By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
The Nature Conservancy is looking for conservation-minded leaders to become a part of the 2017-18 Oklahoma Conservation Leadership Academy (OCLA).
The OCLA was designed to bring engaged, creative and active members of the community together in a year long program to learn about science-based conservation and how they can become conservation stewards in their community and beyond.
Originally focused on Oklahoma City, the program is now expanding its efforts to include representatives from around the state. OCLA will select 40 individuals through a competitive selection process.
“We launched OCLA last year with an inaugural class of 15 Oklahoma City-based members,” said Mike Fuhr, State Director for The Nature Conservancy of Oklahoma. “Due to the success of the program, we’re expanding our efforts to include 40 individuals from around the state for 2017-18.”
The chosen individuals will be a diverse mix of Oklahomans who will gain intimate knowledge of conservation practices around the state. The 2017-18 OCLA program begins on April 20. The deadline to apply is March 3.
In addition to gaining increased ecological knowledge, members will be challenged to innovate environmental services that can provide sustainable solutions for gray infrastructure, which includes pipes, pumps, ditches, and detention ponds engineered to manage stormwater.
All applications must be fully completed and typed to be considered. Prior to submission, make sure all signatures have been executed and two references have been listed.
Send completed applications to [email protected] along with a headshot or fun photograph that captures your personality. If selected, this photo will be used in the member directory.
An application fee of $25 must be included. Applicants will be evaluated on diversity of geography, industry, level of passion, and their ability to impact change and future growth. The class will consist of Oklahomans from various sectors, industries, and backgrounds.
Selected applicants be will notified by email on or before March 24.
Oklahoma Conservation Leadership Academy tuition is $2,500.00 (the application fee is not part of the tuition). Tuition covers the orientation, overnight (lodging, food, activities, materials), all program materials, meals during meetings, and print of the end-of-year report. All tuition must be paid by April 1. A scholarship fund is available for a limited number of participants.
OCLA requires all members to attend the overnight orientation on Friday, April 21 and no less than 80 percent of the 11 scheduled meetings which take place throughout the year. These activities include: one overnight orientation (in April), four lunch-and-learns, four field trips, one workshop, and one ambassador breakfast. Activities are held the third Thursday of the month from May through March (December will have no activity).
There will be additional optional opportunities to meet up including social gatherings and private events.
The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. The Conservancy focuses on climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at unprecedented scale, and helps to make cities more sustainable.
Working in more than 65 countries, the Conservancy uses a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners.
For a complete class schedule and to learn more, visit www.nature.org