The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation has announced three grants totaling $4.5 million to launch the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program at universities across the country.
The University of Washington in Seattle, Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, and the University of Florida in Gainesville will each receive $1.5 million to provide undergraduates with opportunities to participate in mentored research activities in conservation biology and other disciplines relevant to land, water, and wildlife conservation. The University of Washington and Northern Arizona University will recruit students nationwide to participate in the program, while the University of Florida will partner with Cornell University, the University of Idaho, North Carolina State University, and the University of Arizona to serve students from those institutions. In addition to working alongside conservation researchers and professionals who will serve as mentors, students will participate in activities that feature extensive time outdoors in nature and be exposed to career options in the conservation field.
"More than ever, the conservation field needs to increase its efforts to attract, train and employ individuals from communities that today are largely absent from the conservation workforce," said Andrew Bowman, program director of the Environment Program at DDCF. "The ultimate objective of the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program is to foster an increase in the number of undergraduate students from groups currently underrepresented in the conservation workforce who choose to pursue studies and a career in conservation. To that end, the program will serve students who not only have a budding academic interest in conservation, but are also committed to increasing the diversity of students and professionals in the conservation field."