Applications Open For 2008 Cohort Of Kinship Conservation Fellows

The seventh cohort of Kinship Conservation Fellows is now open for applications. A total of 18 participants will be selected for the program, which will take place from June 25th to July 25th, 2008 at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington. The Kinship Foundation seeks conservation leaders who have a strong commitment to conservation values, a passion for learning about market approaches to environmental issues, and at least five years of experience in the field. It is important for prospective Fellows to have some knowledge of business and economics and work in an environment where these principles can be integrated into conservation projects. A project related to a candidate’s work will be proposed in the application process, which they will develop conceptually over the course of the fellowship.

“The marketplace is at the heart of any effective and enduring conservation strategy,” says Kinship Director, Jim Tolisano. “The economy cannot be separated from the environment.”

Most conservation programs now emphasize markets and commerce at the center of their efforts, according to Totolisano, because the leaders in the environmental movement worldwide have fully embraced this reality. As a result, Kinship is specifically designed to provide the next generation of conservation leaders with the skills and knowledge they need to use these tools and options.

Select career conservationists have the opportunity to participate in Kinship’s intensive fellowship program where they will develop leadership skills, interact with elite faculty, work on applied projects, and collaborate in a dynamic environment. The program provides a mix of seminars, working groups, fieldtrips and independent research periods.

While living in the San Juan and North Cascade ecosystems for four weeks, Kinship Fellows collaborate directly with leaders who are responsible for designing, implementing, and evaluating conservation programs throughout the world. Fellows are able to learn from and respond to complex conservation issues in real-world contexts through Kinship’s active fieldwork component, which blends market tools with collaborative planning and community-driven programs.

A profoundly supportive group dynamic appears to be generating tremendous inspiration and collaboration at Kinship, says Tolisano. Watching it is powerful, and it is even more so for the Fellows who are exposed to it. Fellows are brought together with Kinship to bring their skills and environmental challenges, and they leave with solutions they can apply immediately to become part of a growing conservation community..”

Fellows receive a $4,500 stipend, as well as, lodging and meals for their participation in the month-long program.

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