Creating connections: applications open for Conservation Science Intensive

Creating connections: applications open for Conservation Science Intensive

Mark your calendars for an incredible opportunity for young women who are interested in conservation science. Applications are open for our CSI program! Audubon Canyon Ranch’s Conservation Science Intensive (CSI) brings together selected participants for a five-day virtual conservation experience.

Our CSI program centers on the feminine, which includes those who are socialized as, or identify with, the terms girl/young women, as well as those who transcend our inherited gender binaries. We are committed to creating safe, inclusive, and accessible spaces for all participants.

We encourage all applicants to learn more by reading this post, sharing with anyone who might be interested, and applying here by February 25, 2022. Please read all the details before applying.

Environmental Careers: Why CSI Centers Women in Science

To account for the gender gap and historic inequity, Audubon Canyon Ranch (ACR) launched CSI in 2016 to level the playing field when it comes to the gender gap in science. The program is now in its seventh year and has emerged as an ever-expanding community of students, scientists, mentors, friends, allies, and more.

“CSI was—and I will stand by this—the foundation of my future.”
-Aida Yoder, an alumna of the 2021 CSI cohort

Opportunities for women in science are vital, especially during the influential high school years, when many students are discovering themselves. In the case of CSI, many participants enter with curiosity around conservation science, and leave with a greater passion as to how complex and expansive the world of conservation science is. This opportunity is open to anyone who identifies as girl/young woman or the feminine, and who is going into their junior or senior year of high school. Because key factors of the gender STEM gap include a lack of role models or mentors, CSI connects high school juniors and seniors with women in the field of conservation.

“I’ve stayed in touch with all of my peers from the program,” says Aida Yoder, an alumna of the 2021 CSI cohort. She also expresses how as a college student, she still has “[…] three solid mentors that I still communicate with regularly.”

CSI encourages applicants from a variety of socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds, understanding that a diversity of life experiences in the group significantly enhances the experience of all participants. Demonstrated academic success is less important than a keen desire to participate and a clear sense of how the program will benefit the individual.

Past CSI participants had this to say: 

What to Expect If Chosen for CSI 2022

CSI has existed as a five-day science intensive, initially in-person although virtual since 2020, with the goal to inspire young people to develop a stronger connection to nature while learning about and practicing land conservation and stewardship. This virtual program is similar to a college-level seminar-style class. It is well-suited for individuals with budding interests in conservation science and a desire to think deeply, reflect internally, and discuss collaboratively.

This experiential program will challenge participants, mentally and emotionally as they work with and learn from highly-skilled conservation biologists, ecologists, and educators. Up to 17 young women will be selected to participate in the program this year.

Program dates are Monday, June 27 through Friday, July 1, 2022. Each day, the CSI program will run from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. PST. Additional details about the program are here.

One of the perks of CSI is not only the five-day intensive, but also the friendships and mentorships that follow; several alumni of the program have gone on to study conservation science in their undergraduate and graduate years, as well as pursue careers in conservation.

Spread the Word: Environmental Careers for Young Women 

We recommend reading the full application requirements before applying. If you know any students who are curious about conservation science and are also entering their junior or senior year of high school in the fall of 2022, please let them know about this incredible opportunity offered by Audubon Canyon Ranch.

Education program manager Jacqueline Levy, who helps coordinate and support each group of CSI participants, cannot wait for this year’s session to begin. “We really want to give high school girls a chance to not only see themselves in the field of conservation, but also to experience female-centered mentorship,” Jacqueline explains. “How great would it be if more young students knew what opportunities existed, and could visualize themselves as the future leaders in conservation?”

If you enjoyed this article, feel free to share it with a friend! You can also explore details of Audubon Canyon Ranch’s CSI program and sign up for our Conservation in Action newsletter for monthly updates.