Building pathways to careers in conservation and exploration

Today’s youth are inheriting complex and mounting environmental challenges. They want to act and lead on behalf of the planet.

That’s why the National Geographic Society and The Nature Conservancy have joined forces to offer young adults ages 18-25 from across the globe an eight-week virtual learning and leadership experience to equip them with the knowledge, tools, and relationships to seek solutions and take action in their communities.

This rigorous externship intentionally creates more opportunities for young people from communities traditionally underrepresented in conservation to experience and prepare for careers in conservation and exploration.

Apply to be an extern

Apply online through Paragon One, who works with us to recruit, guide and inspire participants.
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countries represented
In the past two years, 600 externship participants represent more than 100 countries.
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increase in knowledge
Since the beginning of the program, participants report an average 49% increase in level of knowledge about the conservation career field.
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community projects
From the Philippines to Florida, more than 50 community projects developed by externship participants have received seed funding.

Where do our externs hail from? See the map below to get a glimpse of our externs’ home countries.

Explore extern projects


Meet our partner

The Nature Conservancy is a global environmental nonprofit working to create a world where people and nature can thrive. Founded in the U.S. through grassroots action in 1951, The Nature Conservancy has grown to become one of the most effective and wide-reaching environmental organizations in the world. Today, we are focused on tackling climate change and the biodiversity crisis. The Nature Conservancy is proud to partner with the National Geographic Society to connect thousands of diverse young people through this collaborative, relevant and successful externship program; together, we are investing in the people who will lead conservation into the next decade.

Photo credits (from top of page): Gabriela Tejeda, Mark Thiessen, Betty Jahateh, Gabriela Tejeda, Jessica Bonifacio, Juan Francisco Suescun, Pubarun Basu, Samuel Fajana

Get updates about our critical work to explore and protect our planet.

The National Geographic Society is proud to invest in a global community of intrepid Explorers working to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world. Make a tax-deductible gift to support the Society today, and your support will help fund the next generation of changemakers.