The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced a new program aimed at encouraging high school students to explore careers in conservation.
The Georgia DNR Career Academy, a week-long, overnight summer camp, will be held July 17-23, 2022, at Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center in Mansfield and Georgia 4-H at Camp Jekyll on Jekyll Island. High school students will have the opportunity to learn about DNR career paths, and visit wildlife management areas, hatcheries, state parks, and the coast, said Lindsey Brown, the Career Academy’s director.
“Throughout the week, students will get hands-on experience as they learn from DNR game wardens, wildlife, fisheries and marine technicians, park rangers, and support staff,” Brown said. “They’ll have the opportunity to go behind the scenes with DNR staff and see what it takes to conserve Georgia’s natural resources.”
The Career Academy’s activities will include trailblazing and hiking, land navigation, state park hospitality, hunting incident investigation, fishery management, urban wildlife and deer aging, and other programs. Throughout the week, students will interact with full-time DNR staff and have the chance to ask questions, learn about professional paths, and education requirements.
“Our goal is for students to have a genuine experience with DNR staff and see what their day-to-day jobs are like, whether that’s conducting a prescribed burn, helping find a lost hiker, or gathering data that’s used to open and close the state’s commercial shrimping season,” Brown added.”
Mark Williams, commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources, said he hopes the Career Academy will provide students with a path to pursue employment with the department, and a clear understanding of the educational requirements necessary.
“Georgia is home to a diverse and growing workforce, and as the state’s lead natural resources agency, we want to make sure DNR is a competitive and enjoyable place to work,” Williams said. “This program will give young Georgians the chance to see how they can turn their passion for the outdoors into a career that conserves our resources and benefits present and future generations.”
The Georgia DNR Career Academy is open to high school students in the fall of 2022. Students do not have to be residents of Georgia. The cost is $100 and includes all meals and lodging. Scholarship opportunities are available to students who qualify on a financial-need basis. Applicants must include a letter of permission from a parent or guardian, a letter of recommendation from a teacher, school counselor, school administrator, or club advisor, and complete a virtual interview with a DNR employee. Applications and more information are available at www.GaDNR.org/CareerAcademy. Contact [email protected] for more information.
Eligible students may also opt to earn technical college credit upon completion of the camp that can be used toward a future education in wildlife management.
Members of the media who have additional questions or would like interviews regarding the Career Academy may contact DNR’s Tyler Jones at [email protected] or 912-262-3140.