ConservationTraining is an open and free learning community that offers conservation-based training materials from The Nature Conservancy and our partner organizations. With over 45,000 users from over 200 countries enrolled, our mission is to share training with our conservation colleagues across the world.
How did ConservationTraining.org start? That is a good question! Let us take you on a short journey back in time.
It's 2009 and Stephanie Wear, a marine scientist at The Nature Conservancy, is responsible for the Conservancy marine projects around the world. In the recent months Stephanie has had several requests to train practitioners on reef resilience. With all the on-the-ground project work that she is responsible for, she does not have the ability to train everyone. Additionally, students are frequently unable to travel for workshops due to budgetary or environmental considerations! Stephanie needs a way to get the knowledge out to more people and get the knowledge out faster.
Enter Todd Slater, the Program Director of the Technology Learning Center (TLC) at The Nature Conservancy. Up until this point the TLC has been responsible for Conservancy internal systems-based training. But, Todd and his team want to give back to the conservation community. He sees this situation as an opportunity to build training to support the Conservancy's conservation work and the global conservation community.
Todd's team has years of experience in building online training, but how does he get this information to the public? Todd's team works with Stephanie to build the Reef Resilience online training and create a site where the training materials can be accessed by the conservation practitioners world-wide. ConservationTraining.org is born.
In rapid succession online learning programs on GIS, Climate Change - REDD+, and Protected Areas were developed and released on ConservationTraining.org and the word started to spread. Conservation organizations, like the IUCN and the UNDP, reached out to the TLC for assistance in building their training.
What began as a grass roots projects between the TLC and the Conservancy's global marine science staff has now grown into a learning site bosting over 400 hours of learning content in multiple languages with roughly 45,000 accounts. The global conservation community has access to conservation content that would otherwise not be available due to budget and travel limitations. ConservationTraining.org provides valuable conservation knowledge, from experts across the globe, directly to the learner's computer anytime, anywhere, and free of charge.