Women in Conservation

Texas Leaders in Conservation - TLC

Career-focused conservation science and service for high school students. TLC for the Planet.
TLC (formerly ACL) 2023 intern Jacqueline Cruz

Just as ecosystems go through ecological succession, Audubon’s Conservation Leaders Program for Young Women (ACL) has also experienced growth and change over the last few years. As we start our ninth year of programming, we are delighted to announce a new name for our flagship program. Introducing TEXAS LEADERS IN CONSERVATION!

This name was developed in partnership with our long-time participants, both those who are currently enrolled in high school and those who have already graduated but still care deeply about the Conservation Leaders program.

Under our new name, we will continue to work with Young Women’s Preparatory Network while expanding into new a partnership with Galveston’s Ball Public High School. Conservation Leaders believe this new name lifts up our home state and focuses on the power of current high school and university students to make sustainable, meaningful progress for the sake of our environment. We are looking forward to a bright future for all Texans, including our Texas flora and fauna.

Audubon’s work, both nationally and in Texas, is known to be focused on protecting birds and the places they need to survive. In order to meet these goals, we approach our work from five angles; Climate Change, Water, Coasts, Working Lands, and Bird-friendly Communities. Each year, the Texas Leaders in Conservation (TLC) program tackles the science, conservation, and the broad career options within these strategies. 

As with all aspects of the world amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, our program has gone through substantial change over the last few years. Traditionally, students meet with leading female scientists, explore Texas’s diverse ecosystems, and learn about career paths in various conservation fields. When the pandemic hit, we learned so much about creating relevant, engaging virtual programs. Now, in the post pandemic world, we are delighted to move the Texas Leaders program into the future with a hybrid program. Students will gather in-person with their school cohorts for field trips but also interact with experts and participants from other cities through Zoom meetings.  Additionally, we are delighted to announce we reestablished our overnight capstone camp experience, in partnership with the Welder Foundation!

Audubon has moved into the fourth year of our five-year cycle; our topic this year is Working Lands. Students will learn about the importance of soil, habitat structure, and the reputation of Texas agriculture as a force for conservation. Past and new participants alike will build knowledge around how our land management affects everything from air quality to water quality, to ocean health. Students can expect to learn about college and career opportunities for sustainable careers as well as conservation science.

Both in-person and virtual programs will help students develop leadership and communication expertise, to help them to become the very best leaders in their academic and professional careers they can be once they graduate from High School.

Audubon Texas is offering the program in Dallas, Galveston, and San Antonio. Austin's program will be lead by our partners at Travis Audubon Society. Program costs and materials are 100% subsidized by Audubon's generous donors and grants. In return, participants are expected to come prepared to each virtual or in-person session and bring a positive, enthusiastic attitude to each experience, especially the intensive camp portion. 

Application for the 2023-2024 school year is now closed. If you are a participant from Irma Rangel or Young Women's Leadership Academy, please consider applying next year. If you are at Ball high school, you must be in Ms. Rooks Intro to Event Planning to participate.

Email Yvette Stewart for program questions.

Quotes & Photos from Texas Leaders in Conservation, Past Years

"I decided to return to the program because I had so much fun in the outings that we would have and I learned so much about various career fields." Alina F. Dallas Senior, 2nd year participant
"I decided to return because this program is a relief for me. It gives me an outlet to explore nature when I don't get to do it much anymore. The games and the exercises have made me into a more receptive and engaging person. I have a lot of positive things to say about the program." Blue M. Returning Dallas Senior, 3rd year participant.
Welder Camp Conservation project - replanting native garden for bird viewing area.
Participants remove Johnson Grass and plant native prairie grasses at our Trinity River Audubon Center, July 2021
"Camp was super fun and enriching. I loved our group. We shared so many laughs together." Lyla A, San Antonio, returning Junior.
Community Puzzle - each piece drawn by 2023 campers
Beach clean up and crazy finds with Sharia J., program graduate, summer 2022.
Houston students learn how to test water quality, February 2022
Moving Firewood for Team Night, December 2021
Houston students conquer their fear of heights to climb the Brazos Bend State Park Observation Tower, July 2021
San Antonio 2019-2020 participants learning about the benefits of wildlife rescue and rehabilitation, February 2020

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Texas Leaders in Conservation is a part of a greater effort to raise the stature of women’s roles in conservation, support young women and gender non-conforming students in environmental sciences, and engage women in important conservation issues in Texas. And it can’t be done without your support

How you can help, right now