Professional-Development Program for Native Students

As a scientific organization for professionals who manage and conserve wildlife and habitats, The Wildlife Society is increasingly concerned about the lack of ethnic and cultural diversity within the profession. Diversity is essential if the profession is to grow and meet the nation’s conservation challenges. To help address this concern, TWS is establishing a new professional-development program for Native American wildlife students.

The Native American community has enormous potential to enrich diversity within the wildlife profession. Tribal lands are important to a national strategy for fish and wildlife conservation, and Native American students are showing a growing interest in pursuing careers in wildlife. TWS has an active Native People’s Wildlife Management Working Group composed of wildlife professionals and students, tribal and non-tribal, who recognize native people’s cultural, spiritual, and biological connections to the land. TWS and the Working Group have been exploring ways to promote the early development of Native American wildlife professionals.

The Wildlife Society believes that one of the most-effective ways to support Native American wildlife students is to give them the opportunity to attend TWS’s Annual Conference, the largest gathering of wildlife professionals on the North American continent. Individuals selected for this program will receive grants of $2,000 each to help cover registration fees, lodging, meals, and transportation. Program participants also will receive a one-year membership in The Wildlife Society and become members of the Native People’s Wildlife Management Working Group.


Candidates must be members of a Native American, First Nations, or Indigenous Tribe, and currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program in a relevant academic discipline such as wildlife biology or ecology. Applicants must display a record of academic excellence and a strong interest in pursuing a career in wildlife management or conservation. Qualified applicants will be evaluated by a panel consisting of the Chair of the Native People’s Wildlife Management Working Group, two other working-group members, a TWS staff member, and representatives from other program partners including the Native American Fish and Wildlife Society.


Submissions must include name, address, email, phone number, tribal affiliation, name of college or university, current level of study (undergraduate, graduate, post-graduate), field of study, and a copy of most recent report card, showing courses and grades. Mention any relevant extracurricular activities, memberships in societies, honors, or awards. Also include an essay (500-750 words) explaining why you’d like to participate, how this program might benefit your career development, and how your personal experiences or skills can contribute to the wildlife profession.

Email applications to Serra Hoagland at by the deadline.


Applications and all supporting materials must be received by August 1, 2014. TWS 2014 Native Student PD Program


TWS would like to thank the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Wildlife Refuge System, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (Wildlife Services program and Civil Rights Enforcement and Compliance unit), the Native American Fish and Wildlife Society, U.S. Forest Service, and the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs Natural Resources Program for their generous financial support of this worthwhile effort. With the help of these valued partners, TWS believes the wildlife profession will increase its diversity and benefit from the insights of Native American people concerned about the conservation of wildlife and wild lands.

Student Development Working Group Travel Award

The Student Development Working Group (SDWG) is offering a travel award to help a student attend the 2014 TWS Annual Conference in Pittsburgh, PA from 25-30 October, 2014.  This travel grant will cover the cost of early student registration ($220 USD).  Applications are due 15 August, 2014

Click here to download application instructions.

Student Conclave Hosting Grant

TWS student chapters host four regional student conclaves each year that provide college students with valuable hands-on training in wildlife management and conservation, and networking opportunities with wildlife professionals. Some activities include field trips, workshops (i.e., telemetry, trapping, chemical immobilization, mist-netting), field competitions, local tours, game-calling competitions, quiz bowls, banquets, photography contests, and guest speakers. 

TWS is proudly supporting each student conclave with a $1,000 grant. 

TWS Student Conclave Grant Program Application and Instructions

Additional Student Travel Grants

Additional student travel grants can be found on the Student Travel Grant page of the Annual Conference website.