Conservation Leadership Institute

Help Build a Better Future

Applications for our Fall 2021 session are now closed. Please check back next summer for the 2022 application.

Add to Your Toolbox

The Jackson Hole Conservation Leadership Institute (CLI) is a rigorous, 12 week, leadership development program offered at no charge. Graduates of CLI have the skills and knowledge to effectively organize, advocate, and hold local decision-makers accountable for building a better future. CLI starts with the basics of organizing and progresses each week as participants learn and practice new skills to become grassroots leaders in our community. The course includes a range of topics that participants will explore through group discussion, guest speakers, panel presentations, group projects, readings and real world applications.

By the end of the course, you’ll have the know-how—as well as the encouragement and support—to effectively:

  • Communicate your position to others, including elected representatives;
  • Identify, recruit, and lead a grassroots team;
  • Empower others to engage in the civic process;
  • Use storytelling to inspire action;
  • Develop a campaign plan to achieve a specific goal;
  • Approach governmental and policy making processes with confidence;
  • Identify and execute the best strategies and tactics to reach your goal.

Workshop Schedule

CLI will be held every Wednesday evening from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. over the course of 11 weeks. This year, the focus of the course will be on community character. The schedule for Round 12 of CLI includes:

    Workshop #1
    Sept 8
    • Topic: What is Community Character?
    • Skill: Telling your story
    • Guest Speaker: Luther Propst (founder, Sonoran Institute) - Conservation and the New West
    Workshop #2
    Sept 15
    • Topic: Intro to campaign planning
    • Guest Speaker: April Norton (Jackson/Teton Housing Director) - Housing 101
    Workshop #3
    Sept 22
    • Topic: Political Systems & Local government
    • Guest Speaker: Tyler Sinclair (Jackson Community Development Director) - Planning 101
    Workshop #4
    Sept 29
    • Topic: Targets and Influencers
    • Skill: Identifying decisionmakers and powermapping
    • Guest Speaker: Mike McGinn (Executive Director, America Walks; former Mayor of Seattle) - Transportation policy and people power
    Workshop #5
    Oct 6
    • Topic: Reaching your community with the right message
    • Skill: Communications
    • Guest Speaker: Rep. Mike Yin, Commissioner Natalia Macker, Mayor Hailey Morton-Levinson - local government
    Workshop #6
    Oct 13
    • Topic: Building Power With Your Community
    • Skill: Strategy & tactics
    • Guest Speaker: Glen Esnard (executive coach) - Public speaking
    Workshop #7
    Oct 20
    • Topic: Building your team
    • Skill: Grassroots organizing
    • Guest Speaker: Kim Stevens & Daniella Gonzalez (The Wilderness Society) - Activism
    Workshop #8
    Oct 27
    • Topic: Leadership and empowering others
    • Skill: Delegation
    • Guest Speaker: Chelsea Carson (Alliance Conservation Program Manager) - Wildlife & Wildlands
    Workshop #9
    Nov 3
    • Topic: Lobbying
    • Guest Speaker: Monika Leininger (Powder River Basin Resource Council) - Lobbying
    Workshop #10
    Nov 10
    • Topic:  Building power in the community
    • Skill:  Getting on local boards
    • Guest speaker: CLI Grads on Boards - Making Change
    Workshop #11
    Nov 17
    • Topic: Staying involved
    • Guest Speakers: Mark Houser (local community organizer) - Grassroots Organizing
    Special Event
    Dec TBD
    • Graduation: CLI Project Presentations

*Specific topic/speaker(s) of each meeting subject to change

Finally, CLI features a hands-on project to practice leadership and make a difference in Jackson Hole.

This project is a great way to get real-life practice with recruiting, leadership, and communication skills. It requires a few meetings with your team, on your own time, outside of class. Please contact us for more information.

What do graduates of the first eleven rounds of CLI have to say about the program?

From the first week to the last, I was able to network with like-minded individuals in a fun and engaging setting. Every one in the class was unique, and inspirational in their own way. For once, I felt connected to community members with a common vision.

— Trevor Bloom

To understand our local political process, and to understand the importance we have in this political process, is empowering, inspiring, and enjoyable.

— Abbie Bilotta

It is an incredible opportunity to gain such a focused understanding of how to become an advocate.

— Aaron Hamby

CLI reconnected me to my passion for conservation. During the eight weeks of CLI, I found a confidence and excitement in my inner being I thought died a long time ago.

— Suzanne Knighton

What the Alliance is doing for our collective future is revolutionary. From personal experience, I know that while many youth may have a vested interest in creating beneficial changes for the future, often times we do not know where and how to plugin. The Alliance has now set up the foundation for us, providing the tools, assets, and network needed to be the change.

— Ali Dunford

The course is great for people just starting out in the conservation community because it introduces them to the local issues and the skills needed to run a successful campaign. For those with more experience, it builds on the skills they have while introducing new ideas and techniques to make them more effective in their work.

— Tanya Anderson

The moment I walked into the first class I felt empowered and capable to implement change in Jackson Hole, and that is a feeling I would like everyone in this area to share.

— Peggie dePasquale

This course is an amazing opportunity for people to gain great skills and meet amazing people in the community that are interested in shaping a great future too.

— Noelle Guernsey

I have been to many leadership-type seminars before and this one was by far the most practical and applicable.

— Christy Lewis

Phone: (307) 733-9417
685 S. Cache St. PO Box 2728
Jackson, Wyoming 83001