At the Museum, CBC staff continue to play a pivotal role in the mentoring of young conservation scientists, especially as part of our Diversity Initiative, where we work with students from groups historically underrepresented in science. Although our work is often done at a small scale, we are seen by colleagues as catalytic agents for building networks, communities of practice, and new ideas. Our ability to convene people on this issue at the Museum and in other venues is advancing our reputation, leading to new collaborations and new research.
We continue to work closely with the Education Department to coordinate the Science Research Mentoring Program (SRMP) students working on conservation projects and increase exposure to, and awareness of, conservation science for all 60 SRMP students. This summer, 12 students completed the conservation track in this program and 10 new students joined it.
In addition, Dr. Rae Wynn-Grant is directly mentoring SRMP students Brielle Randall and Omari Romain on analyzing patterns and drivers of human-bear conflict in the Western Great Basin. Dr. Suzanne Macey is also mentoring students in this year’s cohort of SRMP, Michelle Barrera and Ariana Gamarra, to analyze health assessment data of Burmese star tortoises in Myanmar. Several of the students presented their results at the Student Conference on Conservation Science-New York (SCCS-NY), which took place at the Museum October 20-22, 2016.