Louisiana Wildlife Federation has completed its fourth year of the Edgar Veillon Conservation Leadership Corps, a leadership development program that provides expert training for future conservation leaders.
The program continues to gain attention and interest and we were thrilled with the amount of impressive applications we received. A total of 94 students from 19 colleges and universities across the state applied for the program.
The 2022 Conservation Leadership Corps cohort includes:
- Afia Boaitey (Freshman, Xavier, Neuroscience)
- Faith Boutte (Junior, Nicholls, Biology)
- Mario Campo (Junior, Southeastern, Biology-Wetlands Ecology)
- Carly Carpenter (Sophomore, LSU, Environmental Management Systems-Policy Analysis)
- Chelsea Coleman (Senior, McNeese, Animal Science)
- Eva Counts (Sophomore, LSU, Biological & Agricultural Engineering)
- Saidee Fonseca (Freshman, LSU, Natural Resource Ecology & Management)
- Mia Foster (Sophomore, LSU, Biology)
- Lily Gleneck (Senior, LSU, Coastal Environmental Science)
- Aaliyah Hameed (Junior, LSU, Marine Biology)
- Madelyn Helm (Sophomore, LSU, Renewable Natural Resources)
- Alexandra Himel (Sophomore, Nicholls, Marine Biology)
- Nautica Jones (Senior, UL-Monroe, Biology)
- Katarina Perlsweig (Senior, Loyola, Environmental Science)
- Amanda Ross (Junior, LSU, Chemical Engineering)
- Sarah Sargent (Senior, Northwestern, Biology)
- Thomas Showers (Senior, UL-Monroe, Biology)
Congratulations to the 2022 Conservation Leadership Corps students!
Training was provided by current and former natural resource professionals in the public, non-profit and private sectors. Students were presented with real-world issues and experience. Through the integration of presentations, case studies, and collaborative activities, students increased their knowledge of conservation policy and practiced skills in leadership and advocacy.
Out of an abundance of caution due to the ongoing pandemic, this year’s cohort met online via Zoom for the first three sessions. Trainings were held during one weekend each month in January, February, March, and April 2022.
Throughout the spring, students heard from about a dozen speakers from local, state and federal entities including:
- Andrew Barron, Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program
- Katie Brasted, Woodlands Conservancy
- Virginia Burkett, U.S. Geological Survey
- Charles Caillouet, Louisiana Wildlife Federation
- Jim Caldwell, U.S. Forest Service
- Karen Gautreaux, The Nature Conservancy
- Greg Grandy, Coastal Protection & Restoration Authority
- Brianne Hendricks, Parish Proud
- Chad Kacir, Natural Resources Conservation Service
- Caitlin Lill, Audubon Delta
- Brady Skaggs, Pontchartrain Conservancy
- Rebecca Triche, Louisiana Wildlife Federation
We were very excited to finally have an in-person meeting for our final session this year! Students met at Chicot State Park in April, arriving on a Friday and working together to prepare dinner. We were pleased with how smoothly everyone got along. After only meeting online previously, everyone was very excited to finally get together in person. Video conferencing has definitely been a lifeline for our program since the pandemic began but there is something to be gained from gathering face-to-face that just cannot be matched through a computer screen. It was quite literally a breath of fresh air!
On the morning of our final meeting, students got a tour of the Louisiana State Arboretum before hearing from the day’s guest speakers. If you haven’t checked out the arboretum, it’s definitely worth a day trip! Students learned about local flora and fauna in the visitor’s center, got in a little birdwatching, and received a guided tour along some of the trails and boardwalk to learn about the rich diversity of the landscape.
This year’s program was made possible through the generous support of the Stuller Family Foundation. LWF also thanks its Conservation Education Committee for their assistance as well as our speakers for volunteering their time and expertise.
If you’re interested in helping support scholarships for our next class, you can donate anytime online (leave us a note if your donation is for this program).
Applications for our 2023 cohort will open this fall so check back for updates and share with any students you know that might be interested!