Environmental action, ecological resilience, socially responsible leadership.
Brown Environmental Leadership Lab (BELL) combines concepts in environmental studies, ecology, and leadership, with a mission of developing socially responsible leaders. At BELL, students develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to create positive change on environmental issues facing their local communities and the planet as a whole.
This summer, students at BELL: Rhode Island will live and study at the pristine Whispering Pines Conference Center at the W. Alton Jones Environmental Education Center in West Greenwich, Rhode Island.
Students will work to better understand the causes and impacts of climate change and identify examples environmental resilience. Additionally, students will be encouraged and empowered to develop solutions to environmental issues occurring in their own communities.
Socially responsible leadership is a lifelong pursuit that requires ongoing learning and reflection. During your time at BELL: RI, students will identify a pressing issue that they are passionate about. With support from faculty and peers, students will create an Action Plan to apply new leadership knowledge to this issue upon return to their home communities.
Students are encouraged to think about potential Action Plan topics before they come to BELL, but most students will develop their ideas during the program. For example, past students have established community gardens, written a grant to install solar panels, and coordinated an e-waste collection. More Action Plan final reports can be found here: Action Plan library.
Two Week Sessions
June 30 - July 11, 2019
July 14 - 25, 2019
July 28 - August 8, 2019
Eligibility: For students completing grades 9-12, ages 15-18 by June 2019
Application Deadline: March 25, 2019
A large portion of time will be spent outdoors. The goal is to explore beautiful surroundings through both formal study and spending time observing and listening. Students can expect a moderate level of physical activity every day, and should be ready to participate in outdoor activities outdoors in all temperatures and weather conditions.
Students will be staying in hotel-style housing at the Whispering Pines Conference Center. Students will be housed with 1 – 2 of their peers, separated by gender identity, and will sleep in separate beds. All indoor facilities at Whispering Pines are air conditioned. Staff lives on site and is available to the students 24 hours a day for support and supervision.
Students can expect three nutritious meals each day, primarily served in a dining area. We will work with the dining staff to make accommodations for dietary restrictions and food allergies if we are notified in advance.
Students turn in their electronic devices on the first day of BELL. Although some students may initially have concerns about this practice, they soon begin to enjoy this unique opportunity to disconnect from electronic devices. Reducing distractions allows students to more fully engage with the community and beautiful surroundings. We ask students (and families) to limit cell phone use to times when students have their phones, which will be specified in advance. By breaking ties to these technologies, students are able to be more mindful of the natural environment and build more intentional friendships.
While each day at BELL: Rhode Island is different, the schedule typically begins at 8:30am and ends at 10:00pm. Throughout the program there will be outdoor activities and labs, group discussions, and debates. Students participate in community time to discuss current events, sharpen leadership skills, and simply have fun together in a beautiful place.
|8:00 - 9:00am||Breakfast. Students help with set-up and clean-up|
|9:00 - 9:30am||Community tasks (everyone pitches in)|
|9:30 - 11:30am||Class time|
|11:30 - 12:00am||Free time|
|12:00 - 1:00pm||Lunch. Students help with set-up and clean-up|
|1:00 - 2:00pm||Solo Time (recharge, reflect, and be by yourself)|
|2:00 - 5:00pm||Class time|
|5:00 - 6:00pm||Free time|
|6:00 - 7:00pm||Dinner. Students help with set-up and clean-up|
|7:00 - 7:45pm||Recreation time|
|7:45 - 9:00pm||Evening Program|
|9:00 - 10:00pm||Free Time|
Please contact the Program Director if any of these things are of concern so we can make sure you have enough information about the particular program, as well as options for case-by-case accommodations, to make an effective decision about your participation.
The summer weather in Rhode Island can vary. Please check the weather forecast for West Greenwich, RI (Zip code: 02817) before departure and pack accordingly.
Students will be active for at least a part of each day. Some days will include activities such as hiking, wading in wetlands or streams, or standing outside for lessons.
Assistant Director, Pre-College & Environmental Programs
Jane received her B.S. in Forest Resources, Interdisciplinary Certificate in University Teaching, and Ph.D. in Forest Resources from the University of Georgia (UGA). Prior to joining the Brown Pre-College team in September 2017, Jane worked as the Sustainability Coordinator for University Housing at UGA, where she ran educational programs to promote environmentally conscious decisions among the 8,000 students living on campus. During the summers of 2014, 2015, and 2016, Jane worked part time for the BELL: Rhode Island. In her current role with Brown Pre-College Programs, she is responsible for planning and overseeing all BELL programs, including Alaska, Florida Keys, and Rhode Island. Jane is passionate about environmental advocacy and fulfilled by this role, which allows her to facilitate a unique experience for high school students each summer.
Prospective students must apply for admission. When evaluating applications, the admissions team looks for academic excellence, intellectual curiosity, social maturity, self-motivation and a readiness for participation in an independent academic environment.
Academic records must be submitted in the application form by the applicant. They do NOT need to be submitted by your school guidance counselor. Applicants must submit grades from the 2018-2019 academic term and at least two previous academic years. Acceptable attachments include, but are not limited to:
Documentation must include your full name and the academic term(s) represented. Please also be sure an explanation of the grading scale used by your school(s) (i.e., A = Excellent, 5 = Average, etc.,) appears on the documents, or provide one for us, along with an English translation as appropriate.
Applicants will be notified by email to log into their Student Portal to view their admission decision once it has been made. Our admissions team carefully reviews each application submitted. In most cases, admission decisions are made within 10 business days of receiving a complete application; however, during high volume times, it may take up to 15 business days.
Accepted students must confirm their attendance by submitting a $300 non-refundable program deposit. Students attending more than one program must submit a $300 non-refundable deposit for each program. Students will not be able to enroll in courses until a program deposit is received.
Student and parents are encouraged to review our Policies page to learn about important payment deadlines, refunds, code of conduct, and more.
Brown University Pre-College programs welcome applications from international students. Learn about English language proficiency requirements, Immigration Guidelines, Deadlines for Submitting Documentation, How to Apply for a Visa, and more on our International Students page.