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Wilderness Fellow and Dayen Program

Program Overview

The Wilderness Fellow and Dayen Program works with land management agencies to manage wilderness. It employs highly educated and trained young professionals and places them with land management agencies across the country.  Fellows may be newer to wilderness work while Dayens usually have experience working in wilderness management. The program was designed to do three things:

1.  Increase capacity where necessary for wilderness managers to accomplish complex, professional, wilderness tasks.

2.  Address the backlog of wilderness stewardship work across the National Wilderness Preservation System.

3.  Groom the next generation of wilderness professionals and connect them to people and places of work.

Fellows and Dayens work on all manner of wilderness stewardship and management issues, from wilderness character, to outfitter and guide permitting, to minimum requirements analysis, and everything in between. Fellows and Dayens are hired to match agency needs, and are trained extensively in the subject matter they will be working with. To host a Fellow or Dayen, contact Heather MacSlarrow at


What Fellows and Dayens say about the program
Forest Road

Jessica Zehr

During this fellowship, I’ve often reflected on the value of these places for those who are there and those who are not; I have been both.


Ellen Ray

It feels remarkable to find a place on this planet to love so deeply in such a short amount of time. I am reminded of the importance behind human connection with the landscape. If others fall in love with this landscape, perhaps they will be inspired to protect it, too

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Noah Campbell

Sometimes it can be a little overwhelming to be researching an area as storied and revered as the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex, but it’s also been an exciting and rewarding challenge.

What previous Fellows and Dayens are doing now

Forest Road
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Shannon Wesstrom

(2022 Fellow)

Environmental Planner

Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest

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Jacob Smith

(2020 Fellow)


Environmental Education Specialist

Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources


Alyssa Thomas

(2019 Fellow)

Social Science Analyst

Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station

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