Teacher Workshops in Conservation Science, a free, three-day, grant-funded professional development opportunity for middle and high school science educators, based at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in Escondido, California, with all room and board included.


The application for the 2024 Teacher Workshops in Conservation Science is now closed. To hear when the application opens for the 2025 Teacher Workshops in Conservation Science, be sure to complete our notification form. Please contact TeacherWorkshops@sdzwa.org with any questions.

Teacher Workshop 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 1,800 middle and high school educators from all 50 states and 26 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-funding allows 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.

Video of TW Alumni by State

Video of Potential Student Impact of TW by State



If you are interested in donating to this program, please contact the Philanthropy team at 619-685-3219 or donations@sdzwa.org.



We welcome applications from both informal and formal educators around the country who work with Grade 6–12 audiences. For formal Grade 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!

Teacher Workshops in Conservation Science is a free, professional development program. We also 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.

Program Time Commitment & Coursework

Participants can expect to spend approximately nine hours completing online assignments via Google Classroom prior to their in-person dates. For these traditional summer workshops, in-person dates include lodging, meals, conservation science modules, evening special experiences, and San Diego Zoo Safari Park exploration. A typical day starts with breakfast at 7 a.m., and wraps up for personal time by 8 p.m.

Teacher Workshops in Conservation Science Alumni

If you have any questions about the curriculum or kit program that you learned about during Teacher Workshops, please 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 any way 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!