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White Oak has a long standing history of educational training geared towards early career professionals through conservation internships and career speciality programs. When White Oak welcomed new owners Mark and Kimbra Walter, we also welcomed the arrival of a new era where educational programs became a central pillar to the organization’s mission.  Through the Walters’ initiative, White Oak began a campaign to engage a younger audience in the conservation work taking place across our 17,000-acre property. From understanding the basics of animal behavior to the challenges that climate change poses for endangered wildlife, White Oak recognized the value it can contribute to student’s ecological awareness, scientific literacy, and conservation ethic to aid in the bigger picture of conservation.

Today, thousands of K-16 students come to White Oak for an unparalleled experience where science and conservation take center stage. The Education Department at White Oak welcomes and collaborates with diverse audiences in a variety of capacities, serving as a premier hub for experiencing wildlife conservation first hand.  From students in elementary school to undergraduates and early career professionals, White Oak’s Education Continuum helps students progress through their academic and personal lives with an interconnected understanding of conservation’s role in the 21st century. White Oak is well-positioned to educate and inspire the next generation of conservationists and stewards of the natural world. As an education guest, we will guide you through our vast, living conservatory which helps save endangered wildlife and habitats.

Our Impact: A Snapshot

White Oak hosted its first group of kids in the summer of 2013. A few local schools quickly followed who were willing to explore student involvement during the fall and spring.  Before long, summer camps had a wait-list, and field experiences with partner schools were filling up the calendar.

In 2017, White Oak doubled the camp capacity to meet demand, while  school groups had become one the most numerous demographics that came to White Oak.

Today, the Education Continuum sees students progressing through their academic and personal lives with an increased understanding of conservation’s role in the 21st century. Through field experiences, school partnerships, summer camps, internships, and professional trainings, White Oak continues to be a resource for helping future generations become leaders.

Student Stories

Keeta Moore first met White Oak in the summer of 2013.   Keeta was one of a handful of kids who became the first summer campers at White Oak.  Though it was a trial run for the team at White Oak, it proved vastly influential for Keeta.  

Six years later she made her way back to White Oak in pursuit of her career interests  Keeta had secured a coveted internship in the wildlife department to assist with the conservation management of imperiled species.  Now as a college student focusing on fish and wildlife biology, she hopes to turn her knowledge, experience, and passion for wildlife conservation into full time work.

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