We host events and provide services to increase student involvement with campus and community environmental issues. We’re an active group of MES students dedicated to addressing academic and social needs of MES students.

What does MESA do?

Our mission is to provide social and academic support to current MES students. We provide academic and professional opportunities for students to get involved with the Evergreen campus and greater Olympia community through various volunteer projects. Opportunities include beach clean-ups, ecological restoration work, participation at local environmental events, participation at campus-led symposiums and forums, and service work with several state agencies and organizations.  We also provide professional development opportunities by connecting students with local, regional, and state environmental events in addition to covering associated costs through our PDF grant program. Further details on professional development funding and application can be found in the MESA Professional Development Funding application (Word).

Just Eat It Poster

A recurring event we put on is the Environmental Film Series; a poster is at the right for the past showing of "Just eat it: A food waste story".

MESA also hosts the annual Rachel Carson Forum at The Evergreen State College every spring. The event promotes environmental awareness that is accessible to students, staff, faculty, and community members alike. See below for details.

We are not all academic! MESA further supports students by hosting social events that foster friendships. We plan movie nights to showcase films on environmental issues and host fun outings such as hiking trips! We look forward to meeting you!

Why join MESA?

  • Find financial assistance for student professional development opportunities
  • Gain valuable connections with fellow MES students, MES Alumni, and the greater Evergreen-Thurston County community
  • Student Empowerment: MESA serves as a professional means of retaining students’ voices and opinions in the larger MES Program
  • Presence on campus: educate the Evergreen community about the MES Program and local environmental issues
  • Networking opportunities with local organizations & businesses
  • Resume building capacity: great experience for future careers!
  • This is an organization for you, run by you; our focus is based on your input!

The Rachel Carson Forum

Each year, MESA hosts the annual Rachel Carson Forum in honor of Carson's influential and important environmental research, writings, and activism. The Forum invites activists, scientists, writers, and speakers to present and engage with the community to promote environmental awareness and discussion. The most recent forum was its 30th year!

This year’s theme was The Power of Community Science. MESA chose this theme because we believe science is important and can be fun for everyone. When more people are engaged and realize the value of science and nature, we all stand to benefit especially mother Earth and all her inhabitants. People who joined us to learned how you can get outside and monitor streams, wildlife populations, and be inspired to leave a happier and healthier world behind!

This Rachel Carson Forum hosted two keynote speakers who spoke to the power of community science. This was followed by a Q&A Panel featuring the keynotes and one other guest speaker who is active in community science. Before the keynote presentations and Q&A Panel, we had a community tabling event featuring citizen science groups and organizations from across the state. We wanted this tabling event to highlight the community science projects they offer and how they engage the public.

Check back periodically for future event details!

See what we're up to!

Environmental Film Series

MESA is hosting an environmental film series, showing a new film every month! During these events we also have special guest speakers to talk more in-depth about the various topics as well! These films highlight various topics within the environmental community from the wolves of Yellowstone to the personal stories of those peacefully protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline at Standing Rock.

Beach Cleanups

MESA is dedicated to give back and provide opportunities for students to get involved with the Evergreen campus and greater Olympia community. One way we do this is through regular beach cleanups. MESA has completed eight cleanups this year at Priest Point Park and Kennedy Creek Nature Preserve. In total we have covered 12 miles and cleaned up 360 pounds of trash! Our data is reported to the Ocean Conservancy through their Clean Swell app.


Group of people on beach

Meet your coordinators

MESA Coordinators are here to answer questions you have regarding joining MESA, how to receive PDF funding, how to get involved in a volunteer event, and any other questions regarding this student group.

Check out the Rachel Carson Forum posters from this year and last year!


Rachel Carson Forum 2019 poster


RCF final