About the Conservation Training Partnerships



The Conservation Training Partnerships (CTP) program partners teens and adult community volunteers, and supports their conservation efforts by providing training during a two-day outdoor field workshop and guidance as they conduct a local conservation project of their choosing.

Teams of teen and adult participants are paired prior to the workshop. During the workshop, each team learns how they can apply innovative, user-friendly mapping and web technology to address local conservation issues through hands-on fieldwork. After the workshop, the team carries out a conservation project that addresses a local conservation issue in their hometown using their new toolset.

The projects are developed by the team at the workshop and CTP instructors provide support to help the team along the way. Teams are invited to showcase their accomplishments in the form of a poster, StoryMap or video at an event in March of the following year.


Teen-adult teams are the "magic" of CTP - each team member contributes their own unique and valuable experiences, skills and interests. Teams can be made up of folks who already know each other, such as student/teacher teams or family teams. If you're interested in joining CTP but don't have a teammate in mind - no worries! We'll do our best to match you with a partner in/near your hometown.


The CTP workshop is a two-day immersive field experience that teaches participants about the practical approaches to conservation through the use of mapping technologies. At the workshop, teen and adult participants collaborate to create interactive maps using smartphone GPS applications and geo-referenced web data surveys that can be used for scientific field data collection. Participants practice using these mapping and web tools in the field during various conservation field activities. Time at the workshop is also spent developing and tailoring conservation projects to each team's interests and time availability. CTP workshops are held around the state each year, so find one near you!

Conservation Project

As a team, teen and adult CTP participants will apply new knowledge and tools to address a local conservation project or environmental action. Team projects vary in topic, duration and intensity - check out all the past CTP projects. Each spring, participants have the opportunity to showcase their accomplishments at the Connecticut Land Conservation Conference or Connecticut Conference on Natural Resources. Select participant teams may be interviewed during multiple periods of the project by UConn Neag of School researchers to study the importance of intergenerational learning in informal STEM learning.

Our Background

NRCA’s Conservation Training Partnerships (CTP) is a program formed under the partnership of faculty from UConn's Department of Natural Resources & the Environment, Center for Land Use Education & Research (CLEAR), and Neag School of Education. The CTP program is an outgrowth of the NRCA’s Conservation Ambassador Program (CAP) — a program with eight years of training high school students in natural resources science and pairing them with local conservation organizations to conduct projects that directly benefit communities and advance conservation strategies statewide. In a nutshell, CTP is designed to be a “mini-CAP,” with a two-day conservation and geospatial technology workshop for high school students and adult conservation volunteers, followed by a local conservation project conducted by each teen and adult team. This model allows us to extend our reach not only to more students but also to more local partners, jump-starting additional conservation projects.

Expertise and resources available at UConn, the Department of Natural Resources & the Environment, and the Center for Land Use Education & Research support this program.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact: Nicole Freidenfelds, CTP Program Coordinator

Our Mission

The NRCA mission is to engage diverse teen and adult participants in natural resources conservation through place-based, experiential outdoor education, and facilitate community action through collaborative partnerships that contribute to local environmental solutions.

Our Vision

The NRCA vision encompasses:

  • A statewide, vibrant, and robust network of multi-sector partners that brings together scientific, educational, and community expertise and resources to support local-level natural resource initiatives;
  • Communities across Connecticut equipped with knowledge and skills to address environmental issues, empowering them to improve and protect local natural resources; and
  • Individuals, both independently and collectively, recognizing systems of oppression, confronting them, and striving to promote and uphold educational justice, environmental justice, and racial equity.


The NRCA is a partnership among:
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