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Student Programs

GWS Student Chapters

GWS Student chapters bring together like-minded students through the mentorship of professionals and educators on college campuses.  The chapters have the freedom to develop their own by-laws and develop objectives that meet the needs of their university and community while striving to carry out the mission of the George Wright Society.

Current GWS Student Chapters:
  • Clemson University

  • University of Utah

  • University of California - Merced

  • Kansas State University

  • University of Montana

  • North Carolina State University

  • Pennsylvania State university

  • Oregon State University


Benefits to students:
  • Opportunity to propose articles for Parks Stewardship Forum, where authors explore in detail issues of enduring interest to the parks and protected area community.

  • Student discount on the GWS Events 

  • Promoting diversity and relevancy within the protected area professional community through such programs as the George Melendez Wright Student Travel Assistance Program, the Native Participant Travel Grant Program, and Park Break.

  • Opportunities to connect with professionals through speaking series and webcasts.

  • Connections with professional mentors and networking opportunities.

  • The development of service projects in your community that promotes the mission and goals of the George Wright Society.

If you would like to create a chapter, or partner with an existing organization on your campus, please contact Brian Peterson at

The Gary E. Everhardt Park Break Program

The Gary E. Everhardt Park Break Program is a week-long, park-based fellowship and field seminar for graduate students who are seriously thinking about a career in park management or park-related research and education. We are currently reorganizing Park Break and will post information about the next one when it is available.

GWS Student Summits

George Wright Society Student Chapters launched the GWS Student Summits in 2016 to bring together students from a variety of disciplines to collaborate on parks and protected area management issues. Through the Summits, the GWS Student Chapters aim to create a culture of scholarship and stewardship in the research and management of parks and protected areas. Attendees at Student Summits get the chance to meet with peers to contemplate strategic issues in place-based conservation—and develop leadership skills.

The first Student Summit was hosted by the University of Montana at Glacier National Park in 2016. In 2017, the Student Summit was hosted by the University of Utah.  These were in-person events.  The third Summit was held virtually in 2020.


The fourth Student Summit will also be held virtually on May 1 and May 8. The topic is Socioenvironmental Justice.  more info