Strengthening the Conservation Field

The Environment Program depends upon a robust and effective conservation field to achieve its programmatic objectives. Accordingly, we make grants to strengthen organizations focused on the conservation and management of wildlife habitat.


Below are our approaches to achieving the above objective:

  • Diversifying the conservation workforce. We seek to increase the number of people from urban, underrepresented communities in the conservation workforce. To that end, we launched the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program in 2013 to increase the number of undergraduate students from groups currently underrepresented in the conservation workforce who choose to pursue studies and a career in conservation. Additional information about the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program, including links to apply to the program, can be found here. We also support the Science Research Mentoring Program of the American Museum of Natural History and its efforts to expose high school students from New York City to conservation-related fields of research. 
  • Increasing public conservation funding. Achieving the protection of wildlife habitat at the necessary scale requires resources beyond what private foundations can provide. Significant public investments in land conservation are also needed. We support the Conservation Finance Initiative, a joint project of the Trust for Public Land and The Nature Conservancy that aims to increase public funding for wildlife habitat conservation in the United States.
  • Building the capacity of the land trust community. Through our land capital grant-making, we rely upon non-profit land trusts to secure interests in land from private landowners to permanently protect high-priority wildlife habitat. As such, we seek to foster and maintain a strong land trust community through our support of the Land Trust Alliance, the Land Trust Accreditation Commission and Terrafirma, RRG, LLC.
  • Building a collaborative landscape conservation community. Achieving conservation at the necessary landscape scale requires broad-based, community-grounded collaboration and thus requires investments in the capacity of collaborative partnerships to succeed. We seek to help build a community of effective and enduring partnerships as a key strategy to address conservation challenges, through our support for the Landscape Conservation Catalyst Fund, a national re-granting program managed by the Network for Landscape Conservation.