Environmental Conservation

Explore Local Ecosystems and Environmental Solutions

Are you looking for an adventure this summer? Do you enjoy greenspaces or local waterbodies, and want to learn how to protect them? The Environmental Conservation course will provide you with a hands-on field experience to study and learn about local environments. By the end of the course, you will be empowered with tools you can use to carry out environmental solutions in your own community.

Using the UConn Forest as a classroom, each day you will explore:

  • A range of environmental topics, including wildlife & fisheries, water & green infrastructure, and forestry;
  • Field techniques and tools used by ecologists and researchers to study the environment;
  • Environmental careers presented by professionals from different environmental sectors; and
  • Solutions to pressing environmental issues

By the end of this course, you will gain essential skills of a field biologist, become familiar with environmental career pathways and leave with an actionable plan to address a current environmental issue.

 

Tentative Schedule:

CLASS TIMES CLASS TOPICS
Monday (9am-12pm)
  • Introductions, what to expect, what to bring (9-9:30am)
  • Conservation history (9:30-10:15am)
  • Forestry hike through time: exploring land management practices (10:15am-12pm)
Tuesday (9am-12pm)
  • Wildlife techniques (9-11:30am)
  • Round-table discussion on hunting and commercial fishing (11:30am-12pm)
Tuesday (2-4pm)
  • Fisheries techniques (2-4pm)
Wednesday (9am-12pm)
  • Explore environmental majors (9-10am)
  • Explore environmental careers & meet professionals (10am-12pm)
Thursday (9am-12pm)
  • Water quality & quantity issues (9-9:30am)
  • Water quality testing (9:30-11am)
  • Low impact development (green infrastructure) tour (11am-12pm)
Thursday (2-4pm)
  • Macroinvertebrate surveys (2-4pm)
Friday (9am-12pm)
  • Round table discussion on climate change impacts & discussing climate change with others (9-10am)
  • Explore Project Drawdown Ecochallenge and develop a solution for climate change or environmental regeneration that you can carry out at home (10am-12pm)

Faculty: 

  • Dr. Laura Cisneros is an Assistant Extension Professor in the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment & Institute of the Environment at UConn. She received her B.S. in Zoology at Michigan State University and her Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at UConn. Laura's Ph.D. research explored the effects of human-modified landscapes on bat communities, and identified landscape characteristics that promote biodiversity and vital services provided by bats (e.g. pollination, seed dispersal). Currently, Laura works with UConn’s Natural Resources Conservation Academy (NRCA) to develop and implement place-based, environmental action programs that integrate technology used by professionals and support intergenerational (e.g., teen & adult teams) community conservation projects. Her integrated research efforts center on understanding how environmental action programs and citizen science impact capacity to address environmental issues.
  • Nicole Freidenfelds is the Program Coordinator for NRCA's Conservation Training Partnerships (CTP) program, and a Visiting Assistant Extension Educator in the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment at UConn. She received her B.S. in Biology at Eastern Connecticut State University and her M.S. in Natural Resources at the University of New Hampshire. In her previous role as a research scientist, Nicole mainly focused on studying the behavior, ecology and evolution of amphibians and reptiles. As CTP coordinator, Nicole is currently overseeing a wide range of unique and exciting conservation projects being conducted by teen-adult teams throughout the state.

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At a Glance:


Sessions Offered:

  • Session 2: July 5th - July 11th

Location: UConn Storrs & UConn Forest

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