It’s time again! Applications for the 2023 Claire M. Hubbard Young Leaders in Conservation Fellowship Program will be accepted between now and September 30. Designed for recent college graduates, the Hubbard Fellowship helps bridge the gap between school and career. It is a 12-month position with The Nature Conservancy in Nebraska with housing and full benefits. All the information you need can be found here.

You could be here! – – 2021 Hubbard Fellows Sarah Lueder and Kate Nootenboom pose with me for a drone selfie.

The Hubbard Fellowship is set up to provide Fellows with the broadest-possible range of conservation experiences within a one year program. About half of a Fellow’s year is spent on land stewardship – prescribed fire, seed harvest, invasive species control, fence construction, and much more. You don’t need experience with those activities. We’ll train you. You just need enthusiasm and a proof that you can work hard in outdoor settings.

When you’re not doing land management or restoration work, you’ll take part in conservation strategy meetings, help with research projects, lead groups of volunteers, share your passion with others, and attend conferences and workshops. You can also design an independent project that helps you explore a topic you’ve always wanted to learn more about – or dive deeper into something you already love. Some Fellows conduct a research project, others help or bolster a conservation strategy for the Conservancy. There are countless possibilities; it just has to be something that provides a benefit to conservation.

2019 Fellow Mary Parr holds a Pawnee skipper butterfly she caught at the Niobrara Valley Preserve during a survey effort.

Housing is provided in the middle of The Nature Conservancy’s Platte River Prairies in south-central Nebraska. You’ll have to share the neighborhood with half a million sandhill cranes during their migration period in March. During the rest of the year, you can become intimately acquainted with the grasslands, wetlands, woodlands, and river and all the creatures they support. Those relationships will be even more poignant since you’ll also be helping to create and sustain the habitat those same creatures need.

There’s much more. Click here to learn more and to find out how to apply. Or visit

If you don’t happen to be a recent college graduate, please share this with someone who is. Then stay tuned to read more about the adventures of the 2023 Hubbard Fellows over the coming year!

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About Chris Helzer

Chris Helzer is the Director of Science for The Nature Conservancy in Nebraska. His main role is to evaluate and capture lessons from the Conservancy’s land management and restoration work and then share those lessons with other landowners – both private and public. In addition, Chris works to raise awareness about the importance of prairies and their conservation through his writing, photography, and presentations to various groups. Chris is also the author of "The Ecology and Management of Prairies in the Central United States", published by the University of Iowa Press. He lives in Aurora, Nebraska with his wife Kim and their children.


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