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The Conservation Ecology program is designed for students and professionals interested in gaining acute knowledge of conservation ecology in Southern Africa. The program is structured around experiential learning; participants will be exposed to policy and practical components of conservation ecology, including invasive species eradication, re-introduction of indigenous flora and fauna, controlled fire techniques, wildlife re-introdcution and management and more.
Through experiential group work, participants will gain a comprehensive understanding of the challenges and techniques facing conservation ecologists in the Garden Route region of South Africa. Addressing both marine and terrestrial biodiversity management, we will have workshops with professionals in the field. The field work component varies depending on the time of year and the need – past field work has included re-introducing a zoo elephant into the wild and darting and tagging cheetahs.
This program will be held in June, the beginning of the South African winter – the perfect time to see wildlife and carry out activities in the field. Students will spend part of their time on game reserves and part of their time in other areas rich with ecological biodiversity in the Garden Route region.
The program is geared towards students interested in conservation ecology and wildlife management. The minimum age requirement is 18. This three-week program is divided into three modules: Marine biology, terrestrial biology, and an independent research project.
I spent two weeks in South Africa with Conservation Global in a partnered trip with Franklin University Switzerland. It is safe to say that these two weeks are by far the most memorable of my life thanks to the effort Conservation Global put into both the educational and adventurous aspects of our trip. From hiking up Lion’s Head in Cape Town, diving with Great White sharks in the Indian ocean, and near encounters with the endangered White Rhinoceros, this NGO helped plan an incredible experience for my research conservation class. If it were not for Conservation Global I do not think we could have done many of the activities we did- such as engage with students at Tsiba College on issues of sustainability on our campuses, and meet and listen to Mark Rutherford lecture on how to run Gondwana Game Reserve. I will forever be grateful for these two weeks and for all of the hard work Conservation Global put into this experience!
Conservation Global organized a dually educational and adventurous experience across South Africa. As a student I was able to learn more about apartheid and its effects on the nation from prominent political leaders. Also, I was able to better understand the needs and efforts of conservationists across the area to protect some of the worlds most endangered animals. From finding dolphins in the Indian Ocean, cage diving with great whites, and spotting lions on the game reserve, this experience reestablished the necessity in myself to protect our wild lands across the globe. If we do not protect them, who will?