Connecting Students to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math While Conserving Public Lands

The goal of G.E.M. Environmental, a 501(c)3 charity in Prescott, is twofold: to connect underserved STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math students) to integrated and collaborative educational programming and to work with government agencies to conserve public lands.

To that end, G.E.M. provides educational opportunities for students through paid internships, scholarships, and vocational training. Through hands-on programs, students envision new educational goals, cultivate relationships with industry professionals, and develop greater confidence in community engagement.

One example of such opportunities is G.E.M.’s Field Experience Program, which recently wrapped up its first semester in partnership with Yavapai College. The program offers engaging geoscience activities, including field trips where students apply their knowledge and gain insight into managing public lands.

Jessica R. Cook is G.E.M.’s Business Manager and Chairman of the Board. Her experience in bookkeeping, accounts receivable/payable, contract writing, policy enforcement, and her ability to stay current on state and federal policy changes, has helped G.E.M. flourish since its inception two years ago. As Chairman of the Board, Jessica takes pride in creating new partnerships between G.E.M. and local businesses whose owners share a passion for creating opportunities for those involved in their project work.

Amie Winters, Grant Writer, and Public Relations Coordinator, holds an MA in Environmental Leadership. During graduate school, she completed an internship with the Boulder Parks and Recreation Department and attended California State University-Chico Archaeology Field School as an undergraduate. These experiences allowed Amie to recognize the importance of internships and field opportunities, which is why she’s passionate about G.E.M.’s educational programs. Amie has worked in a variety of public, private, and educational sectors.

Mona Welsh, Treasurer, and Secretary has lived in Prescott with her husband for more than 30 years, and they’ve raised two children here. Mona has worked with several nonprofit organizations in Prescott where she has served as a board member for the YMCA, Diamond Valley Water District, and as secretary for ABATE. Her mission is to raise awareness for G.E.M.’s scholarship program and to get the community involved in fundraising.

All three women recently worked on a successful fundraiser for the Field Experience Program, which raised over $5,000. They plan to expand G.E.M. programming into two additional classrooms at Yavapai College while offering two additional field trips during 2019. They are also currently working with Northpoint Expeditionary Learning Academy and Prescott College to offer the program to these schools by 2020.

For more information about G.E.M. Environmental, visit