Leadership Programs

Leadership Programs

Where emerging science leaders step into purpose

Learning how to wield your own power is transformational

Our leadership programs each begin with a retreat where scientists dive deep and examine why and how they want to become agents of change. Together, we explore the fundamentals of communication, engagement, and purposeful leadership, while creating lasting bonds over storytelling sessions, fireside talks, and shared experiences. Fun plays a big part too!

Our programs are rooted in relationships, collaboration, and a commitment to celebrating victories and supporting each other through hard times. Participants join a larger network devoted to career advancement, solutions-driven impact, and building a scientific community that embraces the full spectrum of identities, voices, values, and ways of knowing. COMPASS is the trusted partner for scientists all over the world who want to step into their purpose and improve the wellbeing of people and nature. 

Interested in partnering with COMPASS to design a leadership program? Reach out to us here.

Our Leadership Programs

Leaders for Sea Change Program

COMPASS is building a strong network of scientist leaders to tackle the most urgent crises affecting our oceans. From ecologists working with First Nations in British Columbia, to human geographers working with fishing cooperatives in Baja, to oceanographers studying the whole of the California Current, Leaders for Sea Change welcomes scientists who are eager to grow into a new sense of purpose. ...Read More

This is a year-long program that will prepare you to advance meaningful change within yourself, your community, and society.

Learn more about Leaders for Sea Change

Scientist Sentinels

This program brings diverse scientists working at the nexus of environment and society in the United States together to advance the role of science in society, inspire their peers, and support evidence-based decision making at the local level and beyond. The scientists in each cohort represent different perspectives, fields of study, geographies, backgrounds, identities, values, and career stages. ...Read More

They elevate their abilities as leaders, gain the skills needed to make big goals a reality, communicate across differences, build resilience, and become part of a thriving and supportive network of peers. This is a 9-month program that occurs every two years.

Learn more about Scientist Sentinels

Wilburforce Leaders in Conservation Science

Currently Accepting Expressions of Interest

This year-long program is designed to support conservation scientists to be leaders in a rapidly changing West, as they work collaboratively and independently to advance equitable, inclusive, and just solutions to the challenges that people, western lands, and wildlife face. If you are eager to grow into a new sense of possibility as a leader, gain the skills needed to make your vision for conservation a reality, and be a part of a thriving and supportive network of peers, we invite you to express your interest in being a Wilburforce Leader in Conservation Science.

Learn more about the Wilburforce Leaders

Current Cohorts

2020 Leaders for Sea Change

Juliano Palacios Abrante

University of British Columbia

Natalie Ban

University of Victoria

Fiona Beaty

University of British Columbia

Gustavo Daniel Danemann

Pronatura Noroeste A.C.

Santiago Dominguez-Sánchez

Gulf of California Marine Program

Inés López Ercilla

Comunidad y Biodiversidad AC

Paula Ezcurra

Scripps Institution of Oceanography & Climate Science Alliance

Kristin M. Hardy

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Lekelia Jenkins

Arizona State University

Francis Juanes

University of Victoria

Iain McKechnie

University of Victoria & Hakai Institute

Hem Nalini Morzaria-Luna

CEDO Intercultural / Long Live the Kings / NOAA

Katharine Nalven

Defenders of Wildlife

Kerry J. Nickols

California State University Northridge

Kiva Oken

University of California, Davis

Thomas A. Okey

Broughton Aquaculture Transition Initiative; Kwikwasut’lnuxw Haxwa’mis First Nation, Mamalilikulla First Nation, ‘Namgis First Nation

Charlotte Regula-Whitefield

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

Ana K. Spalding

Oregon State University

Sonni Tadlock

Washington Sea Grant

Vivitskaia Tulloch

University of British Columbia

2020 Scientist Sentinels

Adelle Monteblanco

Middle Tennessee State University

Cerissa Hoglander

Grand Canyon Trust

Dawn Davis

University of Idaho

Emmanuel Garcia

City University of New York - Graduate Center

Joshua Drew

State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry

Juan Aguilera

University of Texas at El Paso

Juliann Aukema

U.S. Agency for International Development

Karen Bailey

University of Colorado Boulder, Environmental Studies Progra

Karina Sanchez

University of Northern Colorado

Kristina Young

University of Texas at El Paso

Luis Alexis Rodríguez-Cruz

University of Vermont

Mónica Medina

Pennsylvania State University

Priya Shukla

University of California, Davis, and Forbes Science

Sara Kross

Columbia University, Department of Ecology, Evolution & Environmental Biology

Tom Iwanicki

University of Hawai'i

We partner to provide training for these programs

Often the doors for career-enhancing opportunities are closed to people who don't fit a conventional model of a scientist, but real conservation depends on tremendously diverse skill sets. COMPASS and Wilburforce opened their leadership programs up to people with a variety of skills and backgrounds, and that's what really appealed to me. It was the highlight of my year.

~ Dr. Jonaki Bhattacharyya, Researcher and Technical Consultant – Stewardship Initiatives

I have the photograph from the very first day of the training, where we were making mental maps and putting up post-its of what we wanted to do, and in that photograph I was describing the vision I had for a project for my new job. That photo captured exactly what I’ve accomplished now—the partners, the process, the vision.

~ Sergio Avila, Local Outdoors Coordinator, Sierra Club

I feel so fortunate to have been selected into such a wonderful group of highly talented people. Every time COMPASS contacts me, I look forward to being able to participate. The network just keeps paying dividends.

~ Bray Beltrán, Science Director, Heart of the Rockies Initiative

The connections made at the training are ones that will help change the world. It was a humbling experience to be with such astounding individuals with such passion, drive, and kind hearts.

~ Scientist Sentinel 

I feel so much more empowered now. I actually have tools at my disposal, and this awesome network of people who are interested and impassioned. That’s been the greatest gift.

~ Dr. Se Jin Song, Director of Research, Center for Microbiome Innovation, University of California

I learned a new identity for myself, that I can be a good scientist and a good citizen at the same time.

~ Michelle del Rio, PhD Student, University of Texas

I feel like my soul and my science have come together.

~ Dr. Jonathan Moore, Liber Ero Chair of Coastal Science and Management, Simon Frasier University