About Programs


The United States Earth Science Organization summer programs are week-long residential programs that take place at the University of Vermont. Starting in 2019, we will be running two summer institutes: the USESO Training Camp and the Junior Program.

USESO Training Camp

The USESO Training program takes place every year at the University of Vermont. Please see the Calendar page for specific dates. The program is designed to prepare students to represent the United States at the international event (IESO). The USESO Training Camp involves a variety of high-level, challenging field exercises (including local field trips), classroom work, and team projects to accomplish this goal. Daily exams are used to test the Earth science knowledge and skills of students. Past USESO students have been very successful at the international event, achieving numerous gold and silver medals in individual competition, as well as best written/practical exams, and more international team awards than any other country. Students in the program stay in University Heights dormitories on UVM campus, and eat in the UVM cafeterias. At the conclusion of the summer program, the eight students on the U.S. Earth Science Team are announced, who ultimately represent the US at the international event later in the summer.

This year, students will need to be at least 15 years old by July 1, 2020 to attend the program. Younger students may take the qualifying exam, but cannot attend the program.

Students must be nominated by a science teacher at their school to take the National Open Exam to attend the program. See the Selection Process page for more details.

Junior Program

This program is offered to young women who are interested in preparing for the USESO Training Camp. For specific dates, see the Calendar page. It will be hosted at the University Heights dorms on UVM campus. There are no daily exams, but there are daily field trips and two group projects similar to those found at the International Earth Science Olympiad. Some background knowledge in Earth science is expected, as well as a deep love for science in general. Students will spend the week canoeing, mountain climbing, and exploring the streams and quarries of Vermont. The goal is to have a lot of fun, make friends, and engage in real hands-on science so as to be better prepared for the USESO Training camp and beyond.

Students should have completed 8th, 9th, or 10th grade prior to attending this camp.

Acceptance to this camp is on a rolling basis. There are a limited number of space, so if you are interested, please see the Selection Process page for more application details.

NOTE: The tuition for both program is $2500. If this presents a significant financial burden, please apply for financial assistance. To do so, please send a copy of your family’s most recent W-2 Tax Form.

Other Requirements

In addition, the student’s family will need to provide medical insurance information, a list of any medical issues the camp directors will need to be aware of, allergies, and any special dietary needs. Food is provided by UVM dining services. Special dietary needs can be accommodated.