The Conservation Leadership Initiative works to engage the next generation of environmental professionals in a variety of ways. In January, students around the state participated in field trips to learn from experts and past students.
Several Central Florida students attended the Orange Audubon Society's Northshore Birding Festival on Lake Apopka. One notable trip was Birding for Millenials, led by YouTube star and young birder, Jason Ward. Several current and past CLI students were on the trip. One mentioned that it was the largest number of young people she’s ever seen together at an environmental event!
The Gulf Coast Region hosted a local CLI event, bringing in 21 college students from the greater Tampa area and beyond. In the morning we learned about a local wetland restoration project at the Rock Ponds and then took a field trip out there. In the afternoon we learned about Audubon as a whole, ways to stay involved (state CLI program, Community Science opportunities, and Campus Chapters), discussed leadership skills, and then practiced those skills by creating a mock community event. The event has already gained us some new Audubon Campus Ambassadors. Four State CLI Students attended this event as well.
On January 21, 31 students came out to the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey's Day of Service. The majority of the students were from the UCF Knighthawks Campus Chapter and the UCF Knights for Wildlife Conservation. Five CLI students joined in as well! We gave them a tour of the facility, did a meet and greet with our Bald Eagle, Trouble, and did some much-needed landscape and property maintenance around the Center.
I'll keep you posted on our events as the year unfolds!
Kristen Sims Kosik, Program Associate
Conservation Leadership Initiative