Interested in a career in conservation? SWCS is for you! Invest in yourself and your career with networking and professional development opportunities. Get involved with chapter leadership to build out your skill set and work with experienced conservation professionals. Learn more about the benefits of joining SWCS!

Want to learn more about starting or joining a student chapter? Reach out to memberservices@swcs.org for more information!

See how to get involved with SWCS with the following resources and opportunities:

Virtual Student Events

SWCS has teamed up with MANRRS and the Soil Health Institute to host a virtual Student Professional Development Series. We are committed to providing valuable resources and knowledge to students and early career professionals in natural resources conservation, environmental science, biology, agriculture, soil science, hydrology, and all others working toward a more sustainable world.

Learn more about student events and view past offerings.  

SWCS Guide for Students and Early Career Professionals in Conservation

Image of student and early career guide booklet

Learn about career paths, education, and SWCS benefits offered to students and early career professionals in the SWCS Guide for Students and Early Career Professionals in Conservation (PDF). The guide contains:

  • How to make the most of your SWCS membership
  • Important tools and resources available to you as you transition into grad school or a job
  • Best practices for making and maintaining professional connections
  • Conservation funding opportunities for early career professionals
  • Early career advice from SWCS members
  • Conservation career tracks
  • Tools for continuing your education and building your skill set

Student Summer Internship 

Are you looking for a great resume-building project to show future employers? Want to be part of advancing an international organization with over 75 years of environmental impact? Would you like to use your creativity and test your project management skills while collaborating with a dynamic nonprofit team?

The Soil and Water Conservation Society, in partnership with Association of Retired Conservation Service Employees, has a summer Student Leader Project Intern. The application deadline for 2022 has passed, however details for next year's intern applications will be released in early 2023. Interns assist with a variety of organizational projects and take an active role in the SWCS annual conference in July. 

SWCS Science and Policy Student Representative

Do you have a google news alert set for “soil”? Are you always trying to convince your friends to live-stream the House Agriculture Committee meetings? Have you ever opened up a new issue of an academic journal with a squeal of delight? Do you believe in a vision of agriculture that works in harmony with our natural resources? If you answered “yes!” to any of these questions, then the SWCS Science and Policy Committee wants YOU to apply to be our new Student Representative!

Why join the SWCS Science and Policy Committee as Student Representative?

The SWCS Science and Policy Committee meets every month (virtually) to discuss the latest in conservation science and policy news, and to soak up information from an invited speaker on conservation topics. The Student Representative will be an integral part of these conversations and learning sessions, and also gain access to conservation leaders around the world. The committee typically has between 10 – 20 conservation professional members, whose expertise range from soil health to water quality policy.

Who is eligible to join the SWCS Science and Policy Committee as Student Representative? 

The committee annually selects a full or part time student who is pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree. The Student Representative serves from the fall through the summer. The Student Representative is responsible for attending and actively contributing to monthly meetings, and chairing one meeting of the committee per year. The committee meets the second Thursday of every month at 3:00 pm Central, and to be eligible the applicant’s schedule must not conflict with this meeting time. The Student Representative must be a member of the Soil and Water Conservation Society – only $40 annually and you can sign up RIGHT NOW!

How to apply to join the SWCS Science and Policy Committee as Student Representative

The Student Representative for 2021-2022 has been selected. Watch for the application process to be opened in fall 2022.

Questions? Contact swcs@swcs.org.

Conservation Career Profiles

The SWCS community includes researchers, administrators, planners, policymakers, technical advisors, teachers, students, farmers, and ranchers, all who share the common goal of building a more sustainable future. What does a career in conservation look like? Browse the profiles below to learn more about the varied positions and career paths available in the field. 

Acting Chief of USDA NRCS
Professor of Agronomy and Extension Specialist, Purdue University
CEO, Soil and Water Conservation Society
Director of the Wake Soil and Water Conservation District
Agronomic Research Specialist, Monsanto
Research Soil Scientist, USDA-ARS, Grasslands Soil and Water Research Laboratory
Senior Policy Specialist, National Sustainable Agricultural Coalition
Assistant Professor, Louisiana State University
Resource Conservationist, USDA NRCS Montana
Agronomist and Certified Crop Advisor, Soil Health Services, PBC
Graduate Research Assistant, University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign
Assistant Professor of Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science, University of Tennessee

Do you know an SWCS member who would make a great conservation career profile? Let us know by emailing swcs@swcs.org with your suggestion.