For students entering grades 10-12 that are interested in pursuing a career in conservation

Dates: Monday to Friday, June 24-28, 2024

Location: The Pingry School, 51 Pottersville Rd, Pottersville, NJ 07979

Click here for a virtual tour of the Pingry School Campus

Kayaking on the South Branch of the Raritan River

Raritan Headwaters’ Watershed University program provides high school students with an opportunity to explore future study and careers in the environmental field. Through this experiential learning program, students will learn from a range of environmental experts and examine topics related to climate change, environmental justice, biodiversity, sustainability, resource protection and more. We are excited to offer this week-long overnight program, made possible by grants from the Royal Bank of Canada, American Water, and donations from our supporters!

This week-long, residential program is designed for High School students wishing to gain insights in the environmental field, make impactful change, and serve their communities. Each day includes a speaker, hands-on scientific exploration, and team building, making for an experience designed to inspire and empower. Evenings will be filled will engaging activities ranging from environmental film viewing, campfires, firefly exploration, night sky observation, and more!

This initiative is scholarship-based, meaning participants only need to pay a small fee on a sliding scale to attend the program. All meals and lodging are provided, allowing participants to focus entirely on learning and connecting with like-minded peers.

Enjoy the outdoors with activities like fishing, illustration, and more!

Participants will learn each day from experts in the environmental field, and will examine environmental and social topics that affect local and global resource conservation challenges. On-the-ground conservation projects allow students to gain skills in scientific research, communication, and build connections within a group of people working to make a difference.

On the Schedule for Summer 2024 (the complete 2024 schedule will be posted soon!)
  • Environmental Film Viewing with a local film maker
  • Night sky viewing with a chance to “walk on the moon,” with real-life experts from NASA
  • Environmental Justice with our Director of Policy, Bill Kibler
  • Field Study techniques with professors from Rutgers University

    Learn about conservation topics like surveying for water quality

  • Ecological Diversity Study with our Director of Science, Dr. Kristi MacDonald
  • Stream ecology study
  • Fire ecology
  • Nature Illustration with a local artist
  • Learn about electric vehicles from an EV Specialist
  • Bird study with experts from NJ Audubon
  • Kayaking on the South Branch Raritan River and local reservoirs
  • A visit from local organic farmers, including pizza making using local ingredients
  • Use of Pingry’s Rope Course
  • Morning yoga sessions

This program will allow participants to explore future fields of study in college and beyond preparing for career opportunities in environmental science, conservation and environmental education. Students that participate in the program this summer will be invited to join a mentorship program, connecting students with experts in the field of their intended field of study. Students will also connect with RHA staff and experts in the field for advanced learning, community service, citizen science projects, and internships.

At the end of the program, each student will be awarded a certificate for their participation in the program.

For questions, please contact Director of Education Lauren Theis at

Overnight accomodations and meals will be provided by the Pingry School in Pottersville, NJ.

Deadline to apply is May 15. Apply now, registration is limited to 15 students for 2024!

Click here to receive application instructions

Once you complete the form above, you will be contacted via email with instructions to submit a short essay describing your interest in the program, and a letter of recommendation from a teacher, mentor, guidance, counselor, or coach. Admission to the program will be based on student merit, demonstrated interest in the program, and financial need. We will let applicants know by the deadline of May 15 if they are accepted into the program.

Students must have transportation to the Pingry School on Monday, June 24, and must be picked up on Friday, June 28 (if you have trouble finding transportation please contact Lauren at!).

Make a donation to support this program.

Make lifelong friends!


A misty-morning bird survey

A Watershed University student drawing in our Bird and Butterfly Garden