March 12, 2019 – Olivia Winokur, one of the founders of GOALS – Girls’ Outdoor Adventure in Leadership and Science, will be the guest speaker on March 16th at the American Association of University Women (AAUW) Nevada County Branch’s meeting at Peace Lutheran Church. GOALS, based in Davis, California, was launched as an AAUW-funded initiative to help eliminate barriers to access to science and the outdoors and help diversify these fields. Winokur will share some of the ways that GOALS has impacted participants, leaders, and program developers alike, and why engaging youth from all walks of life is critical to the future of science.

According to Winokur, GOALS offers a free summer science program for high school girls to learn science hands-on while backpacking through Sequoia National Park. It started out as a wild dream of a group of UC Davis graduate students in October 2017 and came to life the summer of 2018. In a two-week immersive program led by UC Davis and National Park scientists, GOALS scholars learn how to design and conduct field-based scientific experiments while developing leadership and outdoor skills. In addition to the two-week summer program, all GOALS scholars are paired with a UC Davis mentor to help prepare them for college applications and expose them to a variety of STEM careers and female STEM role models

A PhD student in Entomology at UC Davis, Winokur’s research focuses on understanding how environmental and ecological factors affect transmission risk of mosquito-borne viruses, including Zika virus. She grew up with strong female role models and a family and community that supported her passions for science and the outdoors from a young age. “I know that not everyone is as privileged to have access to and support for these passions,” she explains, “and I wanted to do something about that.”

Free and open to everyone, the meeting will be held at Peace Lutheran Church, 828 West Main Street, Grass Valley, on Saturday, March 16th, from 9:30 – 11:30 am (program begins at 10:00 am).

AAUW membership is open to individuals with an associate, baccalaureate or higher degree from a qualified educational institution. For individuals interested in participating in branch interest groups and other activities, but who have not had the opportunity to complete a degree, the Nevada County Branch offers “Friends of AAUW” membership. For more than 75 years, the AAUW Nevada County Branch has been striving to advance equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research. For more information: or call 530-470-9395.