The most recent Network of Conservation Educators and Practitioners (NCEP) Conservation Teaching and Learning Studio (June 15-17, 2016) was a resounding success—over 20 educators from the United States, Latin America, and Southeast Asia practiced applying tools and techniques in evidence-based teaching, learned about NCEP resources, and networked with their peers. Moreover, this was the first time NCEP held an open call for applications and charged a registration fee, which can help these Studios become self-funded. The ongoing and high demand for training and exchange around conservation education shows that these Studios and NCEP materials continue to serve an important role.
We are pleased to report that jointly with the Museum’s Education Department and the National Center for Science Literacy and Technology we have obtained a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) to develop a new course on ecology for the highly popular online course series for teachers, “Seminars on Science.” Covering topics from ecology and conservation, the course will feature Museum, HHMI, and NCEP resources.
Participants of the course will explore how scientists study various ecosystems around the world—from Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park, to the Hudson River in New York, to Caribbean coral reefs—and investigate the complex array of factors that inform management efforts through a systems thinking lens. This six-week course will strengthen educators’ understanding of ecological principles as well as provide resources and approaches to teach a new generation of students about the interdependent relationships of ecosystems and humans. It will be offered in Spring 2018 and also adapted as a massive open online course (MOOC) for Coursera.
Additionally, in conjunction with the Museum’s Education Department and Science Bulletins, NCEP team members have provided expertise to help update materials for multiple permanent halls, including the Warburg Hall of New York State Environment and the Anne and Bernard Spitzer Hall of Human Origins.