GCSE EnvironMentors

EnvironMentors is a science education and national college access program with a mission to mentor and motivate high school students from communities underrepresented in the sciences as they plan and conduct environmental research and acquire skills that will allow them to build careers and become more active stewards of their communities and the environment.

Microscope logo for Environmentors

EnvironMentors chapters are located around the country and are hosted through partnerships with universities and educational based nonprofit organizations. Since 1992, the program has paired over 2,500 participants through its network of chapters throughout the country.

EnvironMentors helped me form a love for science… EnvironMentors connected me to the world around me, teaching me about natural and built environments... EnvironMentors made me realize how much I enjoy science and inspired me to major in forensic science next year, my freshman year in college… Dealing with experiments and science is not always easy, but challenges and problems are essential parts of life; if you allow them to, they can make you wiser and stronger.” - LSU EnvironMentors protege

This quote is from the GCSE Essay, "The Role of Place-Based Mentorship with the Next Generation of STEM Professionals", by Dr. Vanessa van Heerden, past LSU EnvironMentors Chapter Coordinator.

Two students working together to gather soil.
LSU EnvironMentors Students Conducting Research


Current Chapters

Alabama State University

Future City Inc.

Heritage University

Louisiana State University

Penn State University - Harrisburg

Penn State University - Schuylkill

Penn State University - Shenango

Penn State University - State College

University of California, Davis

Posed group photo from the 2023 EnvironMentors National Science Fair
2023 EnvironMentors National Science Fair

Interested in launching a chapter? Keep reading below to learn more!

Qualities of the EnvironMentors Program

Mentoring: Environmental, natural resource, and science professionals, faculty, and college students volunteer as mentors to high school students. Mentors not only support students in conducting rigorous research projects, but also serve as important role models, motivating students to pursue college degrees and careers in environmental and natural resource fields.

Research projects: With the support of their mentor, students design and conduct an experimental research project based on an environmental topic of their choice. Through the process, students develop critical thinking, analytic, and communication skills vital to their success in college and future careers.

Stewardship: Throughout the EnvironMentors program year, students have multiple opportunities to engage in the local environment, including visits to wildlife refuges, weekend camping trips, habitat restoration or invasive species removal, and water quality sampling.

College preparation: EnvironMentors provides students with a range of college preparation activities, including exposure to a college campus, labs, and library; assistance with college applications and financial aid; and an introduction to environmental and natural resource degree programs.

National Science Fair: Each summer, GCSE hosts the EnvironMentors National Science Fair and Awards Ceremony. Students from each of our EnvironMentors chapters travel to Washington, D.C., to present their research and compete for college scholarships. The National Fair is an opportunity for students to learn more about our nation’s capital, to meet fellow EnvironMentors students, and learn the role science plays in environmental decision-making. 

Recent EnvironMentors Fair Events

On Monday, June 3, 2024, GCSE hosted the EnvironMentors National Science Fair and Award Ceremony at the US Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C., USA. Learn more here.

On Monday, June 5, 2023, GCSE hosted the National Science Fair at the American Geophysical Union in Washington, D.C., USA. View our event page here.

On Monday, June 3, 2019, GCSE hosted the National Science Fair at the Charles Sumner School Museum and Archives in Washington, D.C., USA. View our event page here.

EnvironMentors Student Presenting their Research
Penn State EnvironMentors Student Presenting at the National Science Fair

EnvironMentors Participants in front of the US Capitol in Washington, DC
EnvironMentors Participants in front of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.


Launch a Chapter

GCSE is always interested in working with organizations that would like to host a new EnvironMentors chapter. We will work with your institution to ensure you are prepared to launch a strong, long-lasting, and sustainable chapter. We especially encourage institutions to apply that meet the following criteria:

  • Strong commitment to working with high school students in your community

  • Willing to meet program expectations in one-to-one mentoring, hands-on research, field experiences, and college preparation

  • Financial commitment to the local chapter’s operation

  • Desire to be part of a national network and community of learning


Reach out to Liz Nelson, GCSE Program Manager, at elizabeth@gcseglobal.org to learn more.

EnvironMentors in the News

Posed image of PSU EnvironMentors Chapter at National Science Fair 2023
PSU EnvironMentors Chapter at National Science Fair 2023.

July 14, 2023 - EnvironMentors recognized at competition while building STEM skills for future by Kevin Silman

The Penn State chapter of the EnvironMentors had a successful showing at the 2023 EnvironMentors National Science Fair and Awards Ceremony in Washington, D.C...Read more here.

LSU EnvironMentors Chapter at 2023 EnvironMentors National Science Fair
LSU EnvironMentors Chapter at 2023 National Science Fair. Image credit: Vanessa van Heerden.

June 21, 2023 - “We brought home a lot of awards": LSU EnvironMentors Students Compete in National Showcase

In early June, the LSU EnvironMentors students and mentors took a field trip – to Washington, DC. And they came home with prizes...Read more here.

2 student and 2 mentors posing for a picture at the EnvironMentors National Science Fair 2023
Future City Inc. Chapter Winners. Pictured from left to right: Vincent Caldarulo, Kayleb Hernandez, Brian Guzman, and Victor Soloman.

June 10, 2023 - Two JVJ Stem Academy Freshman Awarded Third Place in National EnvironMentors Contest by Casey Abline

On Monday, June 5, 2023, freshmen from JVJ Stem Academy, Kayleb Hernandez and Brian Guzman, embarked on a trip to Washington, D.C. to take part in the National EnvironMentors Contest...Read more here.

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