Land Stewardship Fellows

What is the Land Stewardship Fellowship?

Position Description: The Land Stewardship Fellowship is a unique opportunity to work side by side with experienced staff applying your existing knowledge and skills while learning new ones, ultimately enhancing your own land ethic. Surrounding Aldo Leopold’s famous Shack, the property has both restored and remnant native Wisconsin habitat ranging from prairies to floodplain forests to sedge meadows to oak savannas. This diverse outdoor classroom provides opportunities to learn first-hand about native plant communities, identify threats to native landscapes, and gain effective tools and strategies to effectively manage a number of diverse ecosystems. As seasons change, management focuses on different activities including invasive species control, prescribed burning, monitoring, timber stand improvement, educational programming, prairie planting, and more.

Position Impact Statement: The Land Stewardship Fellows contribute to a wide variety of land management and monitoring activities on foundation property and across the Leopold-Pine Island Important Bird Area. In addition, Land Stewardship Fellows support and participate in an array of on-site programming, creating opportunities for audiences to join the foundation in its work to advance a  land ethic and land health locally and globally.


An example is Steffan Freeman. Building on his fellowship, Freeman went on to posts with The Nature Conservancy and Institute for Ecosystem Studies before joining the Jackson Hole Land Trust in 2007. Currently he serves as the trust’s Land Steward, monitoring over 25,000 acres of privately protected land in Jackson Hole and the Greater Yellowstone Area.

What You’ll Learn

As the seasons change, you’ll gain the problem-solving and technical skills needed to manage invasive species, improve timber stands, conduct prescribed burns, and carry out the many other practices that caring for land throughout the year requires. You can also expect to attend a variety of workshops, talks, and other events that will help you expand your professional network, knowledge base, and understanding of non-profit operations.

Specific skills include:

  • Chainsaw use and safety
  • Chemical application
  • Tractor and heavy equipment use and safety
  • Sawing brush, mowing trails, and felling trees
  • Seed collection and processing, and plant sampling
  • GIS mapping and GPS
  • Report writing
  • Project Management and research
  • Communication
  • Social media management and creation
  •  Writing blog, and news posts

This is a very physically demanding job that requires work under a variety of conditions, including snow, rain, heat – and, yes, you will be exposed to ticks and mosquitoes. But the fellowship is very rewarding. A real sense of camaraderie develops within the stewardship crew, making even the most challenging tasks fun and educational.


How and When to Apply

This program seeks people with a strong desire to learn about conservation and land management. Applicants should have a four-year degree in a natural resources-related field and some previous field experience. Successful applicants must commit to the full fellowship term. Check the employment section of our website for the announcement, along with a list of required application materials.

The Aldo Leopold Foundation recognizes that just as a healthy ecosystem depends on biodiversity, a healthy human society depends on cultural and social diversity. We are committed to expanding the conversation on land ethics by acting to achieve a rich diversity of staff, board, volunteers, members, supporters, and those we seek to engage with our programming. We encourage applicants to address this foundation goal in their application materials.

Check for Fellowships

Still a Student?

Some years, we also offer six- to 12-week seasonal fellowships starting in late May through late August. Check the employment section of our website in early spring for the position announcements.