The Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program at Northern Arizona University ( DDCSP@NAU ) works to grow leaders for a conservation field that is functional, relevant, and just by embracing diversity, honoring different voices and perspectives, and changing the conservation field’s norms and culture to influence and expand how conservation is practiced.
On Jan 5, 2017, the Doris Duke Scholars visited the Arizona-Sonora border region to learn about conservation challenges in the region, and the grassroots initiatives being implemented to address them. Borderlands Restoration introduced them to this incredibly beautiful and complexe region - 'one of the most biologically diverse, yet economically depressed regions of the U.S-Mexico borderlands' - and shared its passion for habitat restoration, community engagement, and sustainable development. The scholars toured Deep Dirt Farm Institute to learn about integrating sustainable food systems with habitat and wildlife protection, and visited the border wall located on the property of a local rancher. Throughout the day the students collected video footage that would be later used to create these films. A Navajo production company, Paper Rocket Productions, was enlisted by the DDCSP to conduct a one-day workshop on making a “movie with a message” using the footage collected at Borderlands. The learning objective for this activity was for students to be able to communicate conservation challenges, and the work being done to address them, through their personal lens of identity and experience.
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