Successful candidates are selected based on their enthusiasm, skills and vision. We seek diverse candidates from non-profit organizations, foundations, federal and state governments and the private sector. Applicants should be interested in all three components of the course: Training in leadership and wildlife conservation campaign skills, networking and career mentoring opportunities, and implementing a wildlife conservation project in a team setting. Applicants should have at least three years of experience in the wildlife conservation field, with at least 15 years in the profession ahead of them. Each class cohort is selected to have a wide variety of experience in education, training, affiliation, and personal backgrounds to allow for the most balanced participant group possible. Candidates from under-represented groups in conservation are strongly encouraged to apply.

Selected applicants must be available for a week-long training in late Spring of each year of the program and for a final shorter training in December of the second year. Participants will be expected to devote time throughout the two-year period, designing and implementing a group wildlife conservation project, and attending occasional virtual programming. The amount of time will vary monthly during the course of the program. Each component of the Emerging Wildlife Conservation Leaders program is vital to ensuring graduating alumni have the tools needed to be effective conservation leaders. Therefore, applicants should be committed to attending and actively participating in the three in-person trainings and occasional virtual training and mentoring sessions, and be an active and contributing member to their conservation project team.

The Emerging Wildlife Conservation Leaders minimizes training costs through in-kind donations and foundation support. Participants attend at no cost to themselves to ensure the strongest applicants are selected regardless of financial status. However, we ask that participants capitalize on training development support programs or staff development training opportunities provided by their organization to offset training costs when such opportunities are available. The ability to contribute to course costs with organizational support WILL NOT factor into whether or not applicants are accepted into the program. 

International applicants must show they have sponsorship to cover the cost of two flights to the United States and must be fluent in English.



Applications are accepted every two years in October of the graduating class. Applications for the next EWCL class will open in 2025

HOW TO APPLY: When applications open there will be a link here to create a User Profile. Once complete, you will be directed to a screen that invites you to start your application or resume a saved application. Application guidance and sample questions can be found in the document below:

If you have trouble creating an account or accessing your application, please email with the subject line “EWCL Application Assistance.”