Teacher Workshops in Conservation Science, a free, three-day, grant-funded professional development opportunity for middle and high school science educators, with all room and board included.


Applications for the 2021 Hawai'i Teacher Workshops in Conservation Science are open through August 22nd! 

Applications for the San Diego based 2021 Teacher Workshops in Conservation Science have closed, however you can still fill out an application for this summer, adding yourself to the waitlist in case spaces become available. Registration for Teacher Workshops will also remain open through the summer for those who wish to guarantee a spot and fund their own way. Tentative dates and descriptions for our two workshops are listed below.

Teacher Workshops Overview

Our free professional development workshops for middle school and high school science teachers began with 12 participants in the summer of 2006. A dozen high school life science teachers from all over Southern California were invited to the Beckman Center for Conservation Research, housed behind the scenes at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, to experience a week in the life of a conservation scientist. The pilot program focused on the conservation history and recovery of the California condor, and was designed to bring topics of conservation science into local classrooms.

Over a decade later, we have built a nationally recognized and fully accredited program with a stellar reputation for giving teachers access to unparalleled information and experiences. To date, we have trained more than 1400 middle and high school science teachers and informal science educators from all 50 states and 22 countries. Participants spend their days in intensive study in the Conservation Education Lab and their evenings at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, engaging with staff members and acquiring invaluable new skills to take back to their home campuses. During the workshop, teachers work together to frame content standards in the context of wildlife conservation and explore ways to challenge students to apply textbook knowledge of life science to current biodiversity challenges. Participants engage in activities that focus on critical issues facing endangered species using a variety of advanced technical tools and techniques; all activities support the Next Generation Science Standards and can be implemented back in the classroom. Our generous grant-funded scholarships allow this residential program to include all meals, lodging and materials for free, as well as a $500 stipend to help offset any travel or childcare expenses, paid upon full completion of the program.


While our program started in 2006 with an audience of solely formal life science teachers, today we welcome applications from both informal and formal educators. For formal 6-12+ educators, our emphasis is now on site teams of 2-3, with at least one science teacher “anchor”, and 1-2 non-science teachers interested in incorporating conservation in their subjects and engaging in cross-curricular projects centered on student action and wildlife conservation!

In 2018, we piloted workshops in three new locations: Hawai'i, Michigan, and Kenya. We are tentatively planning to deliver a workshop in Hawai'i again in 2021, but applicants for these workshops are restricted to the islands of Hawai'i and Kauai. Every year we welcome participants from every state and country to our traditional workshops based out of San Diego. This year, out of an abundance of caution we are restricting applications and registrations to residents of Arizona, California, and Nevada (with a select few from Colorado). Teacher Workshops is a free, professional development program. We do offer a registration option for educators with access to professional development funds that can cover the cost of attending Teacher Workshops. Educators who wish to register (as opposed to apply for the workshop for free) and guarantee their spot will pay a $2,000 fee which includes all the same experiences and accommodations as applicants, minus the stipend. 

The option to register for both workshops will remain open through the summer.


2020  TW Impact Maps

Program Time Commitment & Coursework

Accepted participants can expect to spend approximately 9 hours completing online assignments via Google Classroom prior to their in-person dates.

For our traditional San Diego based workshops, in-person dates include lodging, meals, conservation science modules, evening special experiences, and Safari Park exploration. A typical day starts with breakfast at 7am, and wraps up for personal time by 8pm.

In-person dates for Hawai'i Teacher Workshops also include lodging, meals, conservation science modules, and a trip to Keauhou Bird Conservation Center! A typical day starts with breakfast at 8am, and wraps up with dinner at 6pm.

Tentative 2021 Workshops (Funding Dependent)

Applications and registrations for both Teacher Workshops in Conservation Science (San Diego and Hawai'i) are now open! Tentative dates are listed below and are subject to further funding. Decisions for each workshop will be sent out at the end of April and August, respectively.

Click on the location you wish to apply/register to

Apply here to Hawai'i Teacher Workshops in Volcano, Hawai’i Island by August 22nd, 2021- ONLY for Hawai’i and Kauai Island middle school educators.

October 10-13th Middle School Focus 


Add your name to the waitlist here for Teacher Workshops in Conservation Science in Escondido, California.

June 28-30 High School Focus

July 12-14 Middle School Focus

July 19-21 High School Focus

July 26-28 Middle School Focus

August 2-4 High School Focus

August 9-11 Middle School Focus


If you are interested in donating to this program, please contact Maggie Aleksic at maleksic@sdzwa.org.

Program Contact: teacherworkshops@sdzwa.org

Teacher Workshops in Conservation Science Alumni

Do you have questions about the curriculum who were exposed to during Teacher Workshops or the kit program? Email us at teacherworkshops@sdzwa.org and we'll get back to you ASAP. 

If your school or contact info has changed since you attended Teacher Workshops, please reach out to us with your new info so we can keep you in the loop about field trip and kit opening announcements. 

If you are interested in field trips at the Beckman Center or the Advanced Inquiry Program Master's degree, head on over to those pages to learn more!

You are our number one asset in making conservation impact. Thank YOU for all you do as educators to inspire a passion for nature in your students, now more than ever. If there is anyway we can support conservation science in your classroom please email us and let us know. And thank you for spreading the word about Teacher Workshops every spring!

Teacher Workshops Flyer