The University of Arizona

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

University of Arizona partners on $1.5 million grant for Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program

Monday, February 17, 2014

Media Contact: All questions about the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program Partnership between the University of Arizona and the University of Florida should be directed to John P. Hayes at the University of Florida, 352-392-1784, ddcsp@ifas.ufl.edu.
 
Application deadline is February 25, 2014. See http://www.srnr.arizona.edu/doris_duke/ for more information.
 
Tucson, Arizona – In mid-September, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation announced $4.5 million in grants to launch the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program at universities around the country, including a $1.5 million grant to the University of Florida for a partnership with institutions across the U.S., including the University of Arizona.
 
The program will provide undergraduate students with training and mentored research activities in conservation biology and other disciplines relevant to land, water and wildlife conservation.
 
At the University of Arizona, the program will be located in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment, and led by William Mannan, Professor and Chair, Wildlife and Fisheries Resources Program, as well as Scott Bonar, Unit Leader of the Arizona Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit and Associate Professor in the Wildlife and Fisheries Resources Program. A key feature of the multi-year program is the opportunity for students to work alongside natural resource professors, graduate students and professionals who have agreed to serve as mentors. Those students will also be exposed to career options in conservation and will network with natural resource professionals, including those from underrepresented communities.
 
“Students selected to participate in the program will get the opportunity to interact with faculty members and graduate students in field oriented research projects,” said Mannan. “It is hoped that these experiences will solidify their interests in pursuing careers in conservation.”
 
“This undergraduate program complements a graduate training program in the School, which is supported by the U.S. Geological Survey’s Arizona Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit.  Students in the undergraduate program will have excellent opportunities to be mentored by older, more experienced students who are members of the graduate program,  hopefully contributing to their interest and skills as conservation professionals,” said Bonar.
 
Andrew Bowman, program director of the Environment Program at DDCF, said: “More than ever the conservation field needs to increase its efforts to attract, train and employ individuals from communities that today are largely absent from the conservation workforce.
 
“The ultimate objective of the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program is to foster an increase in the number of undergraduate students from groups currently underrepresented in the conservation workforce who choose to pursue studies and a career in conservation. To that end, the program will serve students who not only have a budding academic interest in conservation, but are also committed to increasing the diversity of students and professionals in the conservation field.”
 
In addition to the University of Arizona and the University of Florida, the program and partnership includes North Carolina State University, Cornell University and the University of Idaho. Students will be recruited into the program at those five institutions. Partnering agencies include the United States Geological Survey's Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units, and state, federal and tribal agencies and organizations. 
 
The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation’s mission is to improve the quality of people’s lives through grants supporting the performing arts, environmental conservation, medical research and the prevention of child abuse and neglect, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke’s properties. The DDCF Environment Program enables communities to protect and manage wildlife habitat and create efficient built environments.
 
For more information about the program, please visit the program website:
http://programs.ifas.ufl.edu/ddcsp
http://www.srnr.arizona.edu/doris_duke/