Academic year & winter workshops
Experiential learning opportunities for DDCSP students at NAU
The DDCSP@NAU program is committed to mentoring, advising, networking, and collaborating with the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars during their undergraduate education while at Northern Arizona University, after graduation, and once they enter the conservation workforce.
Each January, we bring the scholars together again for a week-long retreat. The first winter retreat is an opportunity to for scholars to reconnect and continue to build a cohesive community. We prepare students for their internships by presenting exercises and workshops on topics such as networking and elevator talks, equity and inclusion in the workplace, and conflict resolution led by DDCSP@NAU staff, and representatives from NAU, the Landscape Conservation Initiative, CSP, and the advisory committee. The emphasis for the second winter retreat is scholar transition out of the program and into post-graduate study or work. We invite a diverse group of professionals from our partners and past summer mentors to give dedicated advice about specific career trajectories, including graduate school, government, private sector, and non-profits. Each scholar leaves the second winter retreat with a resume, a short list of jobs, internships, or graduate programs to apply to, and a draft of a five-year plan.
We provide intensive mentoring to students during the academic year, in the form of monthly videoconferencing meetings and a Google Group messaging site designed and led by NAU’s DDCSP director and program coordinator. Each month, we develop activities and assignments around tools, concepts, and cohort-building topics that have proven useful to previous cohorts, 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 students a forum to discuss shared experiences and to find the tools, including language and media, for self-reflection and analysis of common challenges. These monthly meetings serve to strengthen the community and foster strong peer relationships. In addition, our program staff provides ad-hoc support on an as-needed basis; scholars can contact us for career advice, feedback on application materials, and emotional support.