Professional Training Courses at the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation

Mon, 06/17/2013 - 15:10

The Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation, a partnership between George Mason University and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI), is proud to announce their updated course schedule which includes 3 exciting new offerings. The School is now offering more courses than ever before, in a wide range of topics, all focused on training in different aspects of biodiversity conservation, from effective conservation leadership, to technical tools in statistics and field sampling. All courses are currently either 1 or 2-week intensive residential courses and are now held in a brand-new, sustainably-built Academic Center on the grounds of SCBI in Front Royal Virginia. Most courses can be taken either for graduate credit or continuing education units. Scholarships are available for international applicants.


Visit our website ( or email us at for more details about each course, course costs, and credits earned.


Ecology and Conservation of Migratory Birds (new!)

September 9-20, 2013                  

Led by the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, this course teaches the most current methods in the research of migratory birds including theoretical concepts, field and laboratory methods (including mist-netting, banding, tissue sampling, stable isotope geochemistry, geolocators and radio telemetry), data analysis (including mark-recapture statistics) and applied conservation strategies.


Spatial Ecology, Geospatial Analysis & Remote Sensing

September 30-October 11, 2013

Learn to use GIS tools to address conservation research problems, quantifying effects of human-induced global changes on wildlife and biodiversity. Hands-on lab exercises (e.g. land cover mapping; home range analysis; modeling habitat selection; mapping species distributions) use remote sensing data and SCBI field surveys to monitor global changes, assess impacts on wildlife, and develop mitigating strategies.


Conservation Breeding Centers for Wildlife Sustainability (new!)

October 7-14, 2013                       

This course is designed to teach the philosophies, practices, logistics and management associated with ‘conservation breeding’, including what makes breeding centers unique and effective. The most significant of these centers in the US have formed a consortium called the Conservation Centers for Species Survival (C2S2), and experts from member institutions, including the SCBI, The Wilds and others, will share the details of the specialized C2S2 expertise and facilities that manage, study and reproduce wild animals on a sufficient scale to create demographically and genetically stable populations.


Additional Upcoming Courses:

  • Applied Climate Change: Gaining practical skills for climate change adaptation (Oct. 21-Nov. 1, 2013)
  • Effective Conservation Leadership (Oct. 28-Nov. 1, 2013)
  • Collaboration and Conflict Resolution Skills Training: Water Quality Issues (Nov. 5-8, 2013) - new course!
  • Species Monitoring & Conservation: Terrestrial Mammals (April 28-May 9, 2014)