Youth

To Our Youth, Our 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.

Meet Amber Betances, a Hispanic Access Foundation summer intern and Rutgers University Landscape Architect major, working at the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum.  She focused her time developing programs for the surrounding community that emphasized the importance of conservation and to help community members develop a sense of ownership for green spaces.  Amber is one of many young people who recently chose to explore a nature-related opportunity offed by the US Fish & Wildlife Service and to help us address our conservation challenges.  We hope that some of the awesome opportunities we offer on this page will inspire you to take that first step too.

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

Awesome Opportunities

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

High School Students

Native Youth Community Adaptation and Leadership Congress (NYCALC)
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.

Learn more: NYCALC_2017_Application_Packet_FINAL.pdf
For more information contact: Jessi Evans (jessica_evans@fws.gov).

Student Conservation Corps and 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: http://www.greenschoolsalliance.org/sc3

College and Graduate Students

Conservation Career 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 (CCS) and learn about the mission and programs of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service along with careers in the federal government.  CCS events are held periodically throughout the year.    

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 January – March each year.

To learn more: https://www.fws.gov/workforwildlife

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: http://tinyurl.com/zf9a3ac

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: http://tinyurl.com/jp4c6pz

Keep Up with Us

We use the following sites to post the most current things we know and think are useful. Please follow us on Facebook.

Helpful Resources

  • Federal Junior Duck Stamp Program
    http://www.fws.gov/birds/education/junior-duck-stamp-conservation-program.php

    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.

Youth-Certificate-of-Recognition.pdf

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.

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 to get involved, you should still contact one of our local offices to find out.

Go to http://www.fws.gov/offices/index.html 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!