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Pay It Forward

Hi, my name is Freya Bairdsen and I am a Conservation Ambassador and want to Pay It Forward to the Next Generation of Conservation Leaders!



The WLA field schools I’ve gotten to attend over the past few years, Bucktails, Ursids and Bass as a volunteer, have been important experiences for me. I’d always loved the outdoors, and spending time around forests, streams and swamps made the issues of biodiversity and habitat preservation very real to me. Conservation is the most meaningful work I can think of, and thanks to the experiences and opportunities offered by the WLA – helping to process live bears, and getting year-round mentoring from conservation professionals, I’ve learned so much about biology, management, teamwork and leadership. I now feel I have a clear path towards the conservation career I know I want.

I want to help pay it forward to the next class of WLA students because I know intimately how much the program can do for you. I would not have been able to attend the field schools without financial aid myself, and I want to do everything I can to help make sure the WLA’s priceless experiences are open to every student.

Thank you for helping me in Paying it Forward!  ~ Freya

Below is a slide show of some of my favorite parts of field school!


  • I wrote monthly blog posts for the WLA's NextGen blog - One of my posts told conservation stories about cavity-nesters, so I included this bat sketch!
  • On the last night of field school, students each create a trifold about something they learned. Here is mine at the end of Ursids!


Will you help me PAY IT FORWARD?  Give today!



The Wildlife Leadership Academy is a cooperative initiative of various state agencies and conservation organizations. It is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Your donation is tax-deductible. You will be supporting a worthy cause who’s mission it is to engage and empower the youth of our communities to ensure sustained wildlife, fisheries, and natural resources for years to come.