Five undergraduate students from the School of Natural Resources and the Environment were selected to participate in the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars program, which provides students with training and mentored research activities in conservation biology and other disciplines relevant to land, water and wildlife conservation. Christina Perez, graduate student mentor, Sierrane Gatela, Houston Harris, Vanessa Springer, Alexandra Wilcox and Sandy Marin (picture at left, respectively) recently travelled to the National Conservation Training Center in West Virginia for a weeklong conservation and leadership skills workshop. The students had the opportunity to meet and network with fellow Doris Duke Conservation Scholars from the four other participating institutions – the University of Florida, North Carolina State University, Cornell University and the University of Idaho. Additionally, they met with policy makers and explored conservation careers in the nation’s capital and learned valuable field and leadership skills utilizing both the indoor and outdoor classrooms of the National Conservation Training Center.
The goal of the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars program is to develop long-term, sustainable educational programming to increase the number
of undergraduate students from groups currently underrepresented in the conservation workforce who choose to purse studies and a career in conservation. The University of Arizona program is a collaborative effort between the School of Natural Resources and the Environment and the USGS Arizona Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit. Students work with graduate student mentors and natural resource professors on a variety of wildlife, fish and environmental conservation projects such as conserving raptors in urban environments and studying habitat of endangered desert fishes on the Navajo Nation. Those interested in the program can contact Wildlife and Fisheries Program Lead Dr. William Mannan or USGS Arizona Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Leader Dr. Scott Bonar.