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(INDIANAPOLIS) – The Indianapolis Zoo will award an annual prize to up-and-coming conservationists.

The zoo created the $250,000 Indianapolis Prize in 2006 to be what it bills as the Nobel Peace Prize of conservation. The new Emerging Conservationist Award will recognize not lifetime achievement in preserving threatened species, but conservationists under 40 who show promise to compile similar success.

Indianapolis Prize executive vice president Karen Burns says the goal is to provide encouragement and financial support to conservationists to spur them to continue to build on their work, at a point where they may be considering leaving the field. Along with a $50,000 prize, the award will include mentorship opportunities with past Indianapolis Prize winners and finalists. And Burns anticipates the award will give young conservationists a platform to raise the public profile of their work.

Like the Indianapolis Prize, the Emerging Conservationist Award will be given every other year. The two prizes will be presented at the Indianapolis Prize Gala in 2023. But while conservationists must be nominated for the Indianapolis Prize, candidates for the new award submit applications on their own behalf. The deadline is February 25.