Sustainability Leadership Academy

Chatham University's
Eden Hall Campus
August 4-10, 2019

Register today!

Want to help build a happier, healthier and more equitable future?


Interested in a career in sustainability but not sure where to start?

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Explore various sustainability careers during an unforgettable week-long experiential retreat at Eden Hall Campus–the world's first academic community built to be sustainable from below the ground up.

Open to rising 10th, 11th and 12th graders, as well as students leaving 12th grade, Chatham's Sustainability Leadership Academy provides the chance to:

  • Make like-minded friends from across the country
  • Explore Pittsburgh during excursions to the city's sustainable highlights
  • Develop the leadership skills needed to be a change agent
  • Experience a taste of college life and earn college credit (optional for an additional fee)
  • Participate in hands-on experiential learning with faculty in the field
  • Ask questions and gain mentorship from local leaders in the field

Chatham SLA Circle Sitting on Deck Chatham SLA Lecture in Woods Chatham SLA Tomato Picking


I was really inspired to see the multiple organizations devoted to sustainability and changing and planning for the future

The SLA was an unforgettable experience.

I feel like it's really easy and kind of realistic now to make change. So many people say 'I want to make change' and don't know how, but now I know how. So that's really cool. I also used to feel like the odd ball out, but now I feel a sense of purpose and community, which is really cool. And comforting.


I definitely feel like I know a lot more now and I feel better prepared. I feel I have contacts and people to reach out to to ask questions and be able to be informed to make change. I definitely feel ready to be able to make change in my community.

I now know that if you are passionate about a topic, you can make a difference no matter how small your voice is.



1:30 - 3:30 p.m. / Check-In and Move-In

3:30 - 4:00 p.m. / Campus Tour (first time visitors)

4:00 - 6:00 p.m. / Orientation and Icebreakers

6:00 - 7:00 p.m. / Dinner

7:00 - 9:00 p.m. / Teambuilding

Students on Kayak Tour


7:00 - 8:00 a.m. / Breakfast

8:00 - 10:00 a.m. / Sustainability 101 with Peter Walker, Dean of Falk School for Sustainability, Chatham University

10:00 - 12:00 p.m. / Faculty Experiential Session - Details TBD

12:00 - 1:00 p.m. / Lunch

1:00 - 2:30 p.m. / Free time (Pool open, Optional Yoga)

3:00 - 6:00 p.m. / Faculty Experiential Session - Applied Ecology

6:00 - 7:00 p.m. / Dinner

7:00 - 9:00 p.m. / Low Ropes Teambuilding


7:00 - 8:00 a.m. / Breakfas

8:00 a.m. / Shuttle Departs for Phipps

9:00 - 9:30 a.m. / Project Planning on Flagstaff Hill

9:30 - 11:30 a.m. /Green Building Session and Free Time at Phipps

11:30 a.m. /Shuttle Departs for North Shore

12:00 p.m. /Picnic Lunch on Water Steps

12:45 - 2:00 p.m. / Green Building Kayak Tour with Isaac Smith, Building Performance Analyst at Green Building Alliance

2:00 p.m. / Shuttle to Chatham University, Shadyside Campus

2:30 - 4:30 p.m. / Leadership Studio and Project Planning with Chatham's Career Development Staff

4:30 - 5:30 p.m. / Tour of Chatham University, Shadyside Campus (first time visitors)

5:30 - 7:30 p.m. / Dinner and Athletic and Fitness Center (AFC) Free Time

7:30 - 9:30 p.m. / Project Planning Workshop

9:030 p.m. / Shuttle Departs for Eden Hall


7:00 - 8:00 a.m. / Breakfast

8:00 - 9:00 a.m. / Project Planning Workshop

9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. / Faculty Experiential Session - Sustainable Food Systems

9:00 a.m. - 12:00 a.m. / Growing Sustainably on the Eden Hall Farm and Harvesting with Tony Miga, Assistant Eden Hall Farm Manager

12:00 - 1:00 p.m. / Lunch

1:00 - 3:00 p.m. / Free Time (Pool Open, Optional Yoga)

3:00 - 6:00 p.m. / Sustainable Cooking Class with Chef Chris Galarza, Chef Manager for Parkhurst Dining at Eden Hall Campus

6:00 - 7:00 p.m. / Hot Dinner, Prepared by Participants During Cooking Class

7:00 - 8:00 p.m. / Project Planning Workshop

8:00 - 10:00 p.m. / Game and Movie Night



7:00 - 8:00 a.m. / Breakfast in EBC

8:00 - 9:00 a.m. / Project Planning Workshop

9:00 a.m. / Shuttle Departs for Downtown Pittsburgh

10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. / Urban Planning and Public Transit, Walking Tour of Downtown Pittsburgh with the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership

12:00 - 2:00 p.m. / Government and Policy Picnic Bagged Lunch at Point State Park and Free Time at Market Square Farmer's Market

2:00 - 4:00 p.m. / PNC Bank Tower Tour - Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability

4:00 / Shuttle Departs for Carnegie Museum of Natural History (CMNH)

4:30 - 5:30 p.m. / Project Planning on CMNH Patio

5:30 - 8:00 p.m. / Dinner on Craig St. (bring spending money) and Free Time at CMNH until close

8:00 p.m. / Shuttle Departs for Eden Hall

Students on Pittsburgh tour Rock Climbing


7:00 - 8:00 a.m. / Breakfast

8:00 a.m. / Shuttle Departs for Homewood

9:00 - 11:30 a.m. / Sustainability and Social Change: Sankofa Village Community Garden Tour

11:30 a.m. / Shuttle Departs for Shadyside Campus

12:00 - 1:00 p.m. / Lunch

1:00 - 2:30 p.m. / Project Planning Session, Final Presentation Prep

2:30 - 4:30 p.m. / Final Project Presentations

4:30 - 5:30 p.m. / College Prep Session with Brian Dwyer, Undergraduate Admissions Counselor

5:30 - 7:00 p.m. / Dinner and Free Time in AFC

7:30 p.m. / Shuttle to Eden Hall

8:30 - 10:00 p.m. / Campfire and Closing Session

Students in high tunnel


7:00 - 8:00 a.m. / Breakfast

8:00 - 11:00 a.m. / Project Polishing and Program Evaluation

11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. / Pack and Free Time

12:00 - 1:00 p.m. / Lunch

1:00 p.m. on / Departures

Students at fire pit


Eden Hall Campus has been built as a sustainable college campus and living laboratory where students explore topics such as sustainable land management, food production and delivery, and energy generation. The campus features renewable energy technologies, high performance green buildings, onsite wastewater treatment, sustainable agriculture farms and gardens, and 200 acres of woodlands with hiking trails. You will live in the Orchard Hall dorm, which is built to achieve LEED Platinum standards. You'll eat in the Esther Barazzone Center (EBC) dining hall on campus, which serves meals with locally and responsibly sourced ingredients.

EBC Exterior


More information about travel, transportation, and other requirements can be found here.


Leaders in sustainability fields design green communities and buildings, implement next-generation energy and water technologies, support local and just food systems, conserve and protect land, hold companies and governments accountable for carbon emissions and so much more. Chatham's Falk School of Sustainability faculty and Pittsburgh's leading sustainability professionals will guide you as you explore career options in urban planning, engineering, field biology, ecology, aquaculture, architecture, community organizing, agriculture, sociology, food systems, business and more through interactions with people, systems and the land. As a supplement to the rich content knowledge you will gain, you will also explore and engage with concepts of leadership that focus on influence, value-sharing, and social responsibility, enhancing your ability to be an agent of positive change one person and one community at a time.

Group of Students

Chatham SLA Yoga Chatham SLA Sankofa Village Community Garden Tour Chatham SLA Circle Time


The program costs $1,000 and includes six nights' overnight accommodation, meals, admission to city attractions, professional mentoring, Chatham swag (including a t-shirt), and transportation for field trips.

This program can also be taken as a 3 credit undergraduate course for an additional optional $810.

Let's do this!


Note: The schedule is tentative and subject to change. $150 deposit due upon registration. Balance due by June 30, 2019. Need based scholarships are available.


We have opened up a second round of scholarship applications! To apply for a need-based scholarship, please email by June 28, 2019 with the subject title "SLA 2019 Scholarship Application" and attach the following documents:
- First two pages of 2018 Federal Tax Return
- Essay explaining student's interest in attending the SLA event and why student should be considered for the scholarship (2 pages max)
- Letter of recommendation from high school guidance counselor (optional but suggested)

Have you participated in
the Sustainability Leadership Academy (SLA)
in the past?

Take your leadership skills to the next level as you train to be a mentor for the following week's SLA. Sustainability Leadership II Participants are expected to also register for the full SLA week, when they will actually demonstrate their mentorship with new SLA participants.

Visit the SLA II page for more information »


Contact Kelly Henderson, Sustainability Leadership Academy Director, at or 412-365-2416.