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MH-YES For Students

Helping a diversity of local students pursue their interest in environmental science.

How do I apply to the 2020 program?

If you are a sophomore or junior in high school, you are eligible to apply.

You will be asked to list a teacher to serve as a reference in support of your application. Please make sure the teacher is willing to be a reference, and let the teacher know to expect an email from India Futterman ( with instructions on how to submit the recommendation.

In addition to the application form and teacher recommendation, applicants must include a 200-400 word essay on the prompt below. Please name the file LASTNAME_MHYES2020Essay (file formats permitted: .txt, .doc, .docx, .pdf).

  • What does environmental science mean to you? You may write about any topic of interest to you, such as climate change, pollution and toxins in the environment, invasive species, waterways, urban sprawl, plant life, or another of your choosing. In your essay, include the local or global implications of the topic and at least two ways you could address the problem towards an impactful solution.

Application deadline: EXTENDED Tuesday, April 7th, 2020

Apply online

Mail-in application (.pdf)

How will participants be selected? 

We select participants that have a strong interest in exploring field and laboratory research, and in engaging with their community on environmental issues. Because students will be working in teams, interest in collaboration and teamwork also will be taken into account. Preference will be given to qualified applicants from groups typically under-represented in science. Finalists will be interviewed by two members of the MH-YES Team before final selections are made.

Students will be notified by May 1, 2020 via email by about their applications; please add this email address to your address book to avoid messages being routed to spam folders.

MH-YES. students
2018 Marist team members Chloe Rosa, Anointing Akpojetavwo, and Joelle Weir process samples in the lab with REU student Ashana Neale. Photo: Mike Gendler

What compensation will participants receive?


High school students will receive a stipend of $2,268 for full participation in the 6 week program, with stipend payments of $756 every two weeks. The full stipend is dependent on attendance.


The program will provide transportation from and to the students’ home to all program activities each day.

Program Expenses

The program will cover all expenses for travel, field trips, and other activities during the summer.

mh-yes student

A MH-YES student from the 2019 program summed up the experience this way:

"I feel like I have a better understanding of what I like to do. I wasn’t really sure at first, but now I feel like I can do it...we get to go out into the field and experience things and learn about the Hudson River, and you get to experience what real lab work is like, be treated as a real scientist, work with a real scientist, do things you don’t normally get to do in school."

If this sounds like a great way to spend the summer, APPLY!

What can I expect as an MH-YES participant?

MH-YES students will conduct original environmental science research that will involve both field and laboratory work. The hours are sometimes long, and the work is both physically and intellectually demanding. Your field site may be hot or rainy, and you will be getting into the stream as part of your work. The laboratory work can be tedious and must be conducted with great attention to detail. However, with these challenges comes great reward. You develop new skills in all aspects of doing science and experience the joys of discovery.

As an MH-YES student, you will work closely with the other high school students in your team to plan and carry out your study. The undergraduate, teacher and scientist mentors in your team will be there to provide guidance and support all along the way. Your team will share its progress each week with the entire MH-YES group, and participate in workshops to help build your science and communication skills. In addition to your research project, you will go on field trips to meet other students with similar interests and to explore the ecology of the Hudson and its watershed.

MH-YES students learn to communicate and connect environmental science to issues of local concern. You will have a chance to engage with the general public at an environment-focused Community Day in Poughkeepsie, sharing what you are learning about ecology and how it applies to the community. You will present your results in a scientific poster to other scientists, educators and members of the public at the MH-YES symposium at the end of the summer program. You also will write a final research report on your project.