UF/IFAS Programs & Projects

The Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program 


The Collaborators

Housed at the University of Florida, the Collaborative includes five Universities: University of Florida, Cornell University, North Carolina State University, University of Arizona, and University of Idaho. We are also working with the U.S.G.S. Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Tribal and State Agencies, and non-governmental organizations to provide our scholars with a variety of research, mentoring, internship, and professional development opportunities.


Students seeking information about the program and application process may contact Dr. Rena Borkhataria

Program Administration:

Dr. Rena Borkhataria, Director & Program Coordinator

Dr. Rena Borkhataria is a research assistant professor in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation at the University of Florida’s Everglades Research and Education Center and the Director and National Coordinator of the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program Collaborative. She has a BS in Wildlife Management from University of Arizona, an MS in Zoology from North Carolina State University, and a Ph.D. in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation from the University of Florida. During her MS studies, Rena had the opportunity to spend over a year living and conducting field work in coffee plantations in the central mountains of Puerto Rico and during her Ph.D. she traveled throughout the southeastern US to catch and track Wood Storks. Rena’s current interests lie in understanding barriers to full participation in conservation, breaking them down, and increasing participation and inclusion of people from underrepresented and marginalized groups.

Rena graduated from the Arizona Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit’s Minority Training Program in 1998, and credits that program with providing the foundation for her subsequent achievements, which included a Udall Scholarship, a Truman Scholarship, an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, an EPA STAR Fellowship, and co-founding the DDCSP Collaborative. She is honored to have been able to continue the tradition of increasing diversity and inclusion in the field of conservation through the design and implementation of the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars and is excited to see what the future holds for these Scholars. 

Collaborators     ‌      ‌‌     ‌‌