National Wildlife Federation Launches Online Conservation Community for College EcoLeaders
Free, web-based certification program fosters the next generation of environmentalists
National Wildlife Federation (NWF), America’s largest wildlife conservation and education organization, is pleased to announce the launch of EcoLeaders a free, online credentialing and networking program for college students. EcoLeaders is the first web-based initiative to provide students with the virtual space to initiate projects on their campuses and in their communities while earning recognition for their sustainability leadership.
“These days, the sustainability skills employers demand go far beyond the classroom,” says Julian Keniry, senior director of the campus and community leadership program at NWF. “NWF’s EcoLeaders initiative provides interested students from diverse disciplines and backgrounds with the support, connections and recognition they need to become effective leaders for the environment, whether they are studying biology or majoring in engineering,” she adds.
College and university students today are among the first generation of Americans to grow up experiencing the obvious and dramatic ways the planet is changing for people and for wildlife. These young adults are yearning to find ways to help their planet—to create greener campuses and communities, advocate for clean-energy policies and live more sustainably.
“EcoLeaders enables more students than ever to make a difference for wildlife and the environment while enhancing their leadership skills, broadening their networks and sharpening their career edge,” says Kevin Coyle, vice president of education programs at NWF. “The EcoLeaders community also empowers students to achieve real-world environmental impacts, such as reducing energy and water use, encouraging the growth of sustainable, healthy food in their communities, and creating climate-resilient habitats for wildlife.”
Students who become EcoLeaders can:
- Create and declare a personal eco-mission, a plan of action that will sustain a life-long commitment to wildlife and the environment.
- Plan, launch, improve or recruit others to join sustainability projects on their campus or community. A dashboard shows a student’s progress and can encourage others to join.
- Join forums to discuss diverse environmental topics.
- Earn certification as a credentialed EcoLeader, a distinction that can be part of course requirements and a badge that can be included on resumes and social media pages.
The EcoLeaders website offers a large database of campus sustainability resources developed by NWF with students and other higher education leaders over many years. “Through this initiative, NWF is building on its long-standing work of student leaders for wildlife and the environment to grow the next generation of student leaders and help build a sustainable worldwide economy. This is a win-win project, focused on positive solutions for people, wildlife and the environment,” adds Keniry.
Learn more about EcoLeaders and see examples of student projects at: www.nwfecoleaders.org/home.
The National Wildlife Federation is America’s largest conservation organization inspiring Americans to protect wildlife for our children’s future.
National Wildlife Federation is America's largest conservation organization inspiring Americans to protect wildlife for our children's future. Learn more at www.nwf.org.