students will plan and implement their own scientific studies and will gain outdoor skills.

Quotes from Past Participants

  • "I learned so many things I didn't know."
  • "Hikes were great; I had so much fun and energy!"
  • "My favorite part was everything, there is too much to choose: hot springs, games, science, making new and great friends, pizza, leaders, scenery, hikes, secret questions."
  • "Everything was really fun!"
  • "GALS can improve by making it longer!"
  • " I loved chilling with all the girls, relaxing without phones, and enjoying each others company."


Our ability to be a scientist is not dependent on our gender (Burt, C. L.; Moore, R. C. (1912). "The mental differences between the sexes". Journal of Experimental Pedagogy. 1: 355–388.) nor our skin color (color is just skin deep: Unfortunately, there are differences in the way we are viewed by society and opportunities we are given that are based on our gender and skin color.

Here is my GALS NM/TX pledge to you: I will support you and whatever dreams you have in whatever way I can!

Made Possible by Our Sponsors

Mesilla Valley Audubon Society sponsorship
  • Tom and Trudy
  • Dennis Conrad
  • Julia Crowley
  • Anonymous
  • Marisa Thompson
  • Erica Christensen
  • Amelia Simkins
  • Emily Schwartz
  • Katie G
  • Chris Hitsman
  • Erik Lehnhoff
  • Logan Hoile
  • Shana Fagan
  • Zach Tiemann
  • Abad Sandoval (in memory of Rosi Allen)
  • Jennifer Yahn (in memory of Rosi Allen)
  • Nola Allen (in memory of Rosi Allen)
  • Wolfgang Langenstrassen (in memory of Rosi Allen)
  • w Ciesielski (in memory of Rosi Allen)
  • Mathias Allen (in memory of Rosi Allen)
  • Jim Rust (in memory of Rosi Allen)
  • Sigma Xi
  • Ingrid Ardjosediro
  • Scott Donovan
  • Joe Calderon
  • Razik Majean
  • Javier & Dawn Gadney
  • Pamela Angell
  • Blanca Gadney-Moss & Robert Moss
  • Dr. Martha Desmond & Grady Viramontez
  • Andrea Richardson & Rebeca Chacon
  • Dr. Jennifer & Tim Frey
  • Dr. Wulf & Renate Boeing
Rosi Allen
Rosi Allen

New Mexico State University (NMSU) is dedicated to providing equal opportunities in our employment and learning environments. NMSU does not discriminate on the basis of age, ancestry, color, disability, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, retaliation, serious medical condition, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, spousal affiliation or protected veteran status in its programs and activities as required by equal opportunity/affirmative action regulations and laws and university policy and rules.