Crane Trust, Hastings College partner to host summer academy for juniors in high school

The Crane Trust and Hastings College have announced a partnership to offer a summer academy experience specifically designed for juniors in high school who are interested in wildlife and natural science. The first program of its type designed specifically for high school students will focus on the unique ecology of the Platte River.

Crane Trust Logo“The Crane Trust is uniquely situated on 6,000 acres of historic prairie. Participating students will have a number of opportunities, including collecting data on native plants and wildlife from our vibrant lowland tallgrass prairies situated along the Platte River,” said Brice Krohn, Crane Trust president.

The inaugural academy is scheduled for Sunday, July 14 through Thursday, July 18, 2019, and is limited to 30 students. Application information is available at The deadline to apply is May 1, 2019.

The four night, five day academy gives students hands-on research opportunities in the field at the Crane Trust, while connecting to labs at Hastings College.

“This partnership with Crane Trust will give high school students experiences that will both confirm and enhance their interest in the sciences,“ said Dr. Amy Morris, professor and chair of the Hastings College Biology Department.

The Crane Trust Academy curriculum will be led by Hastings College faculty and Crane Trust scientists.

Participants will have the opportunity to learn ecology and conservation theory and practice, use ecology skills to collect scientific data in the field, and learn how to manage and organize data. They will also use plant and animal survey and sampling methods, learn how to mark and navigate to points using a GPS, and gain exposure to statistical and mapping software programs using data we collect in the field.

The academy includes lodging in Hastings College residence halls, meals and evening activities. The cost to attend the Crane Trust Academy is only $200 per person thanks to significant underwriting by partner institutions and donors.

The Crane Trust Academy is made possible by partner and guest speaker institutions that include Hastings College, the Crane Trust, Hastings Museum, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey and the Platte River Implementation Program.

Hastings College is a private, four-year institution located in Hastings, Nebraska, that focuses on student academic and extracurricular achievement. Hastings College has been named among “Great Schools, Great Prices” by U.S. News & World Report and a “Best in the Midwest” by The Princeton Review. For more, go to

The Crane Trust is a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and maintenance of critical habitat for whooping cranes, sandhill cranes and other migratory birds along the Big Bend Region of the Platte River Valley through sound science, habitat management, community outreach and education.

Share this post