About Us

The National Conservation Training Center supports the mission of the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service in four critical ways:

  1. Home and Heritage: NCTC serves as the physical and virtual “home” of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, where the history and heritage of the Service are preserved and shared;
  2. Training for the Mission: NCTC provides exemplary training and professional development tailored to support Service employees and conservation partners in accomplishing the agency’s mission;
  3. Partnerships: NCTC helps solve the urgent conservation challenges facing our natural resources by bringing together diverse partners to increase our relevance to the American people.
  4. Sustainability: NCTC is a national leader in the conservation community for its state-of-the art facility and green practices.


The National Conservation Training Center, or frequently referred to as NCTC, is located just 60 miles or just over 1 hour outside the Washington DC metropolitan beltway. We are part of the Shepherdstown, West Virginia community also known for the nearby state university just down the road from us. Our location is closest to the Washington Dulles International Airport, but many customers also use Baltimore/Washington International and Reagan National (DC) Airport.

Campus Setting

NCTC is a walking campus on a 533 acre property. The instructional classrooms, commons, and housing are situated within the rural setting of both forest and grasslands. The architectural design demonstrates the buildings and walkways are blended with the landscape to entice guests to shed their metropolis pressures. Outdoor patios, walkways, and break areas are situated to easily view the Mid-Atlantic area wildlife throughout the four seasons. Birds, white-tailed deer, fox, and other critters are frequently seen skittering up nearby trees or moving along a grassland culvert.

Buildings and Structures

NCTC is comprised of 17 buildings that make up a self-contained community.

Over five miles of asphalt trails inner-connect the buildings to each other. Instructional, dining, and lodging are all in separate buildings. Umbrella bins are available to migrate between buildings during inclement weather.

The central portion of the property known as the core campus is the instructional buildings complete with the guest Front Desk check in-out, auditorium, classrooms, computer and biology laboratories, and NCTC staff offices.

A bridge built at the height of a bird’s-eye view connects the core instructional area to the commons dining hall, social lounge, a full size gymnasium, workout room, and overnight guest housing units.

Supporting over 300 staff, 200+ overnight guests, and any number of day guests are the NCTC central plant, maintenance shops, water treatment facility, and a waste management plant.

Strategic Plan

The 'National Conservation Training Center Strategic Plan 2015-2020' describes the vision, mission, and core values of NCTC.

Environmental Assessment

Friends of the National Conservation Training Center

The Friends of NCTC actively supports the mission of the National Conservation Training Center by supporting their community outreach programs and extending the reach of this world-class facility in advancing the conservation of fish, wildlife and their habitats through education.