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OSI Invites Applications for Its 2024 Conservation Diversity Fellowship

NEW YORK, NY (March 6, 2024)— The Open Space Institute (OSI) today announced that it is accepting applications for its 2024 Conservation Diversity Fellowship. The two-year Fellowship is awarded to college graduates or postgraduates pursuing professional experience in the field of conservation. The position has a flexible start date between July and September 2024 and concludes in summer 2026. Candidates should apply to work with OSI through the Environmental Leadership Program’s RAY Diversity Fellowship. Talented young environmentalists can also be nominated for a Conservation Diversity Fellowship. The application deadline is April 5, 2024.

The Fellowship is being offered for the second year in a row through an OSI partnership with the Environmental Leadership Program, which administers the application process on behalf of OSI and offers program participants access to mentorship and professional growth services during and beyond their fellowship.

OSI’s Conservation Diversity Fellowship provides full-time, paid positions in New York City, offering recent graduates from diverse backgrounds the chance to work with environmental leaders and accomplish meaningful conservation goals.

OSI’s multifaceted program provides wide-ranging experience in the field of conservation and, over two years, Fellows work on projects based on their education and desired career path. Working alongside OSI staff, Fellows explore career topics in conservation such as real estate transactions; trail building and park improvements; grant administration; climate and environmental science research; nonprofit administration; conservation finance; and more.

OSI established the Conservation Diversity Fellowship in 2016 to help foster the talent of exceptional, conservation-minded professionals looking to take the next step in their career.

“OSI’s Conservation Diversity Fellowships aim to support and add new voices to the world of conservation. Each year, we are excited to support talented and passionate conservationists from various backgrounds who are just getting their start in the field of conservation,” said Jessica Watson, who manages the program as OSI’s Vice President of Conservation Communities. “For the past eight years, OSI has been grateful for the opportunity to mentor, and also learn from, our Conservation Fellows.”

Michio Agresta, one of the current 2023-24 Fellows, has found the program to be key in launching his environmental career.

"Working as a Fellow with OSI has been an incredibly rewarding experience, one that has laid a solid foundation for my career. The mentorship and networking opportunities provided have been invaluable, shaping my passion for conservation and refining my professional aspirations. The flexibility to engage in projects aligned with my interests, alongside experts in their respective fields, has equipped me with a diverse skill set that will undoubtedly benefit me in all my future endeavors,” Agresta said.

Since its launch, the Conservation Diversity Fellowship has continually evolved to meet the needs of the program’s participants. In 2021, the thriving Fellowship program was expanded, in celebration of the program’s fifth year, to fund two fellowship positions. In 2023, OSI continued to shift the structure of the program to offer two-year Fellowships that allow peer-to-peer mentorship.

“After intensive research, we decided to offer two-year Fellowships because of the multiple, documented benefits the longer term has been found to provide participants. The second year allows for deeper work that’s more meaningful and allows Fellows to develop practical and marketable expertise,” Watson added.

At the end of the Fellowship, participants create a final project, delving into a singular aspect of conservation and creating a tangible community resource.

Past projects completed by Conservation Fellows include a series of online zines about conservation, a research-based report about minority participation in outdoors recreation, creation of an interactive website and video promoting OSI’s McHenry Awards, a literature review and survey about inclusive grantmaking policies and procedures, and an inventory of equity practices at OSI.

To learn more about the fellowship and application process, visit:

Learn more and apply

About OSI

The Open Space Institute protects scenic, natural, and historic landscapes to provide public enjoyment, conserve habitat and working lands and sustain communities. Founded in 1974, initially to protect significant landscapes in New York State, today, OSI has been a partner in the protection of over 2.5 million acres in North America.

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