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Subject: Graduate/Professional Training 2017: Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation

The Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation, a partnership between George Mason University and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI), is offering a full schedule of unique, intensive residential training courses hosted in our sustainably-built Academic Center on the grounds of SCBI in Front Royal, Virginia. All courses offer continuing education credits (CEUs) and some can be taken for graduate credit as well. Visit our website ( or email us at for more details about each course, course costs, and credits earned.


Statistics for Ecology and Conservation Biology

February 27-March 10, 2017

Gain in-depth knowledge of analysis techniques for cutting-edge ecological research, employing R: classical regression models; mixed models; generalized linear models; generalized additive models; how to deal with the limitations of real datasets; and conservation-specific approaches. Participants learn how to choose appropriate analyses for different research questions, and about the assumptions underlying each model. Through the lectures and hands-on exercises participants learn how to design their own studies, explore their data, perform a range of analyses, understand fitted models, and clearly explain their results. By the end of the course, participants will be able to conduct sophisticated statistical analyses, critically evaluate statistics-based material in current research literature, and deal with the limitations of real datasets in the context of conservation science.


Non-Invasive Techniques and Applications in Wildlife Endocrinology

March 13-24, 2017—NEW COURSE!!

The purpose of this new course, taught by the experts at the National Zoo’s Endocrinology Laboratory, is to provide theoretical information and practical experience in using endocrine monitoring techniques for assessing reproductive status and welfare in wildlife species, both in captive and wild scenarios. Lectures will cover aspects of basic biology, theory of immunoassay methodology, reproductive endocrinology and stress physiology, and examples of data obtained from in-situ and ex situ studies of wildlife species. Extensive lab work will include demonstrations and hands-on experience in sample (urine and feces) processing and analysis using enzyme immunoassay technology. Computer lab sessions will include basic and advanced data analysis techniques. Participants will also work on independent group projects where they will apply what they have learned and complete a full lab analysis and data interpretation themselves. A comprehensive endocrine training manual will be provided to course participants.  


Field Recording and Analysis of Biological Sounds for Research and Conservation

May 1-12, 2017—NEW COURSE!

Acoustic recording and monitoring have become mainstream tools for biological research and conservation. Increasingly, acoustic recordings are used to address a variety of basic and applied questions about the biology of birds, anurans, bats, insects, marine mammals, fish, and other acoustically active taxa. Although the equipment for recording and software for analyzing animal sounds are more readily available than ever before, few opportunities exist for biologists to learn how to use the equipment and software appropriately.  The course is intended for scientists at any career stage, including students, interested in applying bioacoustic methods to basic and applied research in fields such as behavioral ecology, taxonomy, distribution, and conservation biology of birds, anurans, bats, insects, marine mammals, fish, and other acoustically active taxa.


Additional Upcoming Courses:    

Practical Zoo Nutrition Management (June 5-9, 2017)
Camera Trapping Study Design and Data Analysis for Occupancy and Density Estimation (June 19-30, 2017)

Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation <>
Monday, December 19, 2016

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