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The application deadline has been extended to 2/28/17 and is live on


The Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program (DDCSP) Collaborative provides training, support, mentorship, and paid research experiences and internships for undergraduates with a demonstrated interest in conservation issues and inclusion. The ultimate goal is to increase diversity and inclusivity in the conservation workforce by supporting students who are committed to breaking down barriers to full participation by all.

The Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program is an exciting opportunity for undergraduates at DDCS logoNCSU with a demonstrated interest in environmental issues and cultural diversity to receive training, support, mentorship, and over $10,000 over two years for paid research experiences and internships.  If you are a current Freshman or Sophomore with an interest in the environment, conservation, and research, and a commitment to increasing diversity & inclusion in the field of conservation, the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program may be for you!

Administration and Funding

The program is being administered in partnership with the University of Florida and three other universities. Please see the UF hosted website for more details.  Contact Dr. Zakiya Leggett for details.

Funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and housed at the University of Florida, our DDCSP is a collaboration between University of Florida, University of Idaho, University of Arizona, Cornell University, and North Carolina State University and their affiliated Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units. Partnerships are key to the success of the program and we are partnered with the USGS Cooperative Research Units; US Fish and Wildlife Service; Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission; the Ecological Society of America; and other Federal, local, state, and tribal agencies and conservation-oriented non-governmental organizations to provide meaningful educational, research, internship, mentoring, and networking opportunities to our students.

Congratulate Our 2016 – 2017 Scholars

Daniel Choi

I grew up home schooled in Fayetteville, NC with my 7 siblings. One of my favorite things to do as a kid was to explore the several acres of woods behind my grandparents house. I loved cutting my own paths and being in the untouched forest. As I grew up, I was always curious about nearly everything and loved to make new discoveries. Now, I’m a freshman studying Wildlife Biology at NC State and considering minors in either journalism, cognitive science, or logic and methodology.Daniel Choi photo

I love to backpack, hike, climb, and explore. I also enjoy photography, a hobby which has been with me for years. Up until my junior year of high school I had been considering photography, engineering, or really anything science related but none of them really seemed to capture my interest. Then I found wildlife biology and it seemed to pull together everything that really interested me.

I hope to hold an active career in research as well as do something along the lines of a National Geographic photographer. I look forward to working on research projects this summer and next year as well!

Alyssa Martinez

I am an undergraduate at North Carolina State University in the Department of Biological Sciences as a Zoology major. I am originally from a small town in upstate New York, but I moved to Raleigh last summer and now consider North Carolina as my home. Coming from a “sub-rural” town exposed me to a lot of wildlife and opportunities to get lost in the natural world. I spent a lot of time wandering in the woods around my home which inspired my interest in preserving natural places and their inhabitants.Alyssa Martinez photo

I had the opportunity to volunteer at the Trevor Zoo in Millbrook, NY for two years where I worked with lemurs, emus, coatis, etc., in areas of enrichment and exhibit maintenance. The zoo’s main focus was to educate the public on its exhibits to encourage environmental awareness and participation of conserving the beautiful animals on this planet. From that experience, I realized my interest in conservation and hope to pursue a career in in that field as well as promote the proliferation of sustainable resources across the world.

I am going into this program with the hope that it will prepare me for my future conservation career as well as give me a unique opportunity to meet people with similar environmental interests. In the future, I would love to work at a biodiversity hotspot, such as Madagascar, and work with the locals to create sustainable living with the environment in order to preserve the wildlife for future generations. I am honored to be a part of this program and I am very excited to see how I can contribute to this invaluable experience.

Abigail Ponce-Angeles

I was born in Raleigh, North Carolina and have lived here all my life, but both my parents are from Hidalgo Mexico. I am the first person from my family to go to college. My intended major is between Wildlife Sciences and Conservation Biology, but I’m leaning towards Conservation Biology.Abigail Ponce-Angeles photo

By joining this program I’m excited to set up a good platform for myself in the future while trying new things and meeting new people with similar interests and a common goal. Going on hikes is one of my most favorite pastimes. I realized I wanted to do something with conservation when I would visit my grandma’s house in Mexico. It was so nice to walk through the greenery and come across beautiful flowers. I hope I can one day play a part in bettering the future by protecting what we have today.

Hannah LaCava

Writing coming soon.