Press Release

NatureBridge and Alcoa Foundation partner in the 2018 Alcoa Scholars Program

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For Immediate Release
April 27, 2018
Contact: Annie Schuler

San Francisco, CA — In honor of Arbor Day, NatureBridge and Alcoa Foundation are pleased to announce that they have partnered for a fifth year to offer the NatureBridge Alcoa Scholars program. This international science and exploration program connects high school students from around the world to some of earth’s most beautiful protected lands in Yosemite and Shenandoah National Parks, where trees are just one of many natural elements that can be appreciated.

Fully funded by Alcoa Foundation, this two-week program will take 55 teens from eight countries on a challenging physical and educational journey into spectacular wilderness. Scholars will participate in a multi-day backpacking adventure, conduct hands-on science projects, help care for the national park through a service project, and explore environmental issues from a global perspective.

“With more than 180 applicants to our NatureBridge Alcoa Scholars program this year, it’s clear that there are many young, motivated individuals around the world raising their hand to learn how to better steward the earth,” said Rosa García Pineiro, President, Alcoa Foundation. “Alcoa Foundation believes that preserving our environment for future generations requires educating tomorrow’s leaders. Our partnership with NatureBridge invests in doing this through a unique, hopefully life-changing opportunity for a global group of students.”

This summer, Scholars will take part in backcountry expeditions and engage in scientific research that is specific to the unique terrains of two UNESCO world heritage sites: Yosemite National Park in California and Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. Upon completion of the two-week program, scholars will present their environmental science research to an audience of peers and invited guests.

This year’s program will emphasize Alcoa Foundation’s key areas of engagement: reducing climate change and enhancing biodiversity. By building curriculum around these areas, the NatureBridge Alcoa Scholars program will educate young environmental stewards from around the world and encourage them to tackle these pressing environmental issues from a global community’s perspective. Supported by a new group of friends from around the world, Scholars will return home with a deeper connection to the environment, empowered to make a difference in their home communities.

"NatureBridge is honored to join with Alcoa Foundation for the fifth consecutive year to offer this well-loved and highly impactful environmental summer program to teens from around the world," said Philip Kilbridge, President & CEO of NatureBridge. "At NatureBridge, we strive to create the next generation of environmental stewards. Through exploring national park wilderness, conducting hands-on science investigations, and learning from peers from around the world, Alcoa Scholars develop their skills as critical thinkers and global citizens. We believe that the students who join us this summer, through a generous grant from Alcoa Foundation, will be well-positioned to become the international community's next environmental leaders."


Founded in 1971, NatureBridge connects students to the wonder and science of nature and inspires the environmental stewards of tomorrow. As the largest residential education partner of the National Park Service, the organization serves more than 30,000 students each year and offers programs in seven national parks: Yosemite National Park, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Olympic National Park, Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, Channel Islands National Park, Prince William Forest Park, and Shenandoah National Park. For more information, visit


Alcoa Foundation’s predecessor, currently known as Legacy Alcoa Foundation (and formerly known as Alcoa Foundation), was founded in 1952 as one of the few endowed corporate foundations in the United States. As a result of the separation of Alcoa Inc. into Alcoa Corporation and Arconic Inc. in November 2016, two new foundations were formed, into which the assets of Legacy Alcoa Foundation were transferred. One of the newly formed foundations, known now as Alcoa Foundation, is the foundation associated with Alcoa Corporation. Today, Alcoa Foundation invests where Alcoa Corporation has a presence, providing grants that contribute to environmental excellence around the world, particularly in the areas of biodiversity conservation and climate change research. Learn more at and follow @AlcoaFoundation on Twitter.


The NatureBridge Alcoa Scholars program, hosted by NatureBridge and Alcoa Foundation, is an immersive, two-week environmental science program that allows high school students to learn and grow in some of the world’s most beautiful protected lands. 55 students from communities in which Alcoa operates around the world explore the wonders of the natural world in Yosemite National Park and Shenandoah National Park through backcountry exploration, hands-on science experiments and research, outdoor experiential learning and social emotional learning activities designed to connect scholars to nature, sustainability, and each other. The NatureBridge Alcoa Scholars converge from different nations and backgrounds to form a community of environmental stewards that will explore environmental issues from a global community's perspective.