About This Project


Jason Aloisio, Wildlife Conservation Society
Karen Tingley, Wildlife Conservation Society
Emily Stoeth, Wildlife Conservation Society
Su-Jen Roberts, Wildlife Conservation Society

May 2020 / Project TRUE (Teens Researching Urban Ecology)

Project TRUE (Teens Researching Urban Ecology) is a research study and youth development program funded by the National Science Foundation's AISL (Advancing Informal Science Learning) program. Based on a unique partnership between the Wildlife Conservation Society and Fordham University, Project TRUE connects high school youth with undergraduate and graduate student mentors pursuing STEM degrees. During the 7-week summer program, teams of students conduct urban ecology field research throughout New York City. The undergraduate team leader is the high school students’ primary mentor, providing guidance on all aspects of the experience, from developing a research question to communicating with the public. Undergraduates, in turn, receive mentorship from graduate students, zoo educators, and biology professors, exemplifying Project TRUE’s tiered, near-peer mentoring model.

This “Mentoring Training Toolkit” distills what was learned in the years of training undergraduate students to be mentors into five modules, each focused on a key component of mentoring. Each module includes several easy-to-implement activities, linked resources and templates, and suggestions for adapting the activity to a digital platform. While the activities were developed for undergraduates, we feel that they could be adapted for any audience who is beginning a mentoring experience.

Numerous individuals contributed to the development of this work and the National Research Mentoring Network’s Entering Mentoring Curriculum was integral in the structure and design of this training. Additionally, the Youth Development team at the Wildlife Conservation Society provided insight and expertise in the creation of this work. Their extraordinary dedication made this publication possible.

Project Leadership

Project TRUE Leadership: (as of May 2020) Jason Aloisio, Wildlife Conservation Society/ Karen Tingley, Wildlife Conservation Society/ Su-Jen Roberts, Wildlife Conservation Society/ JD Lewis, Fordham University, J. Alan Clark, Fordham University/ Jason Mushi-South, Fordham University/ Joe Heimlich, Lifelong Learning Group/ Deborah Wasserman, Lifelong Learning Group/ Rachel Becker-Klein, Two Roads Consulting

Former Leadership Members: Brian Johnson and Amy Tuiningua

Program Assistants: Kelsey Brennan, Erich Eberhard, Megan Henriquez

Project Advisors

Wildlife Conservation Society: Don Boyer, James Breheny, Merry Camhi, Jake LaBelle, Colleen McCann, Craig Piper, Scott Silver, Emily Stoeth, Pat Thomas

Community of Visitors: John Fraser, Judy Koke, Nancy Hotchkiss

Mentors and Project Leaders

Fordham University: Allison Bhikham, Alison Biltz, Elizabeth Carlen, Madeline Carsello, Emmy Casper, Joel Castillo, Shenika Christopher, Emma Cleray, Paméla Comlan, Sophie Craig, Aidan Cullen, Devin D'Agostino, Tina Dantono, Sarah Davis, Julia Day, Jack Donaton, Muhammed El Shatanofy, Tasnima Elahi, Katarzyna Endler, Connor Gilligan, Violet Guzman, Naiem Habib, Emily Hargous, Alexander Heilman, Carol Henger, Emma Huntress, Matthew Iannone, Chloe Jaquenoud, Emma Kelly, Nora Kuka, Danielle Lema, Sarah Loftus, Mamadou Ly, Amanda Makkay, Giovanni Martinez, Olivia Matalka, Edwin Medrano, Alyssa Melendez, Rochelle Mendoca, Abdelrahman Mohamed, Lexie Neffinger, Brian O'Toole, Emma-June Orth, Kathryn Oteri, Anya Patterson, Faria Rahman, Alexandra Rae Rebosura, Bethany Regan, Daniel Restifo, Nancy Rutishauser, Samyukthaa Saiprakash, Michael Sekor, Julia Sese, Danielle Shtab, Nzinga Stewart, Lindsay Thomas, Lauren Trahan, Perla Troncoso, Marissa Vaccarelli, Acer VanWallendael, Victoria Von Ancken, Natalie Ward, Olivia Weklar, Maye Yassin

Wildlife Conservation Society: Jennifer Cele, Sarah Davis, Jocelyn Harrison, Lily Mleczko, Kimesha Reid-Grant, Emily Stoeth, Joe Svoboda, Jillian Weinstein

Created by the Wildlife Conservation Society and Fordham University with funding support from the National Science Foundation.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under grant numbers 1421017 and 1421019. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Check out our interactive map!

Maximize your next trip to the zoo. Check out bronxzoo.com/today on your smartphone to view real-time info and our interactive map.

Need some direction? Access real-time info and our interactive map.

I’m in the park

Visit the in-park app experience

Need some direction? Get park maps, real-time info, and more with our new app.

I'm in the park