Meet the 2014-2015 Hubbard Fellows

The inaugural class recently completed their Fellowships. The Conservancy is proud to introduce our incoming Fellows.

Wood River, NE | June 02, 2014

As she considered ways she could help to advance the Conservancy's mission, Nebraska Trustee Anne Hubbard kept returning to one important idea: to protect nature permanently, we must create opportunities for young people to connect with it.  

This inspiration was translated into a brand new effort in Nebraska last June.  Anne collaborated with Nebraska staff to develop the Claire M. Hubbard Young Leaders in Conservation Fellowship Program (named for Anne’s mother).  With a grant from the Claire M. Hubbard Foundation, the Nebraska Program now offers a one-year paid experience to two individuals per year, who experience a 360-degree view of how a conservation organization works.

The Fellowship aims to give recent graduates the breadth of experience they need to qualify for a fulfilling conservation career.  As opposed to the typical post-graduate experience of bouncing from seasonal job to seasonal job for several years (or longer), the Fellows get a comprehensive experience across multiple facets of conservation work.  They participate in activities ranging from prairie restoration and prescribed fire to fundraising and marketing. 

Anne Stine and Eliza Perry, the inaugural class, recently completed their Fellowships, and have secured permanent conservation jobs.  The Conservancy is proud to introduce our incoming Fellows: 

Dillon Blankenship graduated from Hendrix College in 2012 with a B.A. in Biology and a B.A. in Environmental Studies.  Prior to applying for the internship he studied native pollinators at The Nature Conservancy’s Zumwalt Prairie Preserve, and he had also volunteered with TNC in Arkansas where he helped burn and monitor the effects of burning.  He earned a Watson Fellowship in 2012, and spent a year studying honey bees in their native ranges.  His travel took him to England, Wales, Tanzania, Egypt, India, Russia, and Germany.  He is an Arkansas native.

 "I was looking to gain more depth in practical conservation and land management, said Blankenship. "It is hard to get jobs that offer broad experience (not just pulling weeds or counting plants), especially for a whole year, without already having a lot of specialized knowledge, so the Hubbard Fellowship was a great find. Moreover, while Fellows are expected to be productive TNC employees, there is also emphasis on helping them obtain the necessary skills to become whole conservation professionals. The Hubbard Fellowship was by far the best deal out there, and I am thrilled to be working in prairies."

Jasmine Cutter  is a 2013 graduate of Carleton College. She has a B.A. in Environmental Studies and most recently she was working as a research assistant in the Greater Yellowstone Area, surveying for mountain goats and bighorn sheep. Jasmine also conducted pollinator surveys for a study of wildfire effects, and she has extensive experience as an interpretive educator when she served with Americorps at White Clay State Park in Delaware, and with “Kids for Conservation” and the Science Olympiad in Minnesota.

"I applied because one of my goals in life is to have a job where I get to take care of a piece of land," said Cutter. "I want to feel comfortable with the physical aspects of such a job - chainsaw wielding, windmill demolition, vehicle maintenance; as well as feel like I understand the requisite mindset - how to read the landscape, how to plan a restoration project, how to gauge its successes and limitations - and how to maintain optimism while battling the onslaught of invasive species!"

The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the web at To learn about the Conservancy’s global initiatives, visit To keep up with current Conservancy news, follow @nature_press on Twitter.

Contact information

Chris Helzer
(402) 694-4191

Jill Wells
(402) 342-0282 x 1002


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