Current programming includes two residential undergraduate Smithsonian-Mason Semesters (SMSs), and a suite of graduate and professional courses. New offerings are always being planned as the School of Conservation works to address new threats and opportunities in biodiversity conservation, interests of participants, and requirements of employers.

Photo by Adam Ford

Across our programs we focus on providing transformative, hands-on education and training in conservation biology and allied fields. Program development constantly strives to infuse each course and program with:

  • Integrated approaches to conservation problem-solving incorporating natural science, social science, economics, policy, and management, which fosters shared understanding and effective communication across disciplines and different types of conservation work
  • Use of best practices in teaching and active learning strategies including team-based learning and problem-solving that models conservation work in the real world
  • Attention to employment-readiness, including competency in specific subject matters, technology, and essential transferable workplace skills
  • A 24/7 learning environment that brings undergraduates, graduates, professionals, and instructors together – physically and virtually – to continually share their knowledge, skills, ideas, and perspectives, thereby furthering one another’s learning
  • Integration of team teaching in which instructors and facilitators complement each other and provide a breadth of experiences, expertise and perspectives