Conservation is important to who I am as a person. As a Girl Scout troop leader and as a mom, I try to teach my littles about the importance of conservation.
As a scholar writing my dissertation, I’m focusing on the research behind conservation leadership. While I still have a way to go in completing my dissertation, something that has continuously come up in my research is the importance of outdoor experiences during childhood. Mentorship and environmental education are integral in developing future leaders in conservation. Getting children involved in the outdoors at a young age is essential as the development of conservation attitudes and behaviors are ongoing over the course of one’s life.
What you do and say matters. On social media and in real life, how outdoorsmen and women influence youth will affect the future of conservation. Think before posting. Pick up that piece of trash.
Studies indicate that training for conservationists does not meet the demands of the sector. That means it is essential to mentor or volunteer if you can. If you can’t, support an organization focused on developing the conservation leaders of the future like one of those listed here:
Raise ‘Em Outdoors - https://www.raiseemoutdoors.com/donate
Youth Outside - http://www.youthoutside.org/donate
Elliott, L., Ryan, M., & Wyborn, C. (2018). Global patterns in conservation capacity development. Biological Conservation, 221, 261-269. Retrieved from: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2018.03.018
Sullivan, T. K., & Syvertsen, A. K. (2019). Conservation leadership: A developmental model. Journal of Adolescent Research, 34(2), 140-166. doi:10.1177/0743558417752638