Membership informs your work, connects you with your colleagues, and advances your career. Share knowledge, celebrate accomplishment, and lead the field.

How to Apply

Start the application and save your information at your discretion before finalizing and submitting for review. 

Read each of these sections below before applying:

  • Application Parts
  • Review Process
  • Review Materials

See online application form for more details. 


  • Contact Information
    Verify the information pre-filled in from your profile.
  • Professional Background
    Applicants will download a template, which they will use to upload a list of formal education, other related training and education, and professional experience.
  • Examples of Work
    Applicants must submit at least two examples of their work, which should show evidence of sustained high-quality professional skills and ethical behavior in accordance with our Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice. 
  • Essay
    Your essay should show how you understand Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice and how you use them in your work. Give examples if you can and be specific.  Applicants will need to answer the following questions (500 words or less): 

    1. How do you further our mission through your particular involvement in conservation?
    2. How do you promote the our Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice through your own profession?
  • Sponsors
    Applicant must collect letters from ANY three (3) members with Professional Associate or Fellow designation who are personally acquainted with and knowledgeable about their work. This knowledge may come from personal work experience (ie professors, previous supervisors, people you have collaborated with on a paper, etc...), but sponsors do not have to be from your current workplace. They can also come from collaboration on committees, portfolio review, and/or review of the completed application.

Recommendations should address:

  • How long have you known the applicant
  • How familiar you are with the applicant's work
  • Why you believe that the applicant qualifies

Sponsors must submit letters of rrecommendation within two weeks of the application due date (January 15, July 15, or October 15, depending on the cycle in which the person is applying). The application portal will email sponsors at the time of the applications submission. Sponsors can also email letters to


  1. Submission
    Staff forwards finalized applications to the Membership Committee.
  2. Review & Recommendation
    The chair, a member within your cited specialty, and another member selected at random will review your application. Each reviewer gives a recommendation: recommend approval, recommend discussion, or recommend to not approve. Applications recommended for approval by all reviewers are approved without further discussion.
  3. Discussion
    The committee discusses the remaining applications at a meeting. The specialty reviewer presents the application to the full committee, which provides additional assessment. The committee approves the application if the discussion satisfactorily addresses all their questions/concerns.
  4. Deferment & Secondary Review
    If questions/concerns remain, the committee may ask sponsors or applicants to provide additional information. Staff will then notify the applicant about the applicant's pending status and hold the application until the next review cycle. If after a review of the additional information, a majority of the  committee cannot agree on an application, the board liaison and the chair will identify three adjunct reviewers to assess the application and provide recommendations. If the three recommendations are not in agreement, the committee will decline the application. 
  5. Notification
    Staff will inform applicants of the committee's decision (approximately a month after deadline) and mail a frameable certificate in the following weeks. The committee provides declined applicants with feedback and guidance for resubmitting their application.


The Membership Review Committee bases their review of applications on the following documents.


Contact 202.661.8065 or