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NU-Geopaths was a 3-week full-time geoscience internship for high-school students recruited from Round Lake High School, a Hispanic-serving public high school, from ETHS, a public high school above the 90th percentile of public high-school diversity scores across the USA, and from the Lindblom Math and Science Academy in Chicago, a minority-serving high school with 71% of its students identifying as Black. Two NU-Geopaths programs were conducted in the summers of 2021 and 2022, respectively.

Mentors are primarily recruited from the PhD program in Earth and Planetary Sciences at Northwestern University. The two main goals of NU-Geopaths are 1) to increase the number and diversity of college-bound high-school students who intentionally choose geoscience as a major, and 2) to solidify graduate students’ attitudes and identities as geoscience leaders and lifelong mentors.

Mentees complete geoscience-themed STEAM or data-driven projects that are designed by mentors. To further spread awareness of geoscience as a STEM discipline, the mentees share their projects with family, teachers, and peers at their high school. Mentors read about and discussed anti-racist pedagogy, students of color navigating STEM identities, and combating racism in the geosciences and were introduced to fundamentals of psychosocial, instrumental, and sponsorship mentoring.

The mentee-mentor components of NU-Geopaths are enriched through workshops on communication, writing college application essays, coding in Python, laboratory and campus tours, guest geoscientist appearances, group meetings, daily warm-ups and check-ins, and a field trip.

Mia Tuccillo and Ann Thomas critically contributed to the program's design, implementation, and execution as the program's Teaching Assistants.

Mentees were mentored by Chuyan Wan, Mia Tuccillo, Ann Thomas, Matt Selensky, Kaca Savatic, Peter Puleo, Floyd Nichols, Stacy Montgomery, Laura Larocca, Ryan Harp, Sara Camilleri, Aidan Burdick, Hannah Bausch, and Benigno Alonzo. We are grateful for time, expertise, support, partnership, and hair for NU-Geopaths from Sara Woods, Lucy Weidner, Ashley Walter, Yuxi Suo, Grace Schellinger, Michael Satut, Merrill Read, Omkar Ranadive, Cara Pratt, Kristen Perkins, Andrew Masterson, Miguel Lerma, Alex Knapp, Gabby Kitch, Liz Kinsley, Martin Heft, Murielle Harris, Basia Gawin, Denise Drane, Lisa Collins, Natalie Bueno, Emma Belanger, and Patricia Beddows.

NU-Geopaths is funded by the National Science Foundation's IUSE:GEOPAths program, performed at Northwestern University, and was directed by Suzan van der Lee and Tracy Davis in 2021 and 2022.

From 2024 to 2026, NU-Geopaths is directed by Rosemary Bush.