Partners Launch “Journey to Conservation Careers” to Develop Natural Resources Professionals

In partnership with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) and Bellevue University, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever officially launched its Journey to Conservation Careers (J2CC) curriculum with an engaged audience of local high school students at the recently completed National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic in Minneapolis. The learning initiative is designed to introduce wildlife conservation as a field of study and career path. 

“As an organization, we recognize the importance of meeting students where they’re at and making conservation relevant to everyone,” said Marissa Jensen, conservation leadership program manager for Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever. “Journey to Conservation Careers is a one-stop-shop resource providing an online curriculum, career fairs, and hands-on experience to develop natural resource professionals for the future.”

AnnMarie Krmpotich, State Coordinator for the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program says, “The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proud to partner on Journey to Conservation Careers to create more opportunities introducing individuals to wildlife conservation and the diversity of skillsets needed in our workforce. The conservation community is no different than other businesses in that we need talented individuals to achieve our missions and having a robust pipeline is critical to our conservation success.”

The J2CC public launch included experts in the conservation field – public relations professionals, outdoor educators, K9 officers from the USFWS, Quail Forever biologists, and more – speaking on specific career paths in the outdoors. Likewise, program creators described the various coursework available to students including grassland habitat, ecology, and biology.

“Watching students interact with the variety of professionals was inspirational during the JCC session – a proof of concept – that we as a conservation community must rally together and be innovative in reaching more individuals to demonstrate the portfolio of careers options in conservation,” says Krmpotich.

Furthermore, Journey to Conservation Careers prioritizes historically underrepresented communities in conservation and breaks down barriers to participation. Whether a student is interested in getting involved as an individual, or a teacher wants to focus on a particular curriculum, the opportunities J2CC offers are wide-ranging. To increase accessibility, J2CC boasts a self-paced, online curriculum so students have time to complete courses via phone or computer. The capstone offering to individuals who complete the certification is the opportunity to job shadow a conservation professional in their local area. 

For more information about Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s Journey to Conservation Careers, visit the website or contact Marissa Jensen at

About Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever
Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever make up the nation's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to upland habitat conservation. This community of more than 400,000 members, supporters and partners is dedicated to the protection of our uplands through habitat improvement, public access, education and advocacy. A network of 754 local chapters spread across North America determine how 100 percent of their locally raised funds are spent — the only national conservation organization that operates through this grassroots structure. Since its creation in 1982, the organization has dedicated more than $1 billion to 575,000+ habitat projects benefiting 24 million acres.
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