School of Integrative Studies
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Graduate Certificate in Applied Conservation Science

The graduate certificate in applied conservation science provides students with hands-on education in conservation science. The courses in this program are all residential, full-day, one- or two-week intensive courses held at the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation in Front Royal, Virginia. This certificate is designed for early to mid-career conservation professionals working in government, non-governmental organizations, and research institutions worldwide.  

Students acquire essential skills in conservation research and practice while developing  a crucial understanding of the principles and philosophies underlying effective conservation and biodiversity programs. They learn how to apply analysis techniques and tools to address those questions and evaluate conservation outcomes.

Upon completion of the certificate, students will have developed practical and analytical skills applicable to a wide range of programs in applied conservation science research, policy, and practice -- from single-species protection and landscape-level restoration and management to community conservation initiatives and human-wildlife conflict mitigation.

The graduate certificate in applied conservation science may be pursued on a part-time or full-time basis.

Certificate Requirements (Catalog Year 2015-2016)

In addition to meeting the following requirements, students must meet the university requirements for all graduate certificates.

Two core courses (6 credits)

CONS 620 - Spatial Ecology, Geospatial Analysis & Remote Sensing for Conservation Credits: 3
CONS 625 - Statistics for Ecology and Conservation Biology Credits: 3

One course (3 credits) in human dimensions chosen from:

CONS 640 - Adaptive Management for Conservation Success Credits: 3
CONS 660 - Effective Conservation Leadership Credits: 3
CONS 665 - Conservation Conflict Resolution Credits: 3
CONS 697 - Special Topics in Conservation Credits: 3

Electives (6 credits)

CONS 630 and CONS 697 may be repeated for credit when topics are different.

CONS 630 - Species Monitoring & Conservation Credits: 3
CONS 635 - Non-Invasive Genetic Techniques in Wildlife Conservation Credits: 2
CONS 640 - Adaptive Management for Conservation Success Credits: 3 (if not used to fulfill human dimensions requirement)
CONS 660 - Effective Conservation Leadership Credits: 3 (if not used to fulfill human dimensions requirement)
CONS 665 - Conservation Conflict Resolution Credits: 3 (if not used to fulfill human dimensions requirement)
CONS 697 - Special Topics in Conservation Credis: 1-3

Total: 15 credits

Requirements may be different for earlier catalog years. See the University Catalog archives.

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