About the Conservation Ambassador Program
The NRCA Conservation Ambassador Program is a unique opportunity for high school students to learn about natural resources science and conservation biology from UConn professors, graduate students, community environmental professionals and each other. This video was shown to parents, students, and staff at the end of the 2014 CAP field experience.
Each student has a story and this field experience has an unique effect on everyone involved. We hope that this short video gives you the sense of the grand narrative of the Conservation Ambassador Program.
Week-long Field Experience
During the one-week training experience in July, students will stay in college dorms and eat in the dining halls. With the 2,100 acre UConn Forest as a classroom, students will explore various components of the natural environment, as well as nearby lakes, streams, and wetlands.
With help from local conservation leaders, students will apply new knowledge and tools to complete a conservation project in their local community and obtain credit through their high school. Students will present their work at the annual Connecticut Conference on Natural Resources in March.
Connecticut has a long history of local governance, and land use planning and natural resource decisions are often made at the town level. Accommodating growth, while at the same time conserving and protecting natural resources, is often a challenge. Most actively involved citizens, including high schools students, are interested in the environment but may lack the training and experience to contribute to these local efforts.
The NRCA Conservation Ambassador Program (CAP) is an exciting program that engages high school students in natural resource conservation. Students participating in the NRCA CAP will learn about a wide range of topics related to natural resources and the environment, including units on water, forestry, soil, fish and wildlife, landscape ecology, and habitat protection. Students will actively engage in each of these units in both classroom and field activities during a week-long field experience at the University of Connecticut (UConn). The classroom portion of each of these units will be illustrated and reinforced via field visits and fieldwork.
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.
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.