ACR's Conservation Science Intensive inspires young women to develop a stronger connection to themselves, each other, and the natural world while learning about and practicing land conservation, stewardship, nature writing, and illustration. This collaborative expeditionary program challenges participants - individually and collectively - physically, creatively, and intellectually, as they work with and learn from ACR’s highly-skilled female conservation biologists, ecologists, educators and guest artists, writers, and musicians. Daily activities include extensive time on the land, natural history skill building (tracking, botany, birding, working with maps/GPS, etc.), stewardship & conservation projects, directed journaling, solo time, team building, and group discussion, all within a framework of strong female leadership - a culture of safety, encouragement, loving kindness, and mutual respect on all levels and at all times.

CSI 2019 DATES: Monday July 8 to Friday July 12, 2019.

Application packets will be available here before January 1, 2019.

*CSI accepts applications from young women, ages 14 to 17, who will be entering their sophomore, junior, or senior year of high school in Fall 2019.

In a landmark 2015 study, the National Science Foundation found that American women earn 50 percent of science and engineering degrees yet hold just 28 percent of jobs in these fields. In conservation science, women hold only 22 percent of jobs. Audubon Canyon Ranch (ACR) is proud to be bucking the national trend: Women hold eight of twelve conservation science positions at our organization. ACR’s philosophy of “Conservation in Action” means that we are committed to catalyzing in others the desire to understand and care for the land. ACR believes that leveling the playing field means not only inspiring and equipping young women to access and enjoy natural lands, but also supporting them to cultivate a sense of belonging to and curiosity about the natural world, and a desire to engage with stewarding the wild. ACR has a highly competent and deeply committed team of female biologists, ecologists, writers, and artists who see this as both a privilege and a responsibility - mentoring young women in conservation science, supporting their educational and professional goals.

This 5-day, 4-night residential program is based out of ACR's Martin Griffin Preserve on Bolinas Lagoon near Stinson Beach and includes day trips to some of ACR's other preserves and local protected lands. While learning and working together, participants explore topics including natural history, conservation, leadership, outdoor skills, biological illustration, research design and ethics, nature writing, equity in science, and models of female leadership.

Funding provided by foundations and donors allows ACR to offer this program free-of-charge.

Questions? Contact CSI Director Julianne Bradbury at or 707.433.1217.

Everything we’ve learned in this program has been directly applicable to our lives.  - 2016 Program Participant 


 I've never learned so much in one day.  - 2016 Program Participant 


I liked learning from women leaders in conservation about ideas that I usually don't think about.  - 2016 Program Participant 




I like that we don’t care what we look like or that we are all sweaty. We’re just here to learn.  - 2016 Program Participant


Sherry taught us how to read the landscape and I never really thought of that; like where fire was and why certain plants are growing in certain areas.  - 2016 Program Participant 







I think the more you are aware, the more you can appreciate the natural world.  - 2016 Program Participant 


I am so thankful for this camp because I am experiencing things that I never would have been able to.  - 2016 Program Participant 


It is just nice to know that people can do what they love and be happy with their job.  - 2016 Program Participant