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. 

Registration for the 79th SWCS International Annual Conference is open from April 11 – July 3, 2024 (Early bird rates apply until June 3).

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 job leads, 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, July 21. 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. We are no longer accepting abstracts for the 79th SWCS International Annual Conference. Check back at the end of the year to submit an abstract for next year's conference!
  4. Apply for a Scholarship. SWCS offers three scholarships to student members studying conservation to support their academic careers. Winners are presented with their certificates at the Annual Conference Awards Luncheon. Applications are open January 10 – March 27, 2024
  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 March 6 – May 1, 2024.
  6. Apply for the Student Leader Internship. Each year, SWCS hires a student intern who 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! Applications are closed for this year. Check back in January of 2025.
  7. Enter the SWCS Photo Contest. SWCS hosts every year and selects the top 12 photos to be featured at the conference. We give out two awards: one for the photo that best fits the conference theme and one for the photo the conference attendees like the best. The contest is free to enter, and the winners receive a $50 Amazon eGift card. Entries are due by May 1, 2024.


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 $650, so 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 January 31, 2024. Learn more about submitting a presentation.

How do I enter the student poster contest?

Students can opt into participating in the poster contest during the online abstract process. Additional details will be sent to participants closer to the event date. 

Can I enter the photo contest even if I’m not attending the event?

Yes! We welcome submissions of conservation photos from all around the globe. While attendees will vote on their favorite images as part of the conference, submitters do not need to be present to participate. Submissions are open February 7 – May 1, 2024. The winner of the contest will have their image published on an edition of the Journal of Soil and Water Conservation.

Additional questions? Email