Program Overview

First Year

1st Summer Experience

You will spend your summer with 19 other scholars learning about conservation issues in the awe-inspiring landscapes of the Grand Canyon Region. You will engage in a variety of immersion activities, including field trips, multi-day backcountry excursions, and workshops. The summer immersion component builds skills in conservation science, leadership, communication, outdoor ethics, a deep appreciation for nature, and cultural competency. Scholars form lasting friendships and professional relationships that provide a foundation of support for future success.  

Second Year

2nd Summer Experience

The 8-week internship provides practical experience in applied conservation science, management, policy, and/or advocacy. Your internship host options include academic institutions, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations. You will be matched with a mentor who shares your professional interests and who has a commitment to the goals of our program. You will come away from this experience with a variety of technical, social-emotional, and workplace skills, as well as a strong professional network. 

Winter Workshops

Academic Year and Winter Workshops

You will receive mentoring during the academic year in the form of monthly videoconferencing meetings. These small group meetings with other scholars will be structured around topics of interests to the scholars, such as including imposter syndrome, storytelling, micro-aggressions, code switching, time management, networking, workplace ethics, and emerging conservation leaders. The goal of these monthly meetings is to give scholars a forum to discuss shared experiences and to find the tools, including language and media, for self-reflection and analysis of common challenges. 

You will return to the Southwest for a week each January for a week-long retreat focused on community building, career advising, communication, identity, inclusion and equity in the workplace, and preparation for the eight week internship and transitions into post-graduate work or study. This will also be an opportunity to reconnect with your fellow scholars and DDCSP staff and mentors, and to engage in mutual learning.