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Europe Section Education Committee

Members:

Rob Marrs, Chair
University of Liverpool, UK

Judith Jobse
University of Wageningen, The Netherlands

Peter Gilchrist Jacobs
UK Ltd, UK

Andrew Ramsey
University of Cumbria, UK

Elena Tarasova
National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Ukraine

Adriana Vella
University of Malta, Malta

Our Mission: to increase the level of conservation literacy in Europe at all levels

Education is at the heart of the mission of the Society for Conservation Biology. SCB has always recognized the importance of education to conservation for inspiring future generations, creating a scientifically literate public, maintaining professional skills through advanced degrees and continuing education, and enriching both personal and professional lives through increased appreciation of nature. As such the Education Committee seeks ways of promoting the science and teaching of conservation biology to as wide an audience as possible. The European team is leading on a number of initiatives, which include:

  • The development of an education strategy for undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing education.
  • Develop and launch European educational initiatives which address the regions need for undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education capacity.
  • Create continuing-education and professional-development opportunities for conservation scientists and practitioners at European meetings.
  • Develop and build partnerships with selected European organizations to enhance educational opportunities.

Ongoing & Future Activities

iSCB – 6th International School of Conservation Biology
23rd June-1st July 2012, Croatia

Reconciliation of biodiversity conservation and economic development is a difficult task in the modern world. To face this challenge and continually enhance education and capacity building in the field of scientifically sound conservation, since 2005 the Croatian Biological Society, the European Section of the Society for Conservation Biology, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb, and the Center for Marine Research of the “Ruđer Bošković” Institute are annually organizing an International School of Conservation Biology -iSCB. It is our intention to introduce graduate students (MSc and PhD students) to the scientific discipline of conservation biology, through an intensive, experiential course. The School is taught in English, by a team of international lecturers from Europe and USA who will present latest trends, case studies and state of the art knowledge in this young and fast developing scientific discipline that is considered today as a critical science for the 21st century.

iSCB 2012 is planned as a 7-day course held in the picturesque historic city of Rovinj situated at the northern Adriatic coast, followed by two days of field course on Cres and Lošinj Islands, where the School will finish. It will include in-class lectures, discussions and problem solving exercises, computer labs, group projects, evening lectures and field classes. With completion of the course students will receive a certificate and 7 ECTS credits towards their university degree.

Requirements: Students should have basic training (BSc) in biology/ecology and other related subjects, but are not expected to have extensive mathematical or statistical skills. Experience with Excel is beneficial. Due to restrictions in the number of participants (15-20), applicants will be selected on a competitive basis. The two best applicants will be awarded a Grant of the Croatian Biological Society that covers the cost of tuition.

Please visit the school web site for further info and registration http://www.hbd1885.hr/iscb/index.html.

SCB-Greek Summer School on Conservation Biology
(24 June – 7 July 2012, Greece)

This course is designed under the “Conservation Biology in Europe: building a coherent strategy for the future” and is an intensive two-week programme in the field of natural environment and wildlife conservation. University professors from six University Departments in Greece, Denmark, Germany, Italy and UK combine their expertise to offer a high quality multidisciplinary programme to 15 senior undergraduate students in the rapidly evolving field of conservation biology. The program (100h) accounts for 7 ECTS. It includes a theoretical module of lectures (24h) and seminars (8h). The module will offer participants a wide spectrum of knowledge on biodiversity loss, GMOs, climate change, eco-services, biodiversity assessment and methods for nature conservation in practice as well as socio-economic and policy dimension. Field sessions will be held in the core area of the Pindos National Park, the largest mountainous Park of Greece and will include a two day mountaineering excursion in the alpine zone (2500m). The GSS-2010 is funded by the State Scholarships Foundation - IKY in the frame of Erasmus LLP programme http://www.cbcd.eu/gss/. There are three places available to students from non-participant universities.

Conservation Biology Benchmarks

As conservation policies and legal frameworks develop, there will be a greater need for expertise in the field of conservation science, so as to allow for wider investigations into the extent to which these policies are effective toward conserving natural resources and the means of improving their effectiveness. EC is currently developing a document on the benchmarks in the field of Conservation Biology, presenting the required skills and knowledge for conservation biologists. We hope that this document will important to evaluate the skills of staff that deals with conservation in practice, such as people employed in Natura 2000 network, in environmental NGOs, or in the public domain. We also hope that benchmark document will constitute a good guideline for students to choose among academic institutes the best fulfilling the conditions for good postgraduate studies in conservation biology.

European University Curricula of Conservation Biology

EC intends to investigate and gather all university curricula at post graduate level relevant to conservation biology in Europe. A database available on line will be created, so as students could search for conservation classes all over Europe by country and by academic level. This is a very important task calling for contributions from academics and conservation biologists all over Europe.

Scientific Publications

The EC currently works on two scientific papers

1. Attempting to identify the key elements of conservation biology literacy in Europe to be developed as a scientific note and also presented as a talk in the ECCB 2009.

2. Reviewing the current state of the art, concerning curricula and courses of Conservation Biology in European Universities.

Internet book on Conservation Biology

The Committee has started a fund-raising procedure in order to develop an internet book on Conservation Biology, targeting the wide audience, including students, scientists, practitioners, NGOs, or local authorities.

How we work?

The members of the Committee work and live in different countries, so we use email and skype as the main channel for our discussions. We meet once a year in order to agree on the strategic plan and to list the tasks ahead us. The meetings are partially funded by SCB.

Communication

If you would like to contribute to the activities of the Education Committee or be involved in the broader consultation group please contact Rob Marrs (calluna@liv.ac.uk).

History

The Education Committee (EC) of the European Section of the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB-Europe) was created in 2006. Prof. Renato Massa from the University of Milano-Bicocca (Italy) was the first chair of the Committee and Dr. Vassiliki Kati from the University of Ioannina (Greece) was the chair between 2008-2010.

Who we are

The Core Committee has many faces: conservation biologists from Greece, The Netherlands, UK, Italy, Malta, Croatia and Sweden. We all work to increase conservation literacy in Europe. We invite scientists and educators from all over Europe to get involved, sharing our commitment for nature protection and education.