Mission, Vision & Values


The Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation seeks to sustain global biodiversity by advancing the theory and practice of conservation biology with transformative, transdisciplinary education.


In five years the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation is the top choice of students and professionals seeking to understand the scientific, social, economic, and emotional values of biodiversity.  Highly qualified, sought-after alumni are making significant contributions to the development of a conservation literate world, and the integration of species conservation into the cultures and behaviors of peoples and national and international policies and programs.


  • Lifelong learning:  We engender a culture of inquiry, a drive to discover, and ongoing exploration of new knowledge, best practices, and different perspectives.
  • Innovation: We are practice-oriented and approach conservation challenges with creativity, entrepreneurship, and adaptability.
  • Integration: Our transdisciplinary approach fosters synergies across fields of knowledge that lead to new understanding and new solutions.
  • Diversity: We recognize that conservation of biodiversity is not possible without the contributions and collaboration of diverse peoples, cultures, academic disciplines, levels of expertise, roles, and organizations.
  • Leadership: We model conservation leadership that is ethical, transparent, forward-looking, and inspiring.
  • Passion: We are deeply committed to saving biodiversity and to serving the conservation community.
  • Sustainability: Responsible stewardship of our resources, including green facilities, underpins every aspect of our operations.