Audubon Assembly

Conservation Leadership Initiative (CLI)

Audubon Florida's unique co-mentoring program bringing together college students and chapter leaders
CLI students and mentors
The 2019 Conservation Leadership Institute class with their mentors at Paynes Prairie State Park. Photo: Luke Franke/Audubon

Connecting with the next generation of conservation leaders

Audubon Florida's Conservation Leadership Initiative (CLI) is a unique, intergenerational experience uniting Audubon’s leaders with a diverse group of college students from across Florida. CLI includes co-mentoring opportunities for Audubon leaders and college students to network, share, and learn from each other. Through this experience, students are introduced to Audubon conservation initiatives, and Audubon leaders learn how to better engage, communicate with, and develop the next generation of leaders. CLI provides an opportunity for undergraduate college students to immerse themselves in Audubon, strengthen leadership skills, and gain an understanding of career opportunities in conservation.

A Year-Long, Immersive Experience

In 2019, CLI expanded from a one-day event at the Audubon Assembly to a year-long program, offering more opportunities for students to fully immerse themselves into both their local Audubon chapter and the Audubon Florida network. Students are offered a variety of experiences across the state, both in person and through online platforms. Topics include Audubon Florida’s Community Science initiatives, Audubon sustainability partners, hands-on restoration and conservation projects, advocacy, and more.

The 2020-2021 Student Cohort will commit to:

  • Attending the CLI onboarding event
  • Maintaining communication with their assigned mentor and fellow Cohort members
  • Attending the virtual 2020 Audubon Annual Assembly(Evenings of Oct 20-24, 2020)
  • Attending at least one local Audubon chapter meeting
  • Participating in at least five different program offerings during the school year (both virtual and in-person opportunities available)
  • Co-planning a regional Conservation Leadership Academy event
  • Attending an end of year celebration.

See our FAQ for more information.

Participation in the 2020-2021 Cohort is free to students, covered by our generous donors. To eliminate financial barriers to participating in the program, small stipends will be provided to students who need assistance with travel or other program activities.

Applications for the 2020-2021 Cohort will open on August 1, 2020. The deadline for applications is September 12, 2020. Selected participants will be notified shortly thereafter. Please check back on this page for the live application.

National Audubon Society is dedicated to building a culturally diverse organization and strongly encourages applications from people of color and all genders.

If you are interested in more information about CLI, please contact Kristen Kosik.

I was paired with an amazing mentor (Barbara Schwartz, Conservation Chair) who invited me outdoors to bird watch by kayak or on a college campus. These experiences left positive impressions on my journey towards a brighter future. Barbara gave me a platform, to both hone my knowledge (as a student) on birds and lead in my community through service.”-Herby Zephir, 2019 Cohort, University of Florida

“CLI is valuable because it gives you the opportunity to network and the chance to meet people that are doing the things that you want to do in your future. It is a very special opportunity.”- Lilybeth Moreno, CLI 2018, Florida Atlantic University

Audubon Florida is grateful for the leadership and support of Darden Sustainability and the National Audubon Society for providing the funding to launch this year-long program.

Downloadable Resources

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