YES Club presents:

Underground Ecosystems

Rocks and minerals are all around us. Explore the world beneath your feet through history, cave geology, earth science, physical science, conservation, and more!

YES Club goes caving

YES Club students explore the world beneath their feet. Combining history, cave geology, earth science, physical science, and conservation, YES Club members experience the diversity of cave life and the impact of human underground activities (e.g., mining) on soil, erosion and water quality. In Underground Ecosystems students embark on an underground adventure, exploring caves to find out what lives underground (through our partnership with Cave of the Winds), and visiting mines (specifically visiting the Newmont Cripple Creek and Victor Gold Mine). Catamount Institute’s programs provide fully encompassing lessons on renewable and nonrenewable resources. As a long-term partner, Newmont Cripple Creek and Victor Gold Mine expose the YES participants to mineral extraction practices and ecosystem restoration. Each club demonstrates its new subterranean knowledge through environmental service and research projects presented at the Symposium at Colorado College.


  • Composting
  • Cave of the Winds
  • Mine Tour
  • Top Soil & Erosion
  • Service Projects
  • Grow Cave Formations
  • Carbon Cycle
  • Food Chains and Bioaccumulation
  • Mining and Reclamation
  • Cave simulation family day

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn ecological principles relating to underground ecosystems through adventures and experiential lessons.
  • Develop awareness of human impact and reliance on underground ecosystems
  • Become better stewards of natural resources as they learn how human choices affect the world around them.
  • Enrich their capacity for systems thinking — understanding the connections between and among components of any type of system.
  • Deepen their knowledge about the biotic and abiotic components of ecosystems.
  • Practice critical thinking, communication, and collaboration skills.
  • Take action in their own community and present their work.

Register for YES Club today!

If you have YES Club at your school click the button to get registered for the current semester! Want YES Club at your school? Click contact us to get more information. We pay teachers to teach YES Club! Limited need based scholarships available click here to apply