2019 summer intern at Cheyenne Bottoms and recipient of Hedges Conservation Award.
Elsi Miller 2019 summer intern at Cheyenne Bottoms and recipient of Hedges Conservation Award. © Robert Penner/TNC

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Fort Hays State University Student Wins Hedges Conservation Award

Topeka, KS

2019 Cheyenne Bottoms intern and winner of Hedges Conservation Award.
Elsi Miller 2019 Cheyenne Bottoms intern and winner of Hedges Conservation Award. © Robert Penner/TNC

The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Emporia Community Foundation and Hedges family are delighted to announce that Elsi Miller, an undergraduate student from Great Bend studying biology at Fort Hays State University, has been awarded the Lance Hedges Conservation Award. The scholarship, named in memory of the former Director of Conservation for TNC, is available only to interns and other student employees of TNC in Kansas who are studying wildlife biology, conservation management and other related fields.

“Lance was the driving force behind us establishing our intern program,” says Kansas TNC director Rob Manes. “He recognized that growing the next generation of conservation professionals was a task equal to our current on-the-ground conservation work.”

This was Miller’s third summer spent working at Cheyenne Bottoms, first as an AmeriCorps volunteer at the Kansas Wetlands Education Center and then two years as an intern for The Nature Conservancy. Her experience ran the gamut of conservation activities, from shorebird and grassland bird surveys and wetland restoration planning to hands on land management jobs like removing invasive species and cleaning water tanks.

“Elsi is hard working, punctual and never complains about anything.  She might be the most level headed 20-year-old I have ever met,” said Robert Penner, Cheyenne Bottoms and avian programs manager for The Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 72 countries, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.