Start Your Career in Conservation
Whether you are a student, recent graduate, or a young professional looking to be involved in the conservation field, the organizations listed below provide a wealth of information and experiences to help you along your career path.
Local Land Trusts
Many land trusts offer internship programs and volunteer opportunities for students and young adults. Experiences include administrative internships, stewardship opportunities, trail maintenance, and more. Check out your local land trust to see what programs are currently available.
The Connecticut Forest & Park Association (CFPA) has active seasonal job opportunities throughout the year for trail crew members, as well as positions at the Goodwin Conservation Center. Their robust volunteer program provides opportunities to manage trails, lead hikes, present various educational programs, and participate in legislative calls to action.
The CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) offers various volunteer and internship programs for students and recent graduates. Their College Internship Program is available for students who have completed their sophomore year. Additional opportunities include seasonal outdoor work, educational work at nature centers and museums, and unique nature projects.
The UConn NRCA program connects teens and adults to participate in natural resources conservation through a hands-on outdoor approach. Their programs include the Conservation Ambassador Program, Conservation Training Partnerships, and Teacher Professional Learning. Participants learn skills through mapping and technology workshops, community environmental action program, and outdoor immersion field experiences.
Regional and National Organizations
The American Conservation Experience programs (ACE) are geared towards young adults 18-23 years old with stewardship work around various regions. ACE offers a variety of programs for different interests, including land and resource management; mentorships with partners from the National Park Services, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service; and volunteer opportunities on conservation projects.
The National Parks Services offers youth and young adult opportunities through internships, volunteer work, and programs for recent graduates. Those ages 15-18 can apply for their Youth Conservation Corps, an 8-10 week outdoor opportunity to work on conservation projects. The Pathways Program offers federal internship and employment opportunities for current students and recent graduates.
The Student Conservation Association program (SCA) builds the next generation of conservation leaders through hands-on stewardship opportunities at national parks, cultural landmarks, and community green spaces. Those who participate in the SCA program also have the option of joining AmeriCorps.
The Wildlands & Woodlands ALPINE Summer Institute is open to undergraduate and graduate students, as well as young professionals. Participants in this program gain in-depth knowledge to the theory and practice of large landscape conservation in New England.