Two students with high academy ability and interest in Natural Resources and Environmental Science will be selected from each of 8 eastern Kentucky counties at the end of their 6th grade year to participate in a challenging 3 year Natural Resource and Environmental Sciences Academy (NRESci). The program curriculum will be designed to integrate basic natural science concepts, with field data collection techniques and data interpretation to assess the environmental sustainability of various land use management decisions on a watershed basis. First year scholars will study Water Resources. Second year scholars will study Forest Resources and Third year scholars will study Wildlife Resources. Students will meet quarterly with program faculty and staff to report back on special assignments they conduct within their home counties and to visit research faculty on the UK campus. In addition, this program is working closely with the UK Robinson Scholar’s program to match “mentors” at the college level from the same region with the NRESci Academy scholar’s utilizing their “community service” component to keep connected and support youth from the same region. We are trying to bridge the “gap” from 4-H middle school age youth from eastern Kentucky region to college.