This is the homepage of SITCOM's Interagency Mentorship Program - an exciting, new opportunity for our conservation community!
It's here! Conservation professionals across Wisconsin's many agencies, departments, and teams have been expressing a need for a program that can support staff professional development in today's working reality. The State Interagency Training Committee (SITCOM), along with other conservation staff and leaders from our partner agencies, established a task force in early 2023 to explore, plan, and design a mentorship program that would reflect the unique needs of Wisconsin's landscape. After many months of work, and equipped with the input and feedback of staff from across the state, SITCOM happily shares with you a mentorship program for conservation professionals!
This program will support you to:
- Achieve your professional development goals,
- Build a stronger community and network of professionals, and
- Be empowered to navigate personal and professional challenges on the job.
This mentorship program has been designed around YOU and your needs. With a variety of match styles available and participation from across all of Wisconsin's major conservation partners, there are an abundance opportunities to support you in finding a mentor, mentee, or peer cohort group to help you grow and thrive in the dynamic world of professional conservation.
This page is under heavy construction. Please check back often for updates.
Check out the resources here to learn more about the program. If you're interested in applying for the pilot program, find the link below!
Frequently Asked Questions
This program supports a variety of matches, including:
- One-on-One “Traditional” Mentee-Mentor Match
- Small Group Cohort Match without Mentor
- Small Group Cohort Match with Mentor
- Large Group Community Match
You will be able to specify your preference within the application.
The conservation interagency mentorship program was approved by leadership from NRCS, DATCP, WDNR, UW and UW-Extension, and County Land and Water Departments.
The pilot program may limit access and opportunity due to capacity. However, once the program is established in full, all applicants will be considered as long as they are a conservation professional in Wisconsin.
This opportunity is open to professionals from:
- County Land and Water Departments
- NRCS, DATCP, and WDNR
- UW, UW-Extension, and UW-CALS
- Conservation Non-Profits and RC&Ds
- and more!
The application process will ask for the following:
- Contact information and current employment
- Supervisor contact information
- Explanation of interest in the program
- Description of desired match and experience
Supervisors will be contacted for approval of participation for both mentees and mentors.
This program is what you make of it.
When potential matches are identified based on interest and availability, participants must agree to the conditions of their commitment.
With your match, you will determine:
- Desired frequency and method of contact
- Travel and time commitments for all
- Opportunities to align and coordinate daily work
- Possible training and/or events to attend together
Additionally, all participants are asked to identify and track their progress towards 2-3 professional development goals within a Professional Development Plan. These goals will be created at your first match meeting.
The Professional Development Plan (PDP) will serve as the evidence log of your participation in the mentorship experience.
Click here to view a sample PDP page.
During your first meeting with your mentor or peer cohort, your will be tasked with identifying specific outcomes that you wish to achieve through your participation in the program.
The following are three examples of appropriate PDP goals:
#1: I will create a stronger conservation community throughout the summer of 2024 by introducing myself to at least 5 different landowners in my area and getting to know their conservation concerns. I will record these concerns and create a community-based event where I can invite community members to hear from others who share these issues and provide solutions.
#2: By the end of 2024, I will have grown my network of professionals by attending at least 4 different conservation events hosted by different partners, meeting at least 2 individuals at each event, and following up with at least 1 professional to reflect on what I experienced at each event.
#3: Over the next three months I will improve my public speaking skills as a conservation professional by leading a staff meeting in March, hosting an area tour in April, and delivering a public address in May.
This program requires that participants have supervisor approval before being matched.
Once an application has been submitted, program managers will reach out to the identified supervisor to confirm approval for the participant.
Additionally, supervisors are encouraged to:
- Support participants in writing and working towards the goals identified in their professional development plans (PDPs)
- Engage with participants to identify opportunities to use the mentor program to complement and enhance their daily work
- Spread the word of the program amongst their other staff members
Finally, it's important to remember that, in the case of new employees, the mentor program should not replace any onboarding process you already have in place. Instead, this program can act as a complement to your onboarding process by filling knowledge gaps, offering hands-on learning opportunities, and providing a support network for new staff.
Are you interested in joining the program?
The pilot is OPEN to applications!
Complete the application process if you're interested in having a mentor, mentee, or being connected with a cohort of peers.
All applications are considered. Matches will be identified and facilitated pending availability and interest from the pool of applicants.Click here to apply!
Please note: The pilot program is limited capacity, and applicants may be considered over others due to location, agency, and interest. After the pilot period closes, the full program will be open to all in March of 2024.
Learn more about the pilot program!
Want to know the ins and outs of how the program operates? Read through the operational guidance for a breakdown and timeline of the program's mission, goals, and expectations.
This program was planned, designed, and developed by members across our partner network of conservation professionals in Wisconsin. Special thanks to everyone who was involved in this effort!
Interested in conservation training? See what other opportunities are out there to learn from and connect with fellow conservation professionals within and beyond our statewide partnerships.
Thanks to our partners and teammates who helped make this possible: