Training the next generation of conservation leaders

ASU Sustainability Students marching on campus with large 3D planet EarthThe ASU and Conservation International partnership continues to advance one of its three main goals, which is to train the next generation of conservation leaders. A recent article by CI’s Editorial Director Bruno Vander Velde titled “To tackle environmental challenges, start with students” offers great insight into the advancement of this strategic goal, which is at the heart of ASU’s innovative model for The New American University. “By bringing scientists from Conservation International into the classroom, we are giving students the opportunity to learn firsthand from practitioners who are dealing with the real environmental and social challenges from around the world,” said Leah Gerber, professor and founding director of ASU’s Center for Biodiversity Outcomes. “If our conservation efforts […] are going to match how rapidly the planet is changing,” she continued, “we need more than new institutional models — we have to link up world-class research with real-world decision-making.” This semester, the ASU-CI partnership launched its first undergraduate and graduate class, Biodiversity Conservation in Practice, taught by six CI scientists serving as ASU professors of practice.