About Us

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.

number for ct.org

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 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, the TLC wanted to give back to the conservation community and saw this situation as an opportunity to build training to support the Conservancy's conservation work and the global conservation community.

The TLC worked 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.

And now?

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 46,000 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.

The Technology Learning Center knew that we couldn’t bring scientific, conservation-focused training materials to the global community without immense support and involvement from scientists at The Nature Conservancy and other partner organizations, and the support of the e-learning community (specifically the Moodle community).

All of the courses on ConservationTraining.org have been built in partnership with scientists from various organizations. For example, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List curriculum, which leads people through evaluating species extinction risk, was built with IUCN Red List scientists. The Programme of Protected Areas (PoWPA) curriculum involved multiple scientists from a variety of organizations, including Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), The Nature Conservancy, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The REDD+ (Climate Change) curriculum was written in partnership with Conservation International, giz, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), The Nature Conservancy, and Rainforest Alliance.

As we move forward brining new scientific, conservation web-based learning we will continue to work with these and other partners.

What does it mean to say we have a global reach? Sure, we could list out all the countries where are students reside (many!) but that doesn’t show our true global reach. Our global reach is demonstrated when we receive comments from students who tell us that they would not have been able to learn about a subject if the course did not exist on ConservationTraining.org. Or from our partners who tell us that without ConservationTraining.org they would not have been about to get this information out to such a large audience:

Many more people signed up for the course than we expected, and the course has had a longer useful lifetime than we thought it would. The course has reached a much more diverse audience than we ever could have reached otherwise, providing more people with exposure to TNC's expertise on the topic. Additionally, the course has positioned us as a trusted provider of high-quality information on REDD+ for many people. For the learners, the course has provided them with a basic-level of knowledge on an extremely pertinent topic right now that they otherwise would not have had access to. – Rane Cortez (TNC, REDD Advisor)

Last modified: Thursday, 7 June 2018, 4:49 PM