When wildlife is in danger, they can't speak up for themselves—so we speak for them.

Even during this global health crisis, wildlife and the environment are under attack. At Defenders of Wildlife we are continuing to build our community that advocates for policies to stop extinction and creates the future we want to see.

Defenders of Wildlife Campus Clubs are student-led conservation clubs dedicated to furthering the mission of Defenders of Wildlife through political advocacy and peer-to-peer engagement. 

Depauw students with animal cutouts in front of the capital
Deanna Noël/Defenders of Wildlife

Get Involved

Clubs

If you want to get involved with a Defenders’ campus club, please reach out to the following people:

Arizona State University – Tempe, AZ

Diane Dotson: ddotson@defenders.org

University of AZ – Tucson, AZ

Mari Simpson: marisimpson@email.arizona.edu

Metropolitan State University – Denver, CO & University of Colorado – Denver, CO

Adrienne Ellett: adrienne.ellett@ucdenver.edu

Colorado State University - Fort Collins, CO

Garrett Peachey: defendersofwildlifeatcsu@gmail.com

Temple University – Philadelphia, PA

Bailey Fleming: tuj13285@temple.edu

University of Pennsylvania - Philadelphia, PA 

James Tonrey: penndefenders@gmail.com

University of Maine – Orono, ME

Joschka Winterling: joschka.winterling@maine.edu

Bowdoin College – Brunswick, ME

Diane Dotson: ddotson@defenders.org

My campus isn’t listed, how do I get involved?

Email Diane Dotson at ddotson@defenders.org to get learn more. We are always happy to add to our pack! While we have limited resources, our goal is to empower as many advocates as possible.

Events

In the midst of this global pandemic and the uncertainty of the future of higher education, we have been developing remote activities to build community and continue to hold our elected leaders accountable.

June 24th at 4:30pm EST - How to Do Land Acknowledgements with Erica Prather (Sign up)

June 30th at 8pm EST - Wildlife Trivia led by Defenders’ campus club leaders (Sign up)

July 14th at 4pm EST - Extinction & Climate Creative Writing Workshop with Jovan Mays (Sign up)

July 23rd at 3pm EST – Amphibian Extinction Crisis hosted by Defenders’ SE team (Sign up)

August 4th at 5pm EST – Congress 101 with Caitlin Cattelino and Erica Prather (Sign up)

August 13th at 9am EST – Birding in CO with Rosie Sanchez (Sign up

September 15th at 4pm EST - Womxn in Conservation Roundtable (Sign up

We are continuing to add to this schedule, so be sure to check back in every few weeks or sign up to get notified about upcoming events by emailing ddotson@defenders.org!

CSU student clubs and polar bear
Avery Kayle

About Us

What do campus clubs do?
Students and Rep Houlahan Meeting PA
Linda Trey

Our clubs are student-led, so they all look a bit different. We encourage each club to choose their campaigns based on student interest and to elevate their voice through petitioning, earned and social media, face-to-face meetings with elected officials and awareness events. 

Why campus clubs?

Young people are crucial to mobilize in the face of the extinction crisis and threats to the future of planet earth. Millennials and Gen Z have dominated the media by standing up to corporations and anti-science elected officials by demanding progressive action amid a rapidly changing climate. College students, both current and upcoming, comprise the majority of new voters and will help shape the priorities of decision makers.

In 2016 we saw a sea change in the make-up of Congressional representation. Young people, people of color, Indigenous people and those from all walks of life stepped up seeking a political body that better represents diversity in this country – and, they won! 

Denver climate strike
Avery Kayle

But elections only go so far. It’s up to us to hold each and every politician accountable to the future we want to be a part of.

Student-led advocacy clubs are desperately needed to elevate the extinction crisis and advocate for policies that defend communities and ecosystems against climate change, habitat destruction, corporate greed and political short-sightedness. Elected officials are particularly conscious of how they are perceived by young people, especially considering the power of social media. We’re inheriting this planet, and we deserve a seat at the table! 

What issues are the campus clubs working on?

With 1 million species facing extinction by mid-century, there is no shortage of issues for students to work on, especially with the Trump administration and anti-science members of Congress launching aggressive attacks on wildlife and the environment. Each club chooses which of Defenders’ legislative priorities to advocate for. Students have worked on issues such as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the Endangered Species Act, the border wall, North Atlantic right whales and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. 

Read More from Our Students

Defenders Hosts our First-Ever Virtual Lobby Day

Read testimonials from club members from our first ever virtual lobby day.

Endangered Species Must Be Protected (LTE)

"I care because I believe it is vital to speak for those that do not have a voice. Because of the Endangered Species Act and other environmental policies, I am able to see the once-endangered bald eagle when I’m out hiking. I am able to have hope for the future of those who are younger than me." - Bailey Fleming

Protecting the PAWs and FINs (LTE)

"As a Colorado native, biology student and wilderness lover, I want to extend my gratitude to Reps. Diana DeGette and Joe Neguse for co-sponsoring the Protect America’s Wildlife and Fish In Need of Conservation Act (PAW and FIN Act)." - Chelsea Brown