Matthew Pickering ’24


School of Public and International Affairs

Project Title

Million Tree Project

Presentation Link

View Matthew's Presentation

Certificate(s): Humanistic Studies, Environmental Studies, History and the Practice of Diplomacy

The goal of the Million Tree Project (MTP), an initiative of Shanghai Roots & Shoots, is to combat desertification and habitat degradation in China through specialized tree planting. While I worked on a variety of projects, I mainly focused on the marketing side, i.e., appealing to our corporate and school sponsors. For instance, I learned to use the software ArcGIS to plot a visually attractive map of our forest sites. I also helped create posters about MTP’s work for schools and used the application StoryMaps to update our learning guide. In addition, I delved into website development, using to overhaul and streamline the MTP website. I found it intriguing how much of the work done by nongovernmental organizations revolves around fundraising so that they’re able to do the actual work — in this case, the planting of millions of trees. I appreciated that this internship combined my two potential career tracks of policy related to China or the environment, and my work solidified my interest in pursuing a degree in one of those policy areas from the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs.

Internship Year


Project Category

Biodiversity and Conservation


Shanghai Roots & Shoots


Xian Liu, Million Tree Project Director, Shanghai Roots & Shoots