Nelson Institute online Conservation Standards course to launch

July 9, 2020

Conservation Essentials, a one-of-a-kind online course in conservation management is now being offered by the University of Wisconsin–Madison Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. The course is a collaboration with specialists from Foundations of Success (FOS), the Conservation Measures Partnership (CMP), and the Conservation Coaches Network (CCNet).

This course has been designed by conservationists with extensive experience using the Conservation Standards, a multi-step process for conservation project management, and has been enthusiastically received by leaders in the field. While the course will briefly touch on all steps in the Conservation Standards, it will focus on step three, the implementation of conservation project plans.

“This course is aimed at helping conservation professionals, whether starting out or seasoned, to gain hands-on, practical tips for project implementation,” said Caroline Stem, the program director for course partner FOS. “This course will allow participants to build relationships with and learn from peers who bring a wide range of skills and experience.”

The 12-week course will be entirely online and available to graduate students, professionals working in the conservation field, or anyone in need of training in conservation project management.  Cohort sizes will be small, allowing participants to interact with and learn from one another.

The course instructor will hold weekly check-in meetings using the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s online collaboration platform Blackboard Collaborate. Participants should expect to spend around ten hours per week on course assignments. This includes reviewing lectures and readings, completing assignments, conducting peer reviews of assignments, and participating in group discussions.

 “This course aligns with the Institute’s Professional MS Programs mission to provide practical skills to students around the world,” said Nelson Institute Director of International & Professional Programs, Nathan Schulfer. “We are excited about the online format since it opens up this important training to people who might otherwise not have access. We are also fortunate to build on our existing collaborations with FOS and their networks, by helping scale up training in the Conservation Standards.”

In addition to expanding their professional networks, participants will gain the skills needed to be successful in conservation, learn how to be more effective at project planning, management, and fundraising, and gain a competitive advantage in applying for jobs or advancing within their organization.

“This is a unique course model that brings practitioners and the academic world together,” said Schulfer. “I think this is especially important in the moment we are living in, and I am happy this course is launching during the Nelson Institute’s 50th anniversary year.”

The fee-based course will offer scholarship opportunities. For course information please visit the course website.