Announcing the 2017 Wilburforce Fellows: Bright Spots in Conservation

Wilburforce Foundation, in partnership with COMPASS, is proud to announce the second cohort of the Wilburforce Fellowship in Conservation Science. The Wilburforce Fellowship was designed for scientists who want to be agents of change for conservation in the West. The Fellowship builds a community of practice where scientists are advancing decision-relevant research, effectively communicating scientific findings, and contributing to conservation solutions by engaging with local communities, policymakers, land managers and those with diverse perspectives.

The 2017 Wilburforce Fellows

The 2017 Wilburforce Fellows

Today we are excited to introduce the newest members of this community —the 2017 Wilburforce fellows. You can meet them here. The field of candidates was outstanding, and the final selection difficult because of the fierce competition. The fellows were selected on the basis of their skills and experience and their proven passion for conservation. They represent a mix of career stages, affiliations and geographies reflective of Wilburforce’s priority regions in western North America.

These conservation scientists have already demonstrated their talent and leadership and their strong commitment to making things happen. Through the skills they develop in this program, and connections they will make within this new network, we know they will be able to do even more.

The 2017 fellows will meet in April in Tucson for a six-day intensive training to help build and bolster their foundations in leadership and communication skills. At the training, each participant will set an individual goal for engagement on a conservation issue, begin to define an action plan to achieve it, and learn a variety of communication and leadership skills, from communicating across differences, to storytelling, framing, and messaging. Throughout the year, fellows will receive coaching and support to help them achieve their goals.

The Wilburforce Fellowship was launched two years ago, bringing together an initial cohort of 20 scientists at various stages of careers from academia, government and non-profit groups. The aim was to help them form an enduring community of support so that they could work together to achieve their conservation goals. In their first two years, the fellows have encouraged and motivated each other. Together, they have accomplished far more than they could have done alone.

Today we welcome the second cohort, the 2017 Wilburforce Fellows. We eagerly await what this infusion of talent and energy will accomplish, at a time when the stakes have never been higher.

To learn more about the Wilburforce Fellowship experience, see our COMPASS blog posts Climbing Dawn Walls For Conservation Science and Wilburforce Training: The Heart Of The Matter, and our interviews with 2015 Wilburforce Fellows Sergio Avila, Jonaki Bhattacharyya, Robert Long, Matt Williamson, Aerin Jacob, Kyle Artelle, and Erin Sexton.