The Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation and its unique suite of courses and programs relies on a huge number of partners, both individuals and organizations, outside of the Smithsonian and George Mason University for its success. In developing our courses, we strive to involve scientists and practitioners that excel not only in their research, but also in their ability to teach what they do. In many cases, we can find these individuals either within the Smithsonian’s huge network of scientists and researchers, or at George Mason University. When the expertise lies outside our group however, we reach out to our partners around the US and internationally to craft the most effective and engaging training experiences possible. Our programs would simply not be possible without the passion, support and experience of our many collaborators.
In 2015 SMSC became an official Learning Partner with the AZA. Learning Partners are formally recognized organizations that provide high quality training opportunities that are of interest to AZA members. In many cases, programs provided by these partners directly qualify as electives for one or more concentrations in the AZA Professional Development Certificate Program. A number of professional training courses at SMSC, including our Practical Zoo Nutrition Management course, offer specialized training that is highly relevant to the national and international community of zoo professionals. We’re excited to be able to provide opportunities like this to professionals seeking to increase their skill set with the AZA Certificate Program.
SMSC is partnering with ConocoPhillips to offer the ConocoPhillips Water and Biodiversity Stewardship Certificate. Through SMSC’s graduate and professional training programs, ConocoPhillips – the world’s largest E&P company based on production and proved reserves – is supporting a pilot program to enhance educational training opportunities for professionals working in applied conservation and resource management who seek to expand their knowledge base and technical capacity to help meet the water and biodiversity conservation needs of today and tomorrow.