In River

Cabela's Apprenticeship Research Program

Our Cabela’s Apprenticeship Program is an opportunity for students to gain experience doing research that addresses real issues centered around:

  • recruiting and maintaining participants in outdoor activities
  • managing fish and wildlife and creating their habitat
  • protecting threatened and endangered species
  • supporting ecosystem conservation

Students with at least 27 credit hours or sophomore standing are eligible to apply.

Funding for apprentices typically averages about $3,000, but other levels of funding are considered if justified in the application.

The program is a partnership among Cabela’s, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, with funding provided by Cabela’s.

Applications for 2024 are due Friday, February 16, 2024 at 5:00 pm

Contact Chris Chizinski at (, Sara Winn at ( or Kenneth Pyle at ( for the application access code.

More Questions? Contact Chris Chizinski


2023 Apprentices

Lindsey Blehm The Effects of Wildfire Ash on Nebraska's Sandhill Lakes Daniel Gschwentner
Makena Foley Evaluating Land Use Effects on Stream Metabolism Keeley MacNeill
Madison Hein Finding the Balance Between Livestock Production and Wildlife Habitat Andy Little
Lenny Huff & Kate Glause Antibotics in Our Surface Waters Keeley MacNeill
Ella Humphrey The Thermal Tolerances and Heat Shock Protein Regulation of Notropis dorsalis Jonathan Spurgeon & Sarah Sonsthagen
Josie Ivy Expanding Access to Outdoor Education Opportunties for Marginalized Communities in Central Nebraska Jenny Keshwani
Kaitlyn Richards Iowa Department of Natural Resources Internship Andy Otting and Ben Dodd
Francis Snow Attitudes of Individuals at a Nebraskan University Toward Sub-Order Serpentes Dennis Ferraro

2022 Apprentices

Grace Carey Factors that limit primary production in lakes Jessica Corman
Lauren Clapper In-Sync Exotics Wildlife Rescue & Educational Center in Wylie, Texas Exotics Wildlife Rescue & Educational Center — Mentor: Vicky Keahey
Samantha Garcia Better understand how native wildlife species are affected by bioenergy crop production Andy Little
Andres Hayes Productivity of the different types of beehives (lanstrogh, top bar, cement langstroth) Zambeze Delta Conservation/Cabela Family Foundation
Kaianna Hraben Positive sentiments about zoos and their conservation efforts change over time Chris Chizinski
Johnathan Kelly Temporal and spatial variability in nutrient runoff in streams in and around Scotts Bluff, Nebraska Steve Thomas
Matthew Klein Occupancy and estimated population status of native Nebraska herpetofauna species located within the Niobara Valley Preserve Dennis Ferraro
Katie Krager Research of Trumpeter Swans Mark Vrtiska
Helen Little Research will examine whether application of oyster mushroom-colonized substrate is an effective field treatment Judy Wu-Smart
Alex Napolitano Study the effect of mussels on water quality Keeley MacNeill
Laurel Nelson Negative sentiments about zoos and their conservation efforts change over time Chris Chizinski
Jacob Reiber Quantify how light impacts stream algal growth Reilly Farrell | Jessica Corman
Abigail Ridder Eastern redcedar’s effect on sapling recruitment in the Niobrara River Valley. Sabrina Russo

Apprenticeship Stories

Ella Humphrey

"I kept a lot of aquariums, and getting to see those different exotic species and learning about them in a captive setting really piqued my interest. That inspired me to take this path and now I’ve gotten to see different species of fish in their natural habitat." – Ella Humphrey – Read more

Forest along River

"My research experience this summer at the Niobrara Valley Preserve simply would not have been possible without the financial support from Cabela's. Without the burden of working a part-time job this summer to support myself, I was able to dive fully into the research and learn as much as possible while maintaining a healthy work/leisure balance. With Cabela's emphasis on an apprenticeship rather than just a typical research experience, I was able expand beyond my forest ecology focus and learn from other folks at the Nature Conservancy about things like prescribed fire, prairie restoration, and land management. Oh, and how to change a flat tire on a big truck!" – Brittni McGuire – See more

investigate the impacts of pesticides on amphibians

"The stipend is very helpful since I would otherwise likely not be able to afford room and board in Lincoln for the summer, " – Abagail Schoup – Read more