In order to ensure the health and safety of our participants, our staff, and our instructors, we have decided to pivot our five summer field schools, Bucktails, Bass, Brookies, Gobblers and Ursids to Virtual Field School Experiences. Leadership is a quality we teach and take to heart at the Academy and while we are disappointed that we can’t meet in person – we are aiming to adapt, lead and still provide an exceptional educational experience.
As it began to look less likely that we were all going to meet in person – we knew that cancelling our field schools would not be an option. We knew that we still needed to engage young leaders like YOU because of your excitement for our natural resources, your leadership potential, and your ability to meet challenges head on. Are you up for a challenge? If so, apply today!
LIMITED SPACES ARE NOW AVAILABLE at both the PA Brookies, PA Gobblers and PA Ursids virtual field school experience for high school age students (14+) including seniors. **Due to this unique situation – out of state applicants are encouraged to apply!
The experience takes place the same week that in-person field school would have…
PA BROOKIES – JULY 21-25 (Tuesday-Saturday)
PA GOBBLERS – JULY 28-AUGUST 1 (Tuesday-Saturday)
PA URSIDS (bear) – AUGUST 4-8 (Tuesday-Saturday)
APPLICATION DEADLINE: Preference for applications received by June 29, 2020
**Scroll for more detail about the Academy experience + details on going virtual!
About the Academy Experience…
Whether in-person or virtually, at the Wildlife Leadership Academy we will empower you to become a Conservation Ambassador in order to create a sustained wildlife, fisheries and natural resource legacy for future generations.
You will complete this program with extensive knowledge about wildlife/fisheries and conservation, with leadership and communication skills and become a certified Conservation Ambassador.
As a graduate of the Wildlife Leadership Academy program you will receive:
- An official document that acknowledges your time spent on community outreach.
- A certificate that designates you as a Conservation Ambassador.
- The opportunity to obtain three college credits through Cedar Crest College.
PLUS, you will be eligible to:
- Apply to return to the program the following year as a youth mentor tuition free.
- Attend a professional wildlife or fisheries conference.
- Compete for college scholarships.
- Attend college visit days to schools that have wildlife/fisheries and conservation programs.
- Request letters of recommendation for college applications and job opportunities.
- Join an Academy Alumni Network of over 100+ wildlife, fisheries, and conservation professionals.
In this virtual experience, your journey to become a Conservation Ambassador begins by attending one of our 5-day virtual field school experiences. Each program focus on a different wildlife or fish species.
During the virtual field school experience, you will:
- Learn about wildlife/fisheries, habitat management and conservation in an enriching environment from natural resource professionals from the PA Game Commission, the PA Fish and Boat Commission, and more,
- Engage your leadership and communications skills and
- Leave prepared to use these skills to become an ambassador for conservation in your community.
After field school, our dedicated Alumni and Outreach Manager, Katie Cassidy, will help you be successful with your community outreach by:
- Giving you clear guidelines for how to complete your outreach.
- Sending you monthly outreach opportunities only available to Ambassadors.
- Being available to answers questions or help you by phone and/or email five days a week.
Virtual Field School Timeline + Details
PA BROOKIES – JULY 21-25 (Tuesday-Saturday) – Focuses on fisheries biology, stream ecology, habitat, watersheds, and cold-water fisheries conservation.
PA GOBBLERS – JULY 28-AUGUST 1 (Tuesday-Saturday) – Focuses on the biology, ecology and habitat of the wild turkey.
PA URSIDS – AUGUST 4-8 (Tuesday-Saturday) – Focuses on the biology, ecology and habitat of Pennsylvania’s black bear.
DAY TO DAY SCHEDULE
Similar to our day to day schedule at our in-person field school, the virtual experience will be rigorous. While we have adjusted virtually to allow for breaks and meal times, you will otherwise be expected to dedicate your full attention to the program from Tuesday to Saturday with similar rigor.
The first point of LIVE engagement will start Tuesday morning, at 10 AM. Expect to engage in various live lectures and activities with 24 other students – all together and in breakout sessions (via Zoom). There will also be some offline activities.
Live sessions (other than Tuesday) will begin at 8 AM and days will end late evening anywhere from 8-9 PM with some minimal home assignment expected to be completed as well. On Saturday, the day will end in the early afternoon.
COMMUNICATIONS + PREP
The Academy Leadership Team will be checking in with participants in early June via email to connect and start to prepare for the virtual field school experience. There will be an online “home-base” of field school resources including a more detailed schedule. PLUS, participants will receive an AWESOME pre-field school prep package via snail mail that will contain supplies and resources they will need for participating in virtual field school + SOME EXTRA GOODIES!
WHAT YOU WILL NEED
We know students may not have all the resources they need at home – please be sure to respond in the application about your needs so we can help you. Resources needed include: a dedicated computer/laptop with a camera for Tuesday through Saturday afternoon, a designated space to be on Zoom live, access to the internet, and a positive attitude and determination to try something a little different!
SPECIAL NOTE – IN PERSON FIELD DAYS
As more clarity on in-person gatherings becomes available, for those who are able, we are aiming to schedule one or more field days in late summer/fall so you can have the opportunity to engage in hands-on educational and recreational activities. Details on these dates will be shared as soon as possible.
Tuition for the virtual Field School is $250. If you would need scholarship support please indicate so on the application.
THE WILDLIFE LEADERSHIP ACADEMY PROGRAM GOES BEYOND ONE WEEK, BEYOND ONE YEAR – IT IS AN EXPERIENCE THAT WILL LAST YOU A LIFETIME.
We are invested in supporting and nurturing your passion for the environment.
We want you to be part of the solution. We want you to become a CONSERVATION AMBASSADOR to ensure a sustained wildlife, fisheries and natural resource legacy for future generations.
We want YOU – an inspired, dedicated leader for conservation – to take your passion to the next level and join our team.
APPLICATION DEADLINE: Preference for applications received by Tuesday, JUNE 26, 2020
QUESTIONS? Please reach out to Michele or Katie – CLICK HERE FOR CONTACT INFO
I am interested in engaging in the virtual field school experience with Wildlife Leadership Academy to further my knowledge of conservation and environmental education. I hope to use what I learn through the virtual field school experience as a foundation for teaching my community how to be more environmental friendly, and for promoting a healthy relationship with the natural world. Engaging with the Academy again in this unique way will mean so much to me, as I am a graduating senior planning to work in the field of environmental conservation. The knowledge and leadership I gain from the virtual field school experience will be beneficial to me in every aspect of my future. Giving back to my community and the natural world will always be my goal I strive to achieve with the education I receive from the Wildlife Leadership Academy!Carter W., Alum Attending Virtual Field School