The Soil and Water Conservation Society Emerging Leaders Program is an immersive, interdisciplinary leadership experience. Through this program, participants will learn their leadership style and host a local, in-person conservation activity, with virtual guidance from SWCS staff and industry leaders. This program is flexible and will be adapted to meet the interests of our participants and address their regional conservation needs. 

The application period has closed for this year.

Participants will: 
  • Attend quarterly, virtual modules to receive training and resources from SWCS staff and partners (see the draft program schedule for details)
  • Complete the Conservation Events Planning Workshop, earn a certification, receive an events toolkit, and host an in-person event
  • Gain professional skills like virtual communications, basic graphic design, event planning, resume building, and creating community
  • Receive guidance from leaders across disciplines to develop their leadership style
  • Take advantage of networking opportunities with professionals in their region
  • Attend the 79th SWCS International Annual Conference in 2024 with a complimentary registration
Who Should Apply?
  • Professional in the first 5 years of their career in the conservation field, who are no longer in school
  • This program will be completed primarily online. Participants will host a local, in-person conservation event, and there may be additional in-person opportunities in your area.
  • If multiple applicants are located in the same area, they will be teamed up to plan their event. Invite your colleagues to apply!
  • This program kicks off in September of 2023 with quarterly modules that range from 3-4 hours with SWCS staff and partners. We will require an additional commitment of approximately 1-2 days per quarter. The program will culminate at the 79th SWCS International Annual Conference at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, in the summer of 2024.
Other Emerging Leaders Program Benefits:
  • One year of complimentary SWCS membership and access to all membership benefits
  • Free SWCS branded gear
  • Formal recognition in SWCS’s annual report and during the 79th SWCS International Annual Conference, and listing in SWCS’s online directory

There is no cost for participants to take part in the Emerging Leaders Program. At this time, travel and lodging at the 79th SWCS International Annual Conference would be the financial responsibility of the participant or their employer. HOWEVER, this portion of the schedule is completely optional and is not necessary to complete the program.

2023-2024 participants, please sign and return the release waiver.

The SWCS Emerging Leaders Program is made possible by support from our members and partners. Help us support emerging leaders through a gift or company sponsorship.

Contact with any questions or to support the program.