Check out these training courses for 2014!

Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation

The Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation is proud to announce their updated 2014 course schedule. This year is shaping up to be a busy one, and we are planning to add a number of additional courses to the list below, so continue to check our website for updated information. All courses are currently either 1- or 2-week intensive residential courses hosted in our new, sustainably-built Academic Center on the grounds of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia. Most courses can be taken either for graduate credit or continuing education units. Visit our website or email us at for more details about each course, course costs, and credits earned.


Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation Graduate/Professional Training Courses 2014

Front Royal, Virginia, USA


AniMove: Animal Movement Analysis for Conservation (new!)

March 31-April 11, 2014

Animal movements are critical for maintaining ecosystems services and biodiversity. Technological advances have greatly increased our ability to track animal movements, but analyzing and contextualizing vast amounts of tracking data can present scientific, computational, and technical challenges. This two-week course focuses on interdisciplinary approaches linking animal movement with environmental factors to address theoretical and applied questions in conservation biology. To achieve this, participants will acquire significant skills in computational ecology, modeling, remote sensing and Geographic Information Systems (GIS).


Species Monitoring & Conservation: Terrestrial Mammals

April 28-May 9, 2014

This course teaches current techniques in assessment and monitoring of wild mammal populations, including bats. Participants learn principles of study design; current field assessment methods; data analysis techniques including MARK and DISTANCE software; application of monitoring data to decision-making and population management; and collection and preparation of museum voucher specimens.


Estimating Animal Abundance and Occupancy

May 19-30, 2014

The course is designed to provide a strong theoretical and analytical background to both graduate students and professionals in distance sampling, mark-recapture, and occupancy modeling techniques, with a strong focus on the practical use of field data in the programs DISTANCE, MARK and PRESENCE. The course is taught by Gary White, Jim Nichols, Jim Hines and Joe Kolowski.


Adaptive Management for Conservation Success

June 16-20, 2014

This course is taught in partnership with Foundations of Success (FOS). Working in teams on a real conservation project, participants practice conceptualizing projects, formulating objectives and providing evidence of conservation results. The course builds skills in designing and planning effective projects that provide clear evidence of conservation impact, and in use of Miradi adaptive management software.


Statistics for Ecology and Conservation Biology

August 18-29, 2014

Gain in-depth knowledge of analysis techniques for cutting-edge ecological research, employing R: classical regression models; mixed models; generalized linear models; generalized additive models; how to deal with the limitations of real datasets; and conservation-specific approaches.


Ecology and Conservation of Migratory Birds (new!)

September 1-12, 2014

Led by the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, this course teaches the most current methods in the research of migratory birds including theoretical concepts, field and laboratory methods (including mist-netting, banding, tissue sampling, stable isotope geochemistry, geolocators and radio telemetry), data analysis (including mark-recapture statistics) and applied conservation strategies.


Spatial Ecology, Geospatial Analysis & Remote Sensing

September 15-26, 2014

Learn to use GIS tools to address conservation research problems, quantifying effects of human-induced global changes on wildlife and biodiversity. Hands-on lab exercises (e.g. land cover mapping; home range analysis; modeling habitat selection; mapping species distributions) use remote sensing data and SCBI field surveys to monitor global changes, assess impacts on wildlife, and develop mitigating strategies.


Applied Climate Change: Gaining Practical Skills for Climate Change Adaptation

October 20-31, 2014

This course provides an overview of the knowledge, tools and resources needed to become more effective leaders and managers in adapting to climate change. Participants will develop practical skills through lectures, case studies, field assignments, study tours, and computer-based analyses. A field study tour of the Virginia Region provides an opportunity for viewing real-life climate change adaptation measures for the agricultural and wine industries. Each participant will complete a climate change impacts and adaptation study for their own region of geographic interest.


Visit our website or email us at for more details about each course, course costs, and credits earned.


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