[acn-l] Training for Developing-Country Conservationists

Wendy Jackson (ctc at uic.edu)
Wed, 21 Oct 1998 18:27:43 -0500

Call for Applications:
Conservation Training Sessions for Developing-Country Professionals

Offered by the Conservation Training Consortium: A Consortium of The Field
Museum, Chicago Zoological Society, University of Illinois at Chicago and
John G. Shedd Aquarium.

**1999 Terrestrial Conservation Training Session: 4 June to 14 August
(10 weeks)

**1999 Aquatic Conservation Training Session: 20 August to 30 October
(10 weeks)

The purpose of these Chicago-based sessions is to provide intensive training
in conservation biology for young professionals from developing countries.
By acquiring the tools necessary for assessing, analyzing and managing
biological diversity, the participants will be better equipped to help
establish conservation programs and direct biodiversity policies in their
own countries.

The Curriculum: The curriculum in both the aquatic and the terrestrial
sessions is designed to provide the participants with a general
understanding of the theoretical principles of conservation biology and to
illustrate how these principles can be applied in on-the-ground or
in-the-water conservation programs. The aquatic session will focus on
conservation issues pertaining to marine, freshwater, and wetland species
and ecosystems; the terrestrial session will focus on land-based species and
ecosystems. Participants incorporate what they learn into individual
conservation-related activities that are pertinent to their particular
situations. Participants also gain experience in grant writing and
fund-raising, public speaking, and using computers and the World Wide Web.

Participants spend approximately half their time attending lectures, taking
part in seminars, and engaging in discussions of relevant publications.
Sessions will be divided into three sections of approximately equal length.
In the first section (Natural Processes and Species Diversity), we will
address the geological, evolutionary and ecological principles that affect
the diversity, distribution and abundance of natural resources. In the
second section (Human Impact on the Natural Environment) we will discuss how
people have destroyed or degraded their environment, including both direct
and indirect exploitation, and we will describe models of successful
management based on the principles from the first section. In the last
section (The Human Environment and Conservation), we will focus on the
sociopolitical and economic systems that work against conservation, and
suggest solutions to these problems.

During the remainder of their time, participants develop a
conservation-related activity with their individual mentor at one of the
four institutions. Examples of such activities include: analysis of
patterns of endemism; population viability analysis; ecological risk
assessment; ecology of fragmented populations and communities; design of
national park systems; and management of economically important species. We
also arrange a series of field trips to local natural areas to illustrate
local conservation issues and programs.

The Participants: The six (6) participants for each training session will be
selected from a pool of applicants committed to using what they learn to
help guide conservation programs in their own countries, and in a position
that will allow them to put their knowledge to immediate, effective use in
their home country. Such persons might work for universities, museums,
parks, non-governmental conservation organizations, or governmental wildlife
offices. Ideally, participants will have a Master's degree or the
equivalent in a field such as biology, ecology, zoology or botany, but will
have had limited opportunity to study conservation biology. Lower priority
will be given to currently enrolled graduate students with little
experience, and to persons who have received graduate degrees in biology
from institutions in developed countries.

All expenses for travel, food and housing will be covered by the Consortium.
Participants will also receive a small stipend and book allowance. We will
accept six to eight participants for each training session.

The Consortium: The consortium was formed in response to the need for
immediate action to curtail the speed and scale with which natural habitats
are being degraded and destroyed, particularly in developing countries.
Each of these institutions brings special resources to the program, and
their collective faculties and facilities provide an experience no one
institution can replicate. The four member institutions are:

**The Field Museum is one of the world's foremost natural history museums,
with prominent research programs on the evolution, ecology and biogeography
of nearly all living groups of plants and animals, and with an active
conservation program.

**The Chicago Zoological Society supports one of the largest, most modern
and research-oriented zoos in the world, the Brookfield Zoo. Captive
management of endangered species, genetics of small populations, and animal
behavior and ecology are its strengths.

**The University of Illinois at Chicago is Chicago's largest university.
UIC provides a modern university environment with a large and active group
of faculty and graduate students working in the area of local, national and
international conservation biology.

**John G. Shedd Aquarium is the world's largest indoor aquarium, housing
over 6,000 aquatic animals. A prominent component of the aquarium's mission
is to promote the conservation of aquatic life and its environments through
education and research.

To Apply: Submit the following items (please note it is not necessary to
submit diplomas or certificates):

**A three-page curriculum vitae, which should include a description of your
current and past positions, relevant professional experience, and
educational background (be sure to include your e-mail address and/or FAX
number.) Also include the names, addresses, telephone and FAX numbers, and
e-mail addresses of three references.

**A two-page statement of interest, discussing why you would like to attend
the program, what aspects of conservation biology are of interest to you,
and how you would implement your training when you return home after the

Applications for the Terrestrial Session must be received by 15 January 1999.
Applications for the Aquatic Session must be received by 15 February 1999.

We encourage submissions by e-mail or FAX when possible. If submitting an
application by e-mail, please use your surname in the name of your attached

Please note that because of the overwhelming response to these programs and
the extremely small CTC administrative staff, it will not be possible to
acknowledge applications, nor will it be possible to provide updates on the
status of applications. Acceptance letters will be sent on or before 15
April 1999 for the Terrestrial Session, and on or before 15 June 1999 for
the Aquatic Session. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Submit applications to:

Dr. Wendy M. Jackson, Director
Conservation Training Consortium
c/o University of Illinois at Chicago
Department of Biological Sciences M/C 066
845 W. Taylor St.
Chicago, Illinois 60607-7060 USA
Tel. & FAX (312) 355-0990
e-mail: ctc at uic.edu