Program Development
This program was developed by New Weis Center (NWC) Trustee Anne Moore Siebecker and Lead Educator Jill Burgy, who recognized the need to provide students at the high school level with a broad understanding of critical environmental issues and concepts. This foundation will help students evaluate whether to pursue higher education or career paths in environmental fields, while becoming informed, responsible environmental stewards.

  • Additional input was provided by an advisory committee of NWC Trustees, high school and college educators, guidance and career counselors, industry professionals, and helped to shape the program’s focus and curriculum.
  • This program is supported by the Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES) Cooperative Extension

Program Advisory Committee

  • Amy Rowe – Environmental and Resource Management Agent, Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Essex and Passaic Counties.
  • Hope Kowalski-Porta – High School Environmental Science & AP Teacher, Kinnelon Board of Education. Master’s in Educational Administration and Supervision, Montclair State University; Master’s in Environmental Science, NJIT.
  • Keith Kelley – Lakeland Regional High School Guidance Counselor and Senior Options Coordinator.
  • Ann Darling – NWC Board of Trustees. Master’s in Science Technology from Long Island University; Bachelor’s in Education (N-8), Fairleigh Dickinson University. Former ASTEC Teacher of the Year; Dodge Fellow for the Liberty Science Center.

Definition and discussion of central environmental themes - including Sustainability, Conservation, Human Health Concerns and Climate Change - will be woven throughout all weekly focus topics. Areas of concentration include:

  • Water Resource Management
  • Ecology, Soil, Ecosystems and Invasive Species
  • Waste Management and Reduction
  • Renewable Energy
  • Green Building
  • Green Landscape Design & Engineering
  • Sustainable Agriculture Design
  • Natural Resource Policy & Management
  • Public Policy
  • Environmental Stewardship and Protection

Curriculum Format
Learning will occur through lecture, guided group discussion, analysis of topical articles and publications, films/videos, outdoor activities and off-site experiences. Noted guest speakers will bring depth in their field of study, and additional subject matter experts and environmental professionals will provide real-world experience and current perspectives.

Alumni Committee
The WEP Alumni Committee will help graduates stay connected and provide support as they pursue their post-high school plans and careers. The Alumni Committee will be comprised of NWC Trustees and staff, a representative from Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES) Cooperative Extension, and program graduates. Alumni benefits:

  • Recommendations and letters of reference
  • Invitations to NWC members-only events
  • Assistance pursuing internship opportunities
  • Graduates may be invited to participate in the Advisory Committee

Class Dates & Times
Class meets Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from July 12 – Thursday, August 2, 2018

  • Tuesday & Wednesday: 6:00pm – 9:00pm
  • Thursday: 9:00am – 12:00pm

Students who successfully complete the requirements will receive a certificate from the NWC.

  • NOTE: Students may only miss 1 class in order to complete the program and receive their certificate, and are required to make up missed work. Requests for additional absences will be considered on an individual basis.

Classes will primarily be held at the NWC 152-acre property in Ringwood, New Jersey.

Program Fee
$465 for NWC members;  $495 for non-members

  • Program fee covers all instruction, materials, activities, and fees related to field trips.
  • A $100 deposit is due upon registration; balance in full is due on or before June 15, 2017.
  • Cancellations prior to May 15, 2017 will receive a full refund; cancellations after May 15, 2017 will receive a full refund minus a $50 materials fee.
  • Installment payments are available upon request.

Payment and Required Forms
Once you have registered, you’ll receive a confirmation email, an invoice, and several forms which must be completed and returned by June 15th.

  • Health form
  • Student questionnaire
  • Media release
  • General waiver/Offsite activity waiver

For more information, to schedule a site visit or an in-person interview, please Contact Us!


Certificate Program - Summer 2018

What Is The Weis Environmental Pathfinder Certificate Program?

  • A summer environmental education experience for rising Jr. and Sr. high school students.
  • An introduction to environmental career paths.
  • An extension of NWC’s mission to introduce students to the issues and challenges we face as a global and local community to protect our environment, and our responsibility to do so.

Who Is This Program Designed For?

  • Students considering majoring in environmental studies, environmental science, natural and earth sciences, sustainability, or related fields as an undergraduate.
  • Students interested in pursuing careers focused on environmental or sustainability objectives.
  • Students seeking to establish a foundation of environmental knowledge and make a positive impact on their world.
  • Students who appreciate nature and want to learn about their environment.