In January, Network of Conservation Educators and Practitioners (NCEP)'s published the fifth issue of Lessons in Conservation - an open access journal designed to introduce NCEP teaching and learning resources to a broad audience.
The issue focuses on freshwater ecosystems and culminates with an in-depth case study on the Colorado River, showcasing the complexity of water demands in a region with rampant urbanization and high conservation value (including the Grand Canyon, a great national monument protected thanks to the pioneering work of Theodore Roosevelt). This issue was particularly timely, as in March of 2014, long-term negotiations led to the largest multinational pulsing of the Colorado River, releasing enough water to reach the Gulf of California for the first time in 40 years.
The sixth issue, which will be published in January 2016, features biodiversity and conservation within Madagascar, highlighting a selection of our French language materials, as well as a synthesis document on the diversity and conservation of bats.
The NCEP team convened two Conservation Teaching and Learning Studios, bringing together teams of conservation educators to exchange teaching strategies, train in evidence-based pedagogical approaches, and practice new techniques. The Studios use an action-oriented, participatory approach to conservation education.
Our first Studio, Assessing Student Learning of Socio-Environmental Systems, convened 18 conservation educators and researchers from 13 institutions at the NSF-funded National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center in Annapolis, MD, in June. Participants shared insights, created new connections, and identified key questions for further work based on their own experiences, knowledge, and research in systems thinking.
The second Studio was held at AMNH in July, and convened 13 conservation educators and practitioners from 3 countries (USA, Canada, and Jamaica) to develop case study based exercises, which will become part of NCEP’s open-access module collection after undergoing peer review.
Participants were introduced to and, importantly, practiced applying active teaching tools and techniques in the context of their own conservation teaching topics. At least 3 of these educators were just beginning their career, and also benefitted from the opportunity to network with their more experienced peers, as well as learn about existing NCEP teaching materials.
Amidst extreme conflict and unrest within their country, CBC partners in Ukraine, a dedicated group of scientific experts and professors led by Alena Tarasova and Nataliya Gudkova of the Ukrainian Environmental Club “Green Wave” and the Ukrainian Environmental Education Center in Kiev, have translated and adapted a suite of 13 NCEP teaching and training modules to the Ukrainian context. The modules range from topics like “What is Biodiversity?” to more specialized topics like “Conservation Genetics,” and are now available free of charge for Ukrainian university educators and conservation practitioners.
Learn more about Network of Conservation Educators and Practitioners (NCEP).