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Doris Duke Conservaton Scholars

Doris Duke Conservation Scholars
Originally published: 
June, 2018

Forty-one Doris Duke Conservation Scholars arrived in Ann Arbor in early June to begin or return to the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program (DDCSP), a training program for undergraduates that spans two summers. DDCSP aims to diversify the conservation workforce by finding and developing the next generation of land, water, and wildlife professionals among traditionally underrepresented groups.

Doris Duke Scholars have demonstrated interested in conservation, nature, and the environment. They come from across the country, and their many schools and regions are represented on this map.

Scholars are excited about turning their passion into a career in an environmental field, and are eager to be immersed in an experiential learning program that incorporates diversity and inclusion into their understanding of conservation practices. Moreover, they are committed to becoming a part of and changing the conservation arena, bringing new ways of looking at, understanding, and protecting the Earth’s land, water, and wildlife.

In addition to research and internship experiences, scholars have a chance to explore the unique environment of the Great Lakes region through field trips and excursions throughout their two summers in the program. These trips expose students to professionals and stakeholders, allowing them to see where interests in conservation can take them and the impact they can have in the environmental field.

Right now, the first-year scholars are preparing for a trip to the U-M Biological Station. While in northern Michigan, they will also visit Tahquamenon Falls and Sutton’s Bay and spend time on the Tall Ships of Grand Traverse Bay. The second-year scholars will visit Mackinac Island and a field site on St. Mary’s Island. Their capstone retreat in August will take them to Yellowstone National Park – an ecosystem very different from those found in Michigan.

Ami Fofana, a second-year scholar from the University of Toledo, described the experience. “Usually I’m surrounded by people that are from the same environment as me, so being able to talk to people with different backgrounds and different beliefs and ideologies was really amazing.”