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. The program’s environmental education activities include virtual classrooms and participation in community events.

We will be offering an all-day, Monday-Friday, four-week summer program for current 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students from July 8 through August 2, 2024. This program combines recreational activities, environmental education lessons, computer technology lessons, and guided field trips to notable natural sites and water resource management facilities in the Passaic River basin and Newark Bay. Project staff will lead the tours and present lessons in classrooms and science labs on the campus of Montclair State University. Students will be taught how to use instruments and software used by scientists and other professionals and apply these skills toward exercises relevant to the sites and topics of the tours.

Applicants that are selected to participate in the Eco-Explorers Summer Program will be awarded a full scholarship! Applicants should be able to participate in moderately strenuous outdoor activities, have interest and aptitude in science and computer technology, and must be able to commit to the entire session – all 20 days. To apply, click the link below. Applications are due by April 1, 2024.

*Please advise that this program includes activities such as hiking and boating*

2024 Eco-Explorers Summer Program Application

In addition to our summer program, we offer free guest lectures focused on environmental science and ecology. The lectures run for 40 minutes to 60 minutes depending on the specific lecture’s activities and content. The lessons are offered virtually and in person and teachers can choose as many lessons as they are interested in. To schedule lessons, please contact us at the email address or phone number listed below.

Program Goals

  • 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 sustainability.
  • 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!


Colleen Potocki
Coordinator of Education and Outreach
Montclair State University
Center for Environmental and Life Sciences 304B
Montclair, NJ 07043 USA

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