Teacher showing eco-explorers an animal in her hand

Eco-Explorers Program

The Eco Explorers Program aims to promote environmental awareness and stewardship and to enhance scientific literacy in order to empower the citizens of the State of New Jersey. Environmental education activities provided by the program include a traveling science showcase, virtual classroom, in-classroom guest speakers, and participation in community events.

The Eco-Explorers also includes a four-week, Monday through Friday program consisting of all-day sessions for middle school students. The program consists of visits to notable nature sites, including the Great Falls National Historical Park in Paterson, as well as important environmental infrastructure centers, such as the New Jersey American Water Treatment Plant. Our campers also conduct field studies of area forests, streams, and lakes, such as the Alonzo F. Bonsal Wildlife Preserve.

Eco-Explorers Virtual ProgramView the Flyer

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Program Goals

  • Enrich campers’ knowledge and enjoyment of nature and the environment by exposing students to fascinating and beautiful natural features in our area.
  • Improve awareness and understanding of the environmental infrastructure that supports life, and the benefits, threats, opportunities, obstacles, and efforts related to that infrastructure.
  • Foster interest in science by creating curiosity and excitement about ecology, environmental science, and computer technology.
  • Introduce the substance and tools of a career in ecology or environmental science/engineering.
  • Increase students’ confidence in their ability to someday become professional scientists by familiarizing them with a university environment.
  • Providing students with positive role models in the form of college students, professors, and working scientists.

#TBTLonging for the summer? Check out what our own Paterson Eco-Explorers learned about dissolved Oxygen.

Posted by Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park on Thursday, October 23, 2014

Topics of Study

  • non-point source pollution and watershed protection
  • biodiversity
  • wildlife ecology
  • ecosystem management
  • water quality assessment
  • drinking water and wastewater treatment
  • drinking and recreational water safety
  • fish and shellfish consumption safety
  • renewable energy and sustainability
  • Passaic River history
  • urbanization
  • environmental stewardship
  • community gardening

Quotes from Eco-Explorers:

Thank you for this Summer even better! I had so much fun as an Eco-Explorer. Thanks for taking care of us, and teaching us about our environment. This year was my first year, but I am already thinking about coming next year! Have an amazing summer!

Thank you for helping me throughout this whole journey of being an Eco- Explorer. I hope I could get to see you next session. This could help me throughout my life. Thank you for helping me and this was a fun program!

I wanna thank you for giving a chance to be in the program and letting me learn so much.

Thank you for allowing me to attend this program and I loved every moment of it.

Thank you for everything you did for us. I really had a great time and wish I joined sooner. I learned a lot of interesting information and developed an even larger interest in science. Enjoy the rest of your summer!

Financial Supporters


Yaritza Acosta Caraballo
Program Coordinator, New Jersey Center for Water Science and Technology
Montclair State University
Center for Environmental and Life Sciences 100
Montclair, NJ 07043 USA

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Register for the 2020 Program