Applications Are Currently Closed

Please check this space in the future for updated opportunities.

This seven-week course provides an invaluable opportunity for highly motivated high school students to gain knowledge of the many facets of environmental science: ecosystems, human health, policy, climate change, food and agriculture, energy, pollution, environmental justice issues, local to global impacts, sustainability and green careers.

Attendees will grow in self-confidence and strengthen skills, such as communication, collaboration and public speaking that will also build a solid resume for college and job applications.  


This course runs one day a week (participants choose a Wednesday or Thursday cohort to join) from 12:30 – 4:30 p.m. Daily activities include a combination of expert-led classes, discussions, workshops, opportunities for creativity and service projects. This program is free and participants will recieve a stipend for participation

The program concludes with a Youth Garden Summit where participants will share their new knowledge and skills with other youth from around the Pittsburgh region. The Youth Garden Summit will take place from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Mon., July 29, for both cohorts. 


  • Cultivate an appreciation and understanding of local, national and global environmental science and justice issues and sustainable solutions
  • Provide opportunities for youth to engage in solutions-focused and place-based environmental education that serves the community
  • Introduce young people to “green” careers and develop career-relevant leadership skills in areas of science, research, policy, education and communication and other environmental fields
  • Connect passionate young people with other like-minded youth and develop peer-to-peer education and communication skills
  • Empower young people to seek and create change and recognize that individual and collective actions do make a difference

Dates and Locations

Programs are identical and offered at different times to accommodate a variety of schedules.

Wednesday Cohort:
Wednesdays from 12:30 – 4:30 p.m. at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
(June 19, June 26, July 3, July 10, July 17, July 24)
Plus Monday, July 29 Youth Garden Summit from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Thursday Cohort:
Thursdays from 12:30 – 4:30 p.m., at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
(June 20, June 27, July 3 (holiday adjustment), July 11, July 18, July 25)
Plus Monday, July 29 Youth Garden Summit from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

How to Apply - Applications Are Currently Open.

All applicants must have completed at least one year of high school and must be between 14 and 19 years old.

Applications will be accepted from March 7 – May 11 at midnight. Interviews will take place on a rolling basis up until the due date. Please submit your application early! All interested students should do the following to be considered for this workshop:

  • Eco Leader Academy Application (PDF)
  • Brief essay (150-word minimum) describing why you would like to be part of our Eco Leader Academy program and the environmental topics that you are passionate about.
  • Choose a cohort based on the dates above and confirm that you can and will attend ALL dates of the program.

Please submit materials via mail to:

Alyssa Mulé, High School Programs Coordinator
Science Education and Research Department
Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
One Schenley Park
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Or email to: Alyssa Mulé at amule@phipps.conservatory.org