Get Involved!

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) wants to help you learn about and protect critters, plants, and their habitats. We hope this page will help you find what you need to get connected to nature and help us address conservation challenges!

Let’s go outside!

And just what is the National Conservation Training Center?

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) is a 533-acre residential campus, located on the banks of the Potomac River. We are approximately 90 miles from Washington D.C. in West Virginia’s oldest community of Shepherdstown. Our classrooms, commons, and hotel rooms blend really well with the landscape, making it easy for you to connect with nature and each other. Outdoor patios, walkways, and break areas are great places to watch birds, white-tailed deer, fox, and other critters, which you will frequently see skittering up nearby trees or moving through the forest.

To see photos and learn more:

Awesome Activities

College and Graduate Students

Career Conservation Symposium
Can you see yourself as a biologist? Are you interested in a career that protects critters, plants, and their habitats? If so, then we invite you, college and graduate students, to attend one of our Career Conservation Symposiums and learn about the mission and programs of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service along with careers in the federal government. CCS

For more information contact: Nate Hawley (

Directorate Fellows Program
Getting ready to graduate from college or in a graduate program? Senior undergraduate and graduate students will want to explore the Directorate Resource Assistants Fellowship Program (DFP). The DFP offers an 11-week, full-time, paid fellowship to work on conservation projects throughout the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. These conservation projects are designed and supervised by Service staff at offices and field stations throughout the country. You read the descriptions of the conservation projects and apply for those that most interest you, just like a job. After meeting all program requirements, DFP Fellows qualify for non-competitive appointment to positions with the Service or other agencies of the Department of the Interior; in other words, a full-time job. Fellowships are offered over the summer months, with recruitment for the program happening January – March each year.

DFP Facebook:
To learn more: or

Doris Duke Conservation Leadership Week
Want to be a conservation change maker? Each summer the National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) hosts college and graduate student scholars as part of the University of Washington Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program. You will receive training on overcoming barriers to conservation engagement and inclusion; environmental careers in public service; teamwork and problem solving; and skills development in aquatic science, zoology, geographic technology, and outdoor recreation. The aim of the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program is to “change the face, practice, and future of conservation.” If you think you, too, would like to be a Scholar, you must apply and be accepted by the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program.

Learn more: or

Natural Leaders Legacy Camp
Grow your leadership skills while protecting the environment. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) works with the Children & Nature Network's Natural Leaders Network (NLN) to offer an intensive 4-day retreat at NCTC for diverse young leaders (ages 18 – 29). You will gain skills in community leadership development and become equipped with the tools to implement an action plan to encourage people in your community to appreciate and protect the outdoors.

Learn more:

High School Students

Inter-Tribal Youth Climate Leadership Congress
If you’re a tribal high school student leader, you should consider spending a week over the summer at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) to learn about climate change issues and develop strategies to address climate impacts in your community. The Congress is a partnership among the Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Geological Survey, and Conservation Legacy.

For more information contact: Georgia Jeppesen (

Student Climate & Conservation Congress (SC3)
Each summer SC3 convenes approximately 100 talented high-school students and 30 adult mentors at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) for a weeklong Congress. You’ll interact with inspiring speakers and experts in the climate field, and you’ll work together in student-led teams to develop solutions for conservation challenges in your community. SC3 is a partnership program of NCTC and the Green Schools Alliance.

Learn more:

Keep Up with Us

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Helpful Resources

    The go-to website for exploring career options in the Department of the Interior. Learn about key programs offered by the Department’s various bureaus, what you’ll need to study to secure a career, and a live feed to the USA Jobs database of student internships and entry level jobs in conservation.

  • Federal Junior Duck Stamp Program
    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Federal Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Program is a dynamic art- and science-based curriculum that encourages K-12 students to explore their natural world, invites them to investigate biology and wildlife management principles, and challenges them to express and share what they have learned with others.

  • Let’s Go Outside
    The site encourages people to go outside and connect with nature, learn about the environment and conservation, and develop a greater appreciation of the Service including volunteer opportunities and Service careers.

Connect with Us

Want to connect with us at home? We have field stations and offices all over the country! While not all of our locations offer opportunities, you should still contact one of our local offices to find out. Go to to find your nearest U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service location. Among the lists of field stations and offices that you’ll find, our national wildlife refuges, national fish hatcheries, and ecological field stations are the most likely locations that will have program and/or employment opportunities for youth.

Good luck!