Habitat & Conservation  |  03/25/2024

Exploring Careers in Conservation at Harrisburg High School 


Pheasants Forever introduces educational program to Sioux Falls area school

National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic came to the Sioux Falls community during the first weekend of March 2024. Before the festivities began, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever team members spent a day at Harrisburg High School, just outside of Sioux Falls, helping over 200 students learn about potential career pathways in the world of wildlife conservation.  

“We want to help students learn about the wide variety of job opportunities, beyond being a biologist or conservation officer,” said Levi Day, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s conservation leadership programs manager. “Introducing students to our Journey to Conservation Careers program is a great way to get started in this field.”  

The Journey to Conservation Careers program was developed in partnership between Pheasants Forever, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Bellevue University. This self-paced, online program features lessons around biology, ecology and upland habitat. Additionally, students will learn about the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation, the Pittman Robertson Act and the role Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever play in conservation. 

Day completed his visit to Harrisburg High School alongside two other PF & QF team members, Nate Akey and Destiny Flemons, as well as two employees representing the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department. They discussed careers as a social media manager, biologist, education and outreach specialist and outdoor campus manager. 

“As an educator I appreciate the willingness of both Pheasants Forever and Game, Fish and Parks to share all the career options within the reach of our students, and get them excited for the outdoors and conservation,” said Kellie Steinmetz, a Harrisburg High School teacher. “What an incredible opportunity, to be exposed to presenters sharing both traditional and nontraditional methods of getting into conservation."   

To make themselves available to all 1,600 students, the team assembled in the commons area during lunch periods. Several students approached the group to ask questions about career options and the Journey to Conservation Careers program.  

One student said, “Hunting and fishing are a passion of mine, and it’s fantastic to see the endless opportunity in the outdoors field of work. Levi inspired everyone to appreciate the outdoor world.”  

This extra time with students also served as a great opportunity to talk about potential summer internship opportunities across the country.  

“We want to inspire the next generation of youth to protect our environment,” Day said. “This program provides the tools and information to pave career opportunities and shape their future decisions around habitat conservation.”  

Enrollment is open for the Journey to Conservation Careers program course through Bellevue University. Visit this site to learn more about the program and what it can do for you and your future, or click here to begin the registration process.   

For additional questions about this program or to discover potential scholarship opportunities, contact Levi Day at LDay@PheasantsForever.org or at (208) 550-0580.