The goal of our Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) Europe Section Blog is to share stories and relevant information about activities going on within our section and more broadly in the conservation community. Stories and articles shared on our blog should not be taken as an official position or statement of SCB or SCB Europe Section. Thank you for reading!

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Training future conservationists – GSS 2010

˝The Greek Conservation Summer School 2010 in Papingo was a fantastic opportunity to learn practical techniques, involved in current conservation, and the theory behind them.” (Paul, 34). Students’ evaluations showed that the GSS2010 in Papingo, Greece co-organized by the SCB Europe Section again, was a great success.
The Summer School, as an Erasmus Intensive Programme, provided a diverse multidisciplinary two-week training programme from 13-26 June 2010. Fourteen undergraduate students from 4 countries participated in the course, titled “Conservation Biology in Europe: building a coherent strategy for the future”. It comprised a wide range of hot issues: from the biodiversity loss, global climate change to GMOs. Beside the up-to-date scientific knowledge, the lecturers also gave an overview of the current relevant European conservation policies. ˝Challenges in conservation cannot be resolved by scientific know-how only - when training future conservationists, we believe it is equally important to describe the relevant socio-economic and political context in addition to pure science”- says Dr Vassiliki Kati, coordinator of the Summer School. ˝We wanted to provide therefore a lively and realistic picture of the current conservation issues through our training, and we also gave time for open discussions and debates”.
Practical modules and a two-day field excursion put the theory into practice, where students could try themselves in collecting and analysing data. The two day mountaineering excursion led to the core area of the Pindos National Park, the largest mountainous Park of Greece and gave the opportunity to observe the alpine ecosystem.
According to the evaluation of the students, the quality of the Summer School was in general high and provided a multidisciplinary insight into conservation. Personal Development of personal skills necessary for the future work as a conservation biologist, e.g. networking, project management was also given a high priority during the course.
The Erasmus Intensive Programme will last 2 more years (2011-2012). For further details please visit

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