Grades  9-11

Applications for new students to join our program from Jan. - Dec. of 2020 will be reviewed starting in January. Apply by Friday January 17th to be considered.


Becoming an environmental scientist in the field during one of our career themed meetings.

Feeding our Loggerhead sea turtle in the Dalton Discovery Center

Helping to educate and engage guest visiting our campus during our annual Earth day family event!

The Conservancy of Southwest Florida’s Teen ECCO (Exploring Conservation Career Opportunities) Program is a unique and immersive experience designed to expand on traditional high school studies with focus on students exploring conservation career opportunities. This program will provide students with hands-on experiences in scientific research, volunteer opportunities, exceptional field trips, opportunities to learn from experts in a variety of environmental fields, and chances to build relationships with students with similar interests.

We are currently seeking highly-motivated students interested in STEM and environmental careers for the program. This internship requires a high level of commitment. Please evaluate and consider your other commitments before submitting your application packet. Qualified students will be chosen for formal interviews and then selected for the program. New participants accepted into the program will start with a new student and parent orientation on Thursday January 30th from 4:30pm-6:30pm before starting required bimonthly afterschool Thursday meetings and conclude their program in December of 2020. This program is primarily inactive during the summer months with option of completing volunteer shifts required for the program. The program commitments consist of participation in field trips, meetings, volunteer shifts, and completing a scientific research project.

Please consider your commitments throughout the school year of 2020 when applying to this program. Participants of the Teen ECCO program are required to participate in the following:

  • Mandatory Meetings occurring twice monthly on Thursdays from 3:30pm-5:30pm during the school year on-site at the Conservancy.

    Spring Meetings: 2/6, 2/20, 3/4*, 3/19, 4/2, 4/16, 4/30 (* - Wed. date) Fall dates: TBA
  • Attend graduation events both semesters to support research completed by other teens in the program, and present your scientific project at end of your second semester.

    Spring Graduation: Thurs. 5/7. Fall date: TBA
  • Complete 5 volunteer and/or shadow shifts during program. Flexible shift options available for sign-up.
  • Attend at least 4 of 6 offered field trip experiences. Scheduled mainly on Saturdays with occasional after-school options.
  • Required to volunteer at our annual Earth Day event at the Conservancy on Sat. April 18th, 2020
  • Complete a group scientific research protect during second semester during your program.

The online application and two recommendation forms are required to be considered for the program.

Please apply online using the link below. To submit required recommendation forms, download and pass along the recommendation form to your references and have them fill out, scan, and email to Kevin Sandel at kevins@conservancy.org. One recommendation form must be completed by a teacher. The other can be completed by another adult mentor (teacher, coach, scout leader, etc.).

Please contact Conservancy Naturalist Kevin Sandel at kevins@conservancy.org or at 239-262-0304 ext. 238 with any questions.

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