Today’s youth are inheriting complex and mounting environmental challenges. They want to act and lead on behalf of the planet.
That’s why the National Geographic Society and The Nature Conservancy have joined forces to offer young adults from across the globe a leadership experience to equip them with the knowledge, tools and relationships to seek solutions and take action for nature.
Together, the National Geographic Society and The Nature Conservancy developed a program centered around a rigorous externship—a highly relevant training, mentoring and research experience for people ages 18-25.
The goal: intentionally create more opportunities for young people from communities traditionally underrepresented in conservation to experience and prepare for careers in conservation and exploration.
The externship includes:
- Virtual classes: Groups convene online across eight weeks and focus on a priority topic such as marine or freshwater conservation.
- Mentorships: Participants connect with each other, work with learning coaches and interact with mentors and experts.
- Workshops: The program offers collaborative workshops on research best practices, presentation techniques and other career readiness skills.
- Digital presentations: Each participant selects a locally relevant conservation issue to investigate. They apply the methods and skills that are covered to give an interactive digital presentation.
- Seed funding: As the externship concludes, participants can apply for seed funding to begin to enact the solutions they identified in their communities.
Quote: Deborah Santos de Azevedo
Externship participants to date
Representing more than 123 countries and areas
Community projects have received funding
awarded in seed funding
Apply for the Externship
The National Geographic Society and The Nature Conservancy are hosting multiple externships each year, and they are working to secure support to include hundreds of global youth annually.
Apply online through ParagonOne, which works with the partners to recruit, guide and inspire participants.
Join hundreds of global youth who are connecting with the National Geographic Society and The Nature Conservancy.
Beyond the Externship
Externship program alumni continue to advance their conservation solutions in a number of ways. Many have been invited to participate in important global convenings and conservation-focused conferences. A number of alumni have become part of the National Geographic Explorers network and employees with both the National Geographic Society and The Nature Conservancy.
Alumni are also invited to apply for seed funding from the partners to implement their conservation solutions on the ground. Ongoing alumni surveys tracks program impact over time and fosters ongoing connections between participants and partners.
Explore stories of how externs are taking conservation action across the globe.
Stories from Externs
Work doesn't stop when the Externship ends! Select each tile to learn what the externs have done beyond the program.
What's it like to be an Extern?
Our Partner: National Geographic Society
The National Geographic Society is a global nonprofit organization that uses the power of science, exploration, education and storytelling to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world. Since 1888, National Geographic has pushed the boundaries of exploration, investing in bold people and transformative ideas, providing more than 15,000 grants for work across all seven continents, reaching three million students each year through education offerings, and engaging audiences around the globe through signature experiences, stories and content. The Nature Conservancy is proud to partner with the National Geographic Society to connect thousands of diverse young people through this collaborative, relevant and successful externship program; together, we are investing in the people who will lead conservation into the next decade.