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In this 16-week program, you’ll complete two core courses of theory and practice, a seminar course, and an independent research experience course.

Weeks 1 – 10

Conservation Seminar

CONS 400 (2 credits)

In this weekly seminar, students discuss current conservation literature and develop professional skills and conservation career-focused skills such as networking, fundraising, grant writing, written communication using various media, and data management.

Small Population Management

CONS 406 (4 credits)

Students assess vulnerability of endangered species in the wild and captivity using genetic and demographic data and methods to assess impact of human activities. In lab and field settings, students will use techniques to improve captive breeding of animals and learn best husbandry practices from researchers and keepers at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute.

Conservation Management Planning

CONS 491 (4 credits)

In this synthesis course, students will integrate theory, applications, and socio-political components to create a management plan for an endangered species. Students will utilize concepts of adaptive management and conservation planning, along with literature searches and interviews with experts, to develop their management plan report.

This class is designated as a Students as Scholars Research and Scholarship (RS) Intensive Course, which means that students are given the opportunity to actively participate in the process of scholarship and will make a significant contribution to the creation of a disciplinary-appropriate product.

Weeks 11-16

Research in Conservation

CONS 496 (6 credits)

Students will pursue an independent research project under the guidance of a conservation mentor and produce a scholarly work to share with the professional conservation community.

Note: This course is designated as a Mason Core Capstone Experience course.

Two students in waders smile at the camera

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