The SWCS International Annual Conference is the convergence of research, science, policy, and practice. This four-day, summer event brings together hundreds of conservation leaders from academia; the agriculture industry; nonprofits; private organizations; local, state, and federal government agencies; and more! The conference is the perfect place to jump start your career in conservation and network with industry professionals. 

Conference registration opens in April of 2023. 

Conference poster presenter

Benefits of Attending

  • Access to hundreds of conservation professionals and peers
  • Resume-building experiences, such as tours and workshops
  • Professional development and learning opportunities
  • Exposure to a broad range of environmental topics and career paths 
  • Employment resources and opportunities like jobs, graduate positions, and more

Ways to Get Involved as a Student 

  1. Attend and Learn. Join the conference as an attendee and for the opportunity to participate in 150 different sessions, including workshops, oral presentations, poster presentations, professional development sessions, tours, and luncheons! Hear about the latest research, implementation, and policy from our interdisciplinary presenters. 
  2. Make Connections. Be sure to attend the student networking event on Sunday, August 6. By creating connections at the start of the event, you will recognize friendly faces in each session and can grow these new relationships throughout the duration of the conference. 
  3. Present Your Work. Graduate and undergraduate students are invited to submit an abstract for an oral presentation or a poster presentation for the SWCS International Annual Conference. This gives you the chance to present your work, receive feedback from industry leaders, and network and collaborate with both peers and potential future employers. SWCS also hosts a student poster competition with multiple cash prizes. The submission deadline was February 15, 2023. 
  4. Apply for a Scholarship. SWCS offers three scholarships to student members studying conservation to support their academic careers. Winners are presented with their certificate at the Annual Conference Awards Luncheon. The application deadline was March 31, 2023. 
  5. Assist as a Student Moderator. Apply for the Student Moderator Program to assist with breakout session moderation and room support at the SWCS International Annual Conference. In exchange, SWCS provides free conference registration and three free hotel room nights. Applications are open from March 23 – May 19, 2023. The application deadline was May 19, 2023.
  6. Apply for the Student Leader Internship. Each year, SWCS hires a student intern that assists with a variety of organizational projects and takes an active role in the SWCS International Annual Conference. This remote, part-time position is a great resume-building experience to show future employers and provides a student the opportunity to attend the event and be paid! The application deadline was March 1, 2023. 


Image of student intern speaking to attendees

“I left the conference feeling motivated to learn more about various topics and excited to continue growing the relationships established with others from the conference."
– Kailey Thompson, 2022 SWCS Student Leader Intern


FAQs for Students Attending the Conference 

Is there a discount for students attending conference? 

Yes! The student rate is $250 for the entire four-day event AND includes a full-year SWCS student membership. The nonmember rate is $575, meaning students receive a significant discount. 

I can’t afford the ticket cost. Can I still attend?

Please apply for our Student Moderator Program. In exchange for assistance during conference sessions, students receive free conference registration and lodging. Additionally, many academic and research programs will offer financial support to students attending conferences. Ask your advisor or program director if your school has funding for these opportunities. 

How do I submit a proposal for a presentation?

Abstracts must be submitted online through the Microsoft CMT site by February 15, 2023. Learn more about submitting an oral presentation. The submission deadline was February 15, 2023. 

How do I enter the student poster contest?

Students can opt into participating in the poster contest during the online submission process. Additional details will be sent to participants closer to the event date. The submission deadline was February 15, 2023. 

Additional questions? Email