The DDCSP Collaborative provides an exciting opportunity for undergraduates at NCSU who have a passion for biodiversity conservation and for increasing diversity in the field of conservation. This scholars program is a two-year experiential training program that empowers the next generation of conservation leaders to make a difference.
Conservation Scholars receive $550/week over 2 summers to work alongside researchers and seasoned conservation practitioners. As part of the Program, scholars have the unique opportunity to learn a variety of field techniques, develop research and presentation skills, attend workshops and conferences, and build a network of professional contacts and friendships that will last a lifetime. Additionally, scholars will participate in diversity, equity and inclusion training to build the knowledge and skills critical for increasing the diversity of students and professionals in the conservation field.
This is an exciting and exclusive opportunity available only to NCSU students. Students who are enrolled or planning to enroll full-time in a major related to environmental conservation here at NCSU will receive preference in the selection process. Candidates must have a deep commitment to diversity and inclusion, and under-represented minority and first-generation college students are especially encouraged to apply.
More information will be posted in Fall 2022.
The early deadline will be in Fall 2022 and is highly encouraged.
Interested students should read about the application process and apply online using this link.
For more information about the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program Collaborative, please contact Dr. Zakiya Leggett. To learn more about The Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program Collaborative, visit the Program’s website. To learn more about the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program as a whole, visit the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation’s website.
About the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
The mission of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation is to improve the quality of people’s lives through grants supporting the performing arts, environmental conservation, medical research and child well-being, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke’s properties. The foundation’s Environment Program seeks to ensure a thriving, resilient environment for wildlife and people and foster an inclusive, effective conservation movement. For more information, visit ddcf.org
Kenia Barajas-Salazar (She/her/hers) is a first-year at North Carolina State University and is majoring in Environmental Science. Her hometown is Raleigh, NC which sits on the border of Tuscarora and Siouan territory. She is glad to be part of the DDCSP 2022 class and excited for the awaiting adventures. She got interested in conservation when she was younger as she enjoyed being outdoors exploring all of nature and would speak out about the trash she saw or concerns about the environmental conditions. Furthermore, she got interested in learning more about wildlife and how to protect endangered species. She hopes to explore her interests in the field of conservation and expand her social network with the great people she will be meeting at DDCSP. In the future, she might want to work in environmental policy, environmental injustice, wildlife rescue, or management.
Gabby Martin is a sophomore from Oak Ridge, NC. She is studying Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology with a concentration in Wildlife and a minor in Plant Biology. She grew up spending much of her time outdoors playing sports, hunting, and fishing. Her love for the outdoors and animals came from spending time with her grandparents and parents in western North Carolina. Traveling to national parks like Yellowstone, Grand Teton and Great Smoky furthered her interest even more. She wants to ensure that generations to come have the same opportunity to enjoy the wildlife and beautiful landscapes. Her favorite volunteer experience was working at the North Carolina Zoo Wildlife Rehabilitation Center for two summers. It allowed her to see a different side of conservation. One day she hopes to work for a state wildlife service or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Kylan Rivera is a sophomore at North Carolina State University, majoring in zoology. He is from Lumberton, North Carolina which is where he developed his love for animals and the environment. One of his most fond memories of him falling in love with animals is when he rode an elephant at 6 years old. Ever since then Kylan knew he wanted to pursue a degree that deals with animals. Animals are not the only thing that Kylan fell in love with when he was little. Kylan also developed a love for helping the environment as he did things such as adopting a road with his family. Kylan is very excited to be a part of the DDCSP because he is ready to meet new friends, become a better leader, and also pursue his love for animals and the environment! He is so ready to see what this program has in store for him and his future!
Mary Grace Ussary
Mary Grace Ussary (she/her/hers) is a second-year student at NC State majoring in Environmental Science, with a focus in GIS (Geographic Information Systems), and a minor in Applied Ecology. She grew up in Wilmington, North Carolina, once territory of the Catawba people, where she would constantly spend time outdoors and on the beach. When she visits home she loves to go paddle boarding and walk her favorite hiking trails to reconnect with nature. Growing up in Wilmington, Mary Grace was able to witness the direct effects of human interaction with the environment. Watching people degrade the land that she calls home caused her passion for conservation to grow.
Samai Bhojwani is studying Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology with a minor in Animal Science and Arts and Design. She is originally from Belize City, Belize but her family moved to Florence, SC. Her passion for wildlife conservation grew due to being surrounded by incredible biodiversity when growing up in Belize. The environment and wildlife being just as diverse as the people sparked her interest in social and environmental justice issues. In college she has conducted research with the Duke Lemur Center; coding for mother infant behavior, as well as interning in a veterinarian hospital learning about the medical practices and reproduction of animals. Samai pursued The Doris Duke program because she believes this program will allow her to focus on conservation and the preservation of wildlife and endangered species while continuing to work towards a more diverse and inclusive field of conservation.
Amaya Horner currently attends North Carolina State University. Her major is Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management, and she is also pursuing a minor in Environmental Science. Ever since she was a young girl scout she always loved exploring outdoors and learning about natural history, however, it was in middle school that she became more interested in learning about environmentalism and environmental science. Joining the Model United Nations club at her school opened her eyes to a plethora of environmental issues such as deforestation, sustainable natural resource use, and global warming. Amaya decided to attend NC State because of its wonderful College of Natural Resources. It was here that she discovered that she wanted to pursue a career that would allow her to help increase the preservation of natural resources and push for more minority representation in environmental sciences. One day she hopes to have a career working with land trusts to create more protected lands, habitats, and national parks. She also hopes to create outreach programs that increase opportunities for minority communities to pursue environmental science careers, engage in outdoor recreation and further encourage them to have a connection to the environment. One of Amaya’s biggest goals in life is to explore as much of the natural world as she can through traveling. Amaya is super excited and grateful to be a part of the DDCSP to gain valuable experience and to meet her fellow scholars!
Hailey Schmidt is a sophomore double majoring in Computer Engineering and Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology with a Fisheries concentration. She grew up in San Diego, California, where she learned to love nature from an early age. Although she grew up in an urban area, her father tried his best to expose her and her brother to nature through road trips to the nearby mountains and desert. However, the ocean was where she truly fell in love with the environment. She looks back fondly on class field trips to the local aquarium and windy afternoons exploring the tidepools, and gradually developed an interest in fish specifically. As she got older, she became more interested in technology, spending long hours working on a robotics team. She struggled to think of a way to reconcile both passions until by chance her robotics team volunteered with the San Diego River Conservancy. They were proposing a continuous network of protected habitat and hiking trails along the river from the ocean to the mountains, and she was tasked with using GPS devices to manually map out the existing trail network. This experience opened her eyes to the intersection of technology and conservation, which is what encouraged her to pursue her double major. Going forward, she hopes to advance the field of fisheries science by researching and improving technologies for fisheries researchers, such as acoustic telemetry and underwater autonomous vehicles.
Issac Smith (he/him/his) is a second year student at North Carolina State University. He’s majoring in Natural Resources with a minor in Africana Studies. Issac has been captivated by the beauty of nature ever since he was a child. As he grew up, he began learning about how the planet is being ruined by the actions of mankind. Issac always wanted to do his best to protect the environment simply because of all the wonderful things found in nature. Eventually, he really learned about how humanity is entirely dependent on nature for everything from the breathable air to the clothes to wear to the economy. Later, Issac became an avid conservationist working with environmental organizations to conserve nature. Still, he wants to do a lot more work in the community to push for integrated conservation practices in every aspect of life. His goal is to learn more about how to realize that idea and to work in a field that allows him to pursue that dream.
Jaren Baluyot is studying fisheries, wildlife, and conservation biology with a concentration in conservation biology. He was raised in Annapolis, Maryland, where most of his childhood was spent outdoors near the Chesapeake Bay. After taking a zoology class in high school, he realized his passion for wildlife. Jaren chose to attend NC State in order to move out of his comfort zone and grow as an individual. Through clubs and opportunities on campus, he found interest in volunteering and working with others. During a study abroad in the United Kingdom, he hiked Snowdonia National Park which strengthened his love for the environment. He was drawn to the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars program because of its dedication to diversity, inclusion, and hands-on learning. Jaren believes that protecting the environment can serve as a common goal for bringing diverse people together. He enjoys challenging himself and aspires to become a phenomenal leader who will make a positive difference in the world.
Reese Dorroh is a sophomore majoring in Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology with a concentration in Conservation Biology. She is from Virginia Beach and living on the coast helped instill in her a passion for wildlife, the environment and the preservation of both. Growing up she volunteered at the Virginia Aquarium where her favorite exhibit to work was the stingray tank because she got to interact directly with the animals. During a summer abroad in Italy her junior year of high school, Reese got to volunteer with Lampedusa Turtle Rescue and realized that working to conserve wildlife was what she wanted to spend the rest of her life doing. She chose the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program because of its emphasis on diversity, inclusion and hands-on learning. Reese is passionate about the conservation and rehabilitation of endangered species and hopes to one day find a career that allows her to focus on both.
Nina Esquerdo is majoring in Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology with a concentration on wildlife. Living in North Carolina all her life brought her close to nature and the environment. It wasn’t until she began volunteering at a local aquarium that her passion for wildlife and conservation began to flourish. Soon after, Nina also began to volunteer at a wildlife rehabilitation center. Here she realized the strong impacts humans have on animals, whether it be bad or good. Coming to this realization, she decided she wanted to make a difference in wildlife conservation. Nina hopes to one day contribute to scientific research as a wildlife biologist to create a positive impact on the environment. Not only that, but Nina also hopes to encourage diversity in the science community. Being a young Hispanic woman, Nina hopes to encourage more people from different backgrounds, races, and ethnicities to be more comfortable and confident in entering environmental and conservation related fields.
EmmaLee Hovander is majoring in zoology with a veterinary medicine intent. Growing up, she admired and discovered that she wanted to emulate her aunt, a practice-owning veterinarian. EmmaLee is from Greensboro, North Carolina, where she has volunteered with the SPCA of the Triad and has worked at an animal hospital. During the school months in Raleigh, she works for an ecology lab at NCSU. While she pursues veterinary education, EmmaLee is interested in learning as much about the world around her as possible. She wants to make an impact on the world as she learns more about it. EmmaLee also loves interdisciplinary fields and has a strong interest in the arts and literature— which she hopes to incorporate in her future career.