Youth Conservation Institute 

Youth Conservation Institute

< Back to Education Programs



To develop conservation skills, deepen individual understanding of the science of conservation and encourage implementation of life-long conservation practices while providing insight into careers in the field of conservation.


General Information

Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s Youth Conservation Institute is a competitive, merit-based, week-long journey into Arkansas’s conservation story and serves as a springboard for conservation- minded teens who want to make an impact on their communities.

Students who are at least sixteen years old and have just completed their junior year in high school are eligible to apply. Once selected, the thirty students will embark on a trip around the state — camping and enjoying nature along the way — to learn why we do what we do, how we educate the public through our programming, and how their own actions affect our wildlife resources.

YCI will include educational, informational and recreational lessons in conservation at the following locations:

After visiting these locations, and participating in conservation studies and activities across the state, students will witness a meeting of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission to see how conservation policy comes together. They will then be challenged to return to their own communities to develop and carry out a conservation project of their own. Each project will be evaluated based on the level of potential impact, and the student whose project scores the highest will be awarded a scholarship.


Minimum Requirements

Applicants must be Arkansas residents attending an Arkansas high school or equivalent private school or home school. They must be at least sixteen (16) years of age, possess a valid fishing license at the time of application, and have just completed their junior year with a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale. Selections are based purely on merit, without regard to race, sex, religion, age, color, national origin, or disability. Applications must be completed and submitted by the deadline of April 30, 2014. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.


How are Participants Chosen?

The selection committee is comprised of conservation educators from across Arkansas. Successful candidates are chosen based on a standardized scoring system approved by AGFC. The criteria for scoring include the applicant’s GPA, responses to the essay questions, volunteer/employment experience, leadership activities, information on letters of recommendations and information on the official academic transcript.


Application Procedures

How do I apply for the AGFC Youth Conservation Institute?

Step 1: 

Fill out all fields of the Youth Conservation Institute application form.

Step 2:

Include a typewritten response to the questions below, each on a separate sheet of paper.

  1. Explain why you would like to be a part of the Youth Conservation Institute. Include what you could offer to make the experience more beneficial for all students involved  (about 150 words).

  2. Leadership activities. Please describe your accomplishments in leadership roles. List organizations, dates and offices held. Include conservation and professional organizations as well as school- or community-based activities (about 200 words).

  3. Employment/Volunteer experience. List any related work or volunteer experience (about 100 words).

  4. Essay. Aldo Leopold is considered to be the “father of wildlife management.” Please choose one of the three Leopold quotes below and discuss your interpretation. Describe how the selected statement impacts your conservation attitude and how it can mold future generations (about 300 words).

    “To those devoid of imagination a blank place on the map is a useless waste; to others, the most valuable part.”

    “The richest values of wilderness lie not in the days of Daniel Boone, nor even in the present, but rather in the future.”

    “We need to look ahead to be certain that our actions of today will make the world a better and richer and more varied place for our grandchildren and their grandchildren.”.

Step 3:

Please include the following additional materials with your application form:

  1. A letter of recommendation from your advisor, counselor, school faculty member or conservation professional attached to the recommendation form.

  2. Three personal references with names, addresses and telephone numbers. (Although not required, recommendation letters may also be included from personal references.)

  3. An official transcript obtained from your school in a sealed envelope.

  4. Proof of age (driver’s license, state-issued identification card, or copy of birth certificate).

Step 4:

Mail your completed application form and other documents to:

Laura Rogers, Coordinator
AGFC Youth Conservation Institute
P. O. Box 11899
El Dorado, AR 71730

Applications must be postmarked by April 30, 2014.

Receipt of applications will not be acknowledged, so delivery confirmation or certified mail is recommended. Exceptions to the deadline will not be made.

Successful applicants will be notified no later than May 30, 2014.


Youth Conservation Institute Calendar

Important Dates
Application postmark deadline Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Successful applicant notification date Friday, May 30, 2014
Event dates Thursday, July 10-Thursday, July 17, 2014


Program Staff

Name | Title:Laura Rogers | Youth Conservation Institute Program Coordinator
Address:P. O. Box 11899, El Dorado, AR 71730
Phone | Email:870-818-6378 | Email