Next Generation

The Next Generation Now and in the Future

Each and every day someone a lot like you is asking him/herself “how can I make a positive change in the world?” And, perhaps you’ve done the same. Whether you’re a high school student, a college student, or a graduate student, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Conservation Training Center invites you to explore opportunities to make a positive change in the world of wildlife, ensuring a healthy planet for all creatures great and small.

Because across our great nation - from south Philadelphia, PA to north San Jose, CA - dedicated conservation professionals need your help!

If you are looking for something different and exciting, here are some awesome opportunities you might tap to get involved and have some fun!

College and Graduate Students

Directorate Fellows Program
Getting ready to graduate from college or in a graduate program? You’ll 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 November – January each year.

To learn more:

Doris Duke Conservation Leadership Week
The Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program at the University of Florida is an exciting opportunity for undergraduates with a demonstrated interest in environmental issues and cultural diversity to receive training, support, mentorship, and to earn up to $10,000 in salary and stipends over two years for paid research experiences and internships. Scholars participate in an intensive conservation skills and leadership program; work with agency, faculty and graduate student mentors on paid group research projects and internships; attend national meetings; and engage in mentoring and social networks. Applicants must be enrolled in or have been accepted to one of our five participating universities: University of Florida, University of Arizona, University of Idaho, North Carolina State University, and Cornell University. 

Doris Duke is housed at the University of Florida, the program includes five Universities: University of Florida, Cornell UniversityNorth Carolina State University,  University of Arizona, and University of Idaho. We are also working with the U.S.G.S. Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Tribal and State Agencies, and non-governmental organizations to provide our scholars with a variety of research, mentoring, internship, and professional development opportunities.

Contact: Students seeking information about the program and application process may contact Dr. Rena Borkhataria or call 561-993-1599.

Learn more:

Middle and High School Students

Native Youth Community Adaptation and Leadership Congress (NYCALC)
young woman planting native grasses

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: Jen Hill (

Learn more: Watch our Video

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.

Youth Organizations

Scouts with the Blue Goose

Credit: USFWS

The US Department of the Interior wisely manages federally-owned public lands, waters, and other natural, cultural and historic resources. This includes protecting and enhancing certain fish and wildlife resources, national parks and national wildlife refuges; providing outdoor recreation opportunities; and promoting participation by individuals, organizations, and communities in caring for these lands, facilities, and resources. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seeks to encourage the development of a stewardship ethic for the range of public lands and their resources, through public and private sector initiatives.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) enjoys a proud history working with a range of youth organizations to help young people develop academic, leadership, and citizenship skills through a variety of enrichment experiences, such as field trips, skill-building activities, community service projects, cultural exchanges, volunteer and internship opportunities, and environmental stewardship projects. These programs build character; help youth develop self-confidence and personal fitness; reinforce ethical standards; provide service to others that can influence youth in their adult lives; and provide them with opportunities to try new things. By combining educational activities and lifelong values with fun, the USFWS helps youth build a more environmentally conscientious, responsible, and productive society.

In addition to these opportunities, the USFWS would like to recognize youth and their achievements and/or accomplishments related to the environment and/or conservation. A Certificate of Recognition may be completed at the link provided below. These certificates are meant to honor youth achievements and/or accomplishments within an individual’s respective youth organization program. Only youth advisors, mentors or staffs of youth organizations are to complete these certificates for presentation ceremonies recognizing the accomplishments of these individuals.


This certificate does not represent or endorse the accuracy or reliability of any information or content. All content provided on this certificate is for informational purposes only.

Our Location

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 to get involved, 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 finding a location near you – we look forward to seeing you!

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