Pathways into Natural Environments and Science (PINES)

The Triangle Land Conservancy’s (TLC) Pathways Into Natural Environments and Science program (PINES) works to create a pathway of opportunities for Knightdale High School students in the field of conservation and natural resources. Students will learn about career opportunities in conservation, build relationships with TLC staff and board members, and learn about conservation through experiences surrounding TLC’s four benefits of land conservation: safeguarding clean water, protecting natural habitats, supporting local farms and food, and connecting people with nature. There will also be an opportunity for TLC to learn from PINES participants, by soliciting input on important issues affecting our communities. 



PINES program goals:

  • Provide high school students with information and resources for future opportunities in Natural Environments and Science-based careers (and beyond!).
  • Introduce students to mentors in the field of conservation.
  • Foster future environmental stakeholders by providing space to incorporate fresh, new voices into the outdoor narrative.
  • Build community while connecting students to nature.

Benefits for participants:

  • Cohort of peers to explore opportunities and grow alongside with.
  • For completion of the Spring PINES program, students will receive $1,500–paid throughout the semester. 
  • Funding available for student professional development(college applications, standardized testing costs, college tours, relevant certifications).
  • Outdoor gear, provided by Great Outdoor Provision Co.
  • Opportunity to gain leadership skills by mentoring the PINES cohort as a PINES Senior Fellow. 

Time commitment:

  • Weekly meetings on Monday afternoons. Each meeting is about two hours. Some weekend trips. 
  • Meetings begin in February and run through May with the school semester with optional summer opportunities.
  • If interested, students may participate in the PINES Senior Fellowship, which extends into the following school year’s Fall semester and gives students the chance to serve in a leadership role within PINES.

Qualifications: current (as of Spring semester) sophomore and juniors at Knightdale high school.



Is PINES an internship?

PINES is a TLC fellowship program. The goal is for students to learn about the natural world while also gaining important skills for the job market. PINES seeks to equip students with knowledge and skills that can be applied to future careers, education, or projects. The PINES program is an opportunity that students can include on college applications, but it will also count as work experience for students looking to gain hands on skills.

Do you get paid for participating in PINES?

Yes! As of Spring 2024 students will receive a stipend of $1,500 paid throughout the semester.

What if I don’t feel qualified to apply to PINES?

Any student at Knightdale high school with an interest in nature, environmental science, or the outdoors is qualified to apply. The PINES program exists to introduce and help people further explore these interests. We do not expect you to have much or any previous experience. All that matters is that you are interested and excited to learn!

Quotes from previous PINES fellows:

“I want people to know that PINES is a irreplicable opportunity to discover yourself while discovering the processes of nature.”

“My most impactful experience in PINES was the star party because I got to teach the next generation of environmentalists about the way the things in the sky effect the way things work on the ground.”

“I genuinely think that PINES is amazing. It is run by some cool people and they helped me figure out what I wanted to do in school.”

Contact information:

Kayla Ebert, Senior Education and Outreach Manager

[email protected]

Meera Butalia, PINES Assistant

[email protected]

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