Dedicated to promoting stewardship and responsible use of aquatic resources, fisheries and habitats.

News and announcements

  • December 02, 2020 9:51 AM | Anonymous
    U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Special! Career Announcement Header graphic

    Directorate Fellows Program (DFP)

    The application period for the the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) 2021 Directorate Fellows Program (DFP) announcement is now open! Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. The application period may close before the January 15, 2021 deadline if a sufficient number of eligible applications are received. Applicants are highly encouraged to apply early to ensure consideration.

    What is the Directorate Fellows Program (DFP)?

    DFP is a Direct Hire Authority program that includes an 11-week fellowship project for current students at the rising senior undergraduate or graduate school level.  The 11-week fellowships begin in mid-May or mid-June 2021 and end in August/September 2021.  Upon successful completion of the Fellowship program, including degree conferral, participants may be directly appointed without competition to full time, permanent positions.  Most projects are a good fit for students with majors in biological sciences and natural resources. There are a limited number of projects that could be a good fit for other degree majors.

    DFP teaching studentsBenefits:

    • Living allowance– paid bi-weekly
    • Relocation allowance
    • Hands-on experience
    • Housing provided in select locations
    • 1-week orientation at the FWS National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) in Shepherdstown, WV
    • Fellows may be eligible for a permanent position in the FWS after successfully completing their fellowship and degree


    DFP Eligibility Requirements:

    • Student must be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a rising senior or senior in undergraduate program or a graduate degree program, and will not complete their degree requirements prior to the completion of the 2021 DFP 11-week fellowship ending in August/September 2021
    • Cumulative GPA must be 3.0 or higher
    • US citizen or permanent resident
    • Demonstrated interest, education, and/or experience in conservation
    • Must be available for 12 weeks (1-week orientation plus 11-week fellowship)
    • Must be able to pass a criminal background check
    • DFP preparing for fish surveyMust be 17 years of age or older
    • Males born after December 31, 1959, and are at least 18 years of age, must register with the Selective Service System, unless they meet certain exemptions

    DFP Spotlight

    Assisting with Easement Compliance: Madison Fladeland

    DFP Madison Fladeland in the fieldMy project involved creating a monitoring tool for law enforcement and managers to use out in the field, which enables them to digitally track non-compliant easements. This tool can be used on land or in the air, and you can map the violation out in the field and fill out all the necessary information and then sync the data. You can then access this information on your tablet, computer or phone. This allows officers to view the violations currently going on in the state and see if the case is open/closed in real time.

    What I really enjoyed about being a DFP was having the chance to explore many of the different career paths available in the FWS.  Everyone in the Madison Wetland Management District made me feel welcome and allowed me to participate in activities outside my project that I had an interest in. 


    How to Apply:

    FWS is collaborating with the American Conservation Experience (ACE), the Hispanic Access Foundation (HAF), and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) nonprofit organizations this year to assist with the recruitment and administration of over 117 Fellowship opportunities nationwide.  Each partner organization is administering a specific number of projects based on geographic location. Applying with multiple partners ensures you will have access to view and apply for all projects of interest to you when they are released.

    There is a 2-step application process: 

    Step 1.  Students shall apply to qualify for the program requirements via our partner sites below. At minimum, you must have at least a 3.0 GPA, be a current undergraduate rising senior, senior, or graduate student and complete your degree's graduation requirements after the 11-week fellowship (i.e. after September 22, 2021).  

    • CLICK HERE to apply for DFP and for future access to projects administered by American Conservation Experience (ACE)
    • CLICK HERE to apply for DFP and for future access to projects administered by Hispanic Access Foundation (HAF).  
    • CLICK HERE to apply for DFP and for future access to projects administered by Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF). Applying with TMCF is only available to students who attend a Historically Black College or University (HBCU). 

    NOTE:   Students are strongly encouraged to apply at both HAF and ACE; and TMCF (if attending an HBCU).  Applying with multiple partners will ensure you are be able to view all project opportunities when they become available.  

    Step 2.   After a student qualifies for the Program with each partner, when the specific project descriptions are posted, eligible candidates will be notified to log back into their application and select the specific projects and locations for which they wish to be considered. Project descriptions will be posted by the end of December. 

    TIP:  When projects are posted, students are encouraged to apply for as many projects in which they are interested.  We encourage a minimum of five (5) to improve your opportunity for consideration and selection for one of these highly competitive fellowships.

    Students should contact the DFP point of contact listed at each partner's webpage to address questions about the DFP program and the application process. .

    For general questions, contact

  • December 02, 2020 5:13 AM | Anonymous

    Steve is retiring from Florida Fish and Wildlife at the end of December. Join us in wishing Steve a happy, healthy, life-rich retirement!

  • November 15, 2020 6:49 AM | Anonymous

    Co-Owner of Puerto Rican Online Aquarium Business Pleads Guilty to Two Lacey Act Felonies and Export Smuggling for Illicit Trafficking of Protected Reef Creatures

    11/09/2020 12:00 AM EST

    A resident of San Sebastian, Puerto Rico, pleaded guilty today to export smuggling and two felony violations of the Lacey Act for collecting, purchasing, falsely labeling, and shipping protected marine invertebrate species as part of an effort to subvert Puerto Rican law designed to protect corals and other reef species, the Department of Justice announced.
  • October 26, 2020 8:22 AM | Anonymous

    To view and apply for FWS positions, please click here: FWS Vacancy Announcements. If you have a question about a specific position vacancy, please contact the Human Resources point of contact listed at the bottom of the announcement.

    Park Ranger standing in water in front of class and waving at the camera

    For more information about FWS careers and available internship opportunities, please visit our FWS Recruitment Opportunities page. You can also explore and learn more about the careers we have at FWS and others within the Department of the Interior by clicking here.

  • October 09, 2020 6:55 AM | Anonymous

    Use this link to download the new AREA Board for 2020-2022.

  • October 01, 2020 6:53 AM | Anonymous

    Join us on October 8, 2020, for the annual meeting Virtually.  Our keynote speaker, Matt Miller, is entertaining and informative.  We will present the new Board, and have fun after the business part is taken care of. Register online for the Zoom link.

  • September 23, 2020 4:27 PM | Anonymous

    In 2019 the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) used RBFF R3 Grant funding to create and implement a multi-tiered campaign to reach several target audiences. This initiative included a focused campaign that targeted Hispanic anglers in Southern Nevada.

    Fishing and boating were promoted in a bilingual digital campaign that ran statewide in both English and Spanish. Social media was utilized along with, television commercials, SMS messaging, email communications and podcasts.

    Successes of this integrated campaign include the following:

    • 26.1% increase in fishing license sales
    • 14.1% increase in boat registrations
    • 6% increase in web traffic

    For full results and additional details, read the case study in its entirety- 

    For additional state success stories, visit the RBFF R3 webpage-
  • September 23, 2020 4:25 PM | Anonymous

    In 1972, Richard Nixon signed the first ever Presidential proclamation of National Hunting and Fishing Day, writing:

    "I urge all citizens to join with outdoor sportsmen in the wise use of our natural resources and in insuring their proper management for the benefit of future generations."

    "National Hunting and Fishing (NHF) Day brings together sportsmen and women to celebrate the rich tradition of hunting, target shooting and fishing with national, state, regional and local organizations hosting related events. Launched in 1971 by Congress, NHF Day has consistently recognized hunters and anglers for their leadership in wildlife and conservation. NHF Day is observed and celebrated the fourth Saturday in September every year."

  • September 23, 2020 4:22 PM | Anonymous


  • September 14, 2020 8:07 AM | Anonymous

    Internships graphic


    Students interested in wildlife conservation and stewardship are encouraged to apply for our paid internships through our partnership organizations. Opportunities with FWS and other conservation agencies throughout the country can be found on the following partner's websites:

    *You will need to use the agency filter to see our internships offered by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

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Our organization leads the discussions for aquatic leaders. AREA is organized for educational purposes. AREA members include representatives of State, Federal, industry, fisheries and educational professionals involved in aquatic resource education programs. The nationwide non-profit Association is created to foster, promote and encourage aquatic education.

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