Center for Conservation Education and Sustainabilty
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The Smithsonian Institution’s Center for Conservation Education and Sustainability (CCES), begun under the auspices of the Monitoring and Assessment of Biodiversity program, promotes international biodiversity conservation. We maintain that biological diversity is one of the most valuable assets on earth, yet few human, technological, or financial resources are targeted to assure its conservation. As part of the Smithsonian National Zoological Park, our center conducts research, provides education and training courses, and leads biodiversity assessment and monitoring programs to better understand global ecosystems. Our mission to train current and future conservation practitioners has led us to training over 1,500 individuals from over 85 countries on a variety of topics. Our program has expanded over time, and today CCES develops and implements undergraduate, graduate and professional training for national and international individuals at the Smithsonian’s various facilities, including the Conservation and Research Center in Front Royal, Virginia, USA, and at locations around the world. Training is conducted on a myriad of conservation topics, from field techniques to leadership skills, and training opportunities range from short workshops to intensive courses to immersion semesters. Our programs are conducted by some of the world’s leading conservation experts from around the world in the fields of conservation biology, ecology, sociology, economics and policy. The courses examine under-addressed areas of conservation biology and emphasize communication skills to facilitate interactions among scientists, decision-makers and environmental leaders. Through the Smithsonian-Mason Global Conservation Studies Program, the Center is working with George Mason University to offer undergraduate and graduate credit programs (courses, semesters, and certificates), while expanding the curricula of professional courses with solutions-oriented approaches to the interdisciplinary challenges of local and global conservation. CCES will be working together with multiple agencies and organizations during this extensive revision and expansion of courses to ensure that course topics, content, and instruction address the complexity of conservation issues with greater focus and depth to meet global conservation needs. In addition, CCES conducts customized training programs under various grants and partnerships. Each year three to five training courses, of varying lengths and topics, are conducted around the world.