2015 Summer Teacher Workshops in Conservation Science
The San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, home to the largest zoo-based research team in the world, is dedicated to preserving and protecting rare and endangered wildlife and habitats and acknowledges that education and outreach form the cornerstones of any successful conservation endeavor. With these principles in mind, the Institute decided in 2006 to dedicate one of its six active research laboratories entirely to students, teachers, and members of the community. The Conservation Education Lab (and adjacent Eddy Family Outdoor Learning Lab) offers students from middle school to college the opportunity to work firsthand with the tools and techniques used in conserving endangered species.
One of our proudest programs in the Conservation Education Division at the Institute is our summer workshops for middle school and high school science teachers. It all began with a simple idea and 12 eager participants in the summer of 2006. The Institute for Conservation Research invited a dozen high school life science teachers from all over Southern California to the Beckman Center for Conservation Research to experience a week in the life of a conservation scientist. The pilot program focused on the conservation history and recovery of the California condor and was designed to bring topics of conservation science into local classrooms.
Nearly a decade later, we have built a nationally recognized and fully accredited program with a stellar reputation for giving teachers access to information and experiences that no other conservation organization can. To date we have supported 661 middle and high school science teachers from all 50 states and three countries. Our teacher guests are treated to three days in the Conservation Education Lab and two nights at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, engaging with staff members and acquiring new skills that prove invaluable back at their home campuses.
Teachers that participate in this unique professional development opportunity work together to frame content standards in the context of wildlife conservation and explore ways to challenge students to apply their textbook knowledge of life science to issues in saving biodiversity.
The program offers participating teachers a $500 stipend for full participation and all workshop room and board is included. In 2015 we will offer four workshops during the month of July (see links below for exact dates and more details). Interested high school and middle school science teachers from around the nation are encouraged to apply online using the application link below.