How We Work

Helping Young People Learn and Lead

Three young people carrying a bundle of felled vegetation.
Youth Environmentalist Orca Recovery Day is an annual restoration effort to help improve orca and salmon ecosystems across Puget Sound. A volunteer work party removes invasive species from salmon habitat in West Seattle along the banks of Longfellow Creek. Youth and parents from a local girl scout troupe remove invasive bamboo. Photo by Hannah Letinich. © The Nature Conservancy © Hannah Letinich

Climate change and biodiversity loss affects everyone—including the youth who will inherit the environmental challenges shaped by decisions made today and tomorrow.

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The Nature Conservancy is listening to and collaborating with educators and caregivers, young nature lovers and future scientists, and emerging trailblazers who are coming of age and demanding a different path forward.

It is our responsibility to not only help young people gain the knowledge and resources to become the next generation of conservation leaders, but to also ensure that their diverse voices and views shape the future of the planet.

To fulfill that commitment, we have developed resources, programs and partnerships to bring conservation to educators, families and young people around the world.

Learn more about the externship program

Apply Online

To solve our biggest environmental challenges, we need diverse leaders who are prepared to use their talents for nature.

Two of the world’s most recognized conservation organizations, the National Geographic Society and The Nature Conservancy, have come together to disrupt systems that cultivate and foster the emerging conservation practitioners and leaders of tomorrow. Open to global youth ages 18-25, the externship program provides online mentoring and training, and each participant determines their own schedules, research topics and action steps.

A person in a white cap on a boat pulling in a line.
Deborah Santos de Azevedo 2021 Extern, Marine Biologist and National Geographic Society Explorer © Courtesy of Field School

Stories from the Field

Youth around the world are already lifting their voices and rolling up their sleeves to make nature and their communities stronger.

Quote: Kate Ireland

Any conservation action, any policy measure, any partnership built today, must be stewarded tomorrow. The transfer of care is a continuous cycle.

Kate Ireland Director of Youth Engagement, The Nature Conservancy

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