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Student Opportunities

The IIC’s Conservation Research Program (CRP) provides an opportunity for W&M undergraduate students to contribute to solutions to pressing conservation challenges. The program also directly benefits students in significant ways.

  • Students in the program acquire research, leadership and professional skills.
  • CRP students learn about diverse conservation career paths and gain connections within the IIC conservation network.
  • Many students have the opportunity to travel.
  • Students typically complete the CRP with research experience and research products (such as a map, a report or even a published paper) positioning them to enter conservation careers.

The IIC is building a diverse cohort of students who are committed to applying their unique perspectives, lived experiences, skills, interests, and knowledge to advance integrative solutions to conservation challenges. As such, we are specifically recruiting students with diverse majors/minors and professional goals for this program. See Program Options below.

Program Options
Year-Long Program

A one-year program in which W&M students work with W&M faculty mentors and conservation partners to design, conduct and disseminate priority research of our conservation partners.

William & Mary students work alongside a conservation mentor from the partner organization and a  faculty mentor to develop a research proposal in the spring, complete the bulk of the research during the summer, and finalize reports and deliverables in the fall. Students participate in lab group meetings throughout the program, where they learn how to write a research proposal, communicate research results to diverse stakeholders, and write a report.

Year Long Student Program Calendar

  • Spring: Complete and present project proposals. Students work with their faculty mentor and conservation partner to complete a written project proposal that serves as a guide for the completion of the research over the summer. This includes completing a literature review, acquiring all necessary permissions to complete the research, compiling relevant data, and developing a summer schedule.
  • Summer: Complete the research. Students receive a $4,000 award and travel support from the IIC to complete their research projects, based on working full-time over the summer (30 hours per week for 10 weeks).
  • Fall: Finalize a report and project deliverables and communicate results. Students complete a written report summarizing the implications of the research in advancing conservation solutions, finalize all project deliverables as identified by conservation partners, and communicate the research findings to partners, the W&M community, and project stakeholders.

VIEW CURRENT research projects

Semester-Long Program

The semester-long Conservation Research Lab engages students in a lab where they work with a faculty mentor to complete a research project proposed by an external conservation partner designed to advance conservation outcomes. Throughout the semester, the students complete project deliverables for conservation partners and build research and professional skills. We post new projects and accept applications for semester research program at the beginning of each semester. 

Conservation GIS Lab

The Conservation GIS Lab matches undergraduate students with external conservation partners to complete GIS or remote sensing projects needed to advance real conservation solutions. Part of a semester-long lab, students are matched with projects proposed by external partners that they will complete with support from conservation partners, GIS lab mentors, and the student cohort. This is a great opportunity for students who have taken at least one GIS class to apply their skills to support partners with advancing conservation outcomes. We post and accept students for the GIS lab at the beginning of each semester.  Application is now open for the Spring 2024 GIS lab. Apply by December 20, 2023.