Image Credit: USFWS
Image Credit: USFWS

The Wildlife Society has consistently been committed to the ongoing career development of wildlife professionals through a wide variety of programs, resources and activities that help our members expand their knowledge, stay up-to-date on new developments in wildlife research, management, and conservation, and advance in their careers.

Certification Programs

The Wildlife Society is the only organization to provide the peer-reviewed wildlife biologist certification process that bestows the title of Associate Wildlife Biologist® and Certified Wildlife Biologist®. Learn more about this members-only program and log into your membership portal to see which of your colleagues and peers have already achieved this professional standing.

Professional Development Certificate Program

This program recognizes TWS members who commit themselves to life-long learning and enhanced professionalism in a wide variety of professional development activities. Learn more about this program and the requirements for applying to see if you may qualify.

Pre-approved Continuing Education Credits

The Wildlife Society works with a number of organizations to ensure that a variety of educational opportunities qualify for credit hours for TWS Certification Renewal or the Professional Development Certificate Program. Learn more about how your meeting, workshop, or event can be pre-approved by TWS for Continuing Education Units.

Leadership Institute

The Leadership Institute is an annual course established in 2006 to provide a select group of 10-15 early-career professionals with leadership training. Throughout the 6-month program, participants will engage with mentors, work collaboratively to understand a wide array of leadership styles and perspectives, develop stronger written and verbal communication skills and learn how to better navigate the conservation field. Learn more about this program and how to apply.

Native American Research Assistantship Program

The Native American Research Assistantship Program – developed collaboratively with U.S. Forest Service (USFS) – facilitates opportunities for Native students to be mentored by USFS Research & Development (R&D) and, as of 2023, U.S. Geological Survey scientists and promotes student advancement and training for careers in natural resource and conservation-related fields. Learn more about this program and how to apply.

Applications for summer 2023 are now available. You can find more detailed information on the assistantship and application requirements by viewing the position posting. Any questions can be directed to Jamila Blake, AWB®, professional development manager at TWS (; 301-897-9770 x 307).

Native Student Professional Development Program

The Wildlife Society and Native Peoples’ Wildlife Management Working Group of TWS, with support from multiple federal agencies and tribal organizations, implemented a competitive Native Student Professional Development (NSPD) Program to promote the early development of indigenous wildlife professionals. Learn more about this program and how to apply.

Operations and Outreach Internship Program

The Wildlife Society (TWS) has an opening for a paid operations and outreach intern with an interest in professional development and non-profit operations. This will be a six month appointment running from January – late June 2022. The operations and outreach intern will be an integral part of TWS’ professional development programs and organization unit services. These programs work to improve communication and engagement between TWS and among organization units, develop and administer TWS’ professional development offerings, and lead diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.

This internship is a full-time, six-month, paid position, with a stipend of $2,000 per month.

Applications are due by Tuesday, November 9. You can find more detailed information on the internship and application requirements by viewing the position posting. Any questions can be directed to Jamila Blake, AWB®, professional development manager at TWS (; 301-897-9770 x 307).

TWS Annual Conference

The Wildlife Society’s Annual Conference enables students and professionals to learn, connect, and engage through educational sessions, training workshops, and networking events.  Attendance at professional meetings encourages science-sharing and potential collaboration opportunities with thousands of experts and colleagues from around North America and the world. Learn more about TWS’ Annual Conference.

The Wildlife Society will allow a maximum of 44 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) in Category I of the Certified Wildlife Biologist® Renewal/Professional Development Certificate Program for participation in TWS’ 2022 Annual Conference.

Travel Grants

The Wildlife Society, along with many TWS Chapters, Sections, and Working Groups, offer travel grants (mostly to students, but some are available to professionals) to attend the TWS Annual Conference and other TWS-related meetings. Learn more about the travel grants currently offered at various amounts.

Online Courses and Distance Learning Opportunities

When you can’t be in the classroom, online courses, workshops, webinars and distance learning opportunities can enhance your knowledge and development. Check out our Online Courses and Distance Learning page for more information.

Wildlife Degrees and Courses

Looking for information on academic programs offering wildlife degrees or online course offerings? You’ll find that information in our Career Development section.

Contact Us

If you can’t find the answer to your questions about professional development and the programs listed, check out the Certification FAQs page or contact