April 27, 2018

NatureBridge and Alcoa Foundation partner to develop future environmental leaders in the 2018 NatureBridge Alcoa Scholars Program for international high school students


In honor of Arbor Day, NatureBridge and Alcoa Foundation are pleased to announce that they have partnered for a fifth year to offer the NatureBridge Alcoa Scholars program. This international science and exploration program connects high school students from around the world to some of earth’s most beautiful protected lands in Yosemite and Shenandoah National Parks, where trees are just one of many natural elements that can be appreciated.

Fully funded by Alcoa Foundation, this two-week program will take 55 teens from eight countries on a challenging physical and educational journey into spectacular wilderness. Scholars will participate in a multi-day backpacking adventure, conduct hands-on science projects, help care for the national park through a service project, and explore environmental issues from a global perspective.

“With more than 180 applicants to our NatureBridge Alcoa Scholars program this year, it’s clear that there are many young, motivated individuals around the world raising their hand to learn how to better steward the earth,” said Rosa García Pineiro, President, Alcoa Foundation. “Alcoa Foundation believes that preserving our environment for future generations requires educating tomorrow’s leaders. Our partnership with NatureBridge invests in doing this through a unique, hopefully life- changing opportunity for a global group of students.”

This summer, Scholars will take part in backcountry expeditions and engage in scientific research that is specific to the unique terrains of two UNESCO world heritage sites: Yosemite National Park in California and Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. Upon completion of the two-week program, scholars will present their environmental science research to an audience of peers and invited guests.

This year’s program will emphasize Alcoa Foundation’s key areas of engagement: reducing climate change and enhancing biodiversity. By building curriculum around these areas, the NatureBridge Alcoa Scholars program will educate young environmental stewards from around the world and encourage them to tackle these pressing environmental issues from a global community’s perspective. Supported by a new group of friends from around the world, Scholars will return home with a deeper connection to the environment, empowered to make a difference in their home communities.

"NatureBridge is honored to join with Alcoa Foundation for the fifth consecutive year to offer this well-loved and highly impactful environmental summer program to teens from around the world," said Philip Kilbridge, President & CEO of NatureBridge. "At NatureBridge, we strive to create the next generation of environmental stewards. Through exploring national park wilderness, conducting hands-on science investigations, and learning from peers from around the world, Alcoa Scholars develop their skills as critical thinkers and global citizens. We believe that the students who join us this summer, through a generous grant from Alcoa Foundation, will be well-positioned to become the international community's next environmental leaders."

Contact: Annie Schuler


Founded in 1971, NatureBridge  connects students to the wonder and science of nature and inspires  the  environmental   stewards  of  tomorrow.  As  the largest  residential  education partner  of the National  Park Service,  the organization  serves  more than 30,000  students each  year  and  offers  programs in seven  national  parks:  Yosemite  National  Park,  Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Olympic National Park, Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation   Area,   Channel   Islands   National   Park,   Prince   William   Forest   Park,   and Shenandoah National Park. For more information, visit naturebridge.org.


Alcoa Foundation’s predecessor, currently known as Legacy Alcoa Foundation (and formerly known  as Alcoa Foundation),  was founded  in 1952 as one of the few endowed  corporate foundations  in  the  United  States.  As  a result  of  the  separation  of  Alcoa  Inc.  into  Alcoa Corporation  and Arconic  Inc. in November  2016,  two new foundations  were formed,  into which  the assets  of Legacy  Alcoa  Foundation  were transferred.  One of the newly  formed foundations, known now as Alcoa Foundation, is the foundation associated with Alcoa Corporation.  Today,  Alcoa  Foundation  invests  where  Alcoa  Corporation  has  a  presence, providing grants that contribute to environmental  excellence around the world, particularly in  the  areas  of  biodiversity  conservation   and  climate  change  research.  Learn  more  at alcoafoundation.com  and follow @AlcoaFoundation on Twitter.


The NatureBridge  Alcoa Scholars program, hosted by NatureBridge  and Alcoa Foundation, is an immersive,  two-week  environmental  science  program  that allows high school students to learn and grow in some of the world’s most beautiful protected lands. 55 students from communities  in which Alcoa operates around the world explore the wonders of the natural world in Yosemite National Park and Shenandoah National Park through backcountry exploration,  hands-on science experiments  and research, outdoor experiential  learning and social emotional  learning  activities  designed  to connect  scholars  to nature,  sustainability, and each other. The NatureBridge Alcoa Scholars converge from different nations and backgrounds    to   form   a   community    of   environmental    stewards    that   will   explore environmental  issues from a global community's perspective.