Smithsonian-Mason Semester for Conservation Studies

George Mason University (Mason) provides scientific insight and solutions to
the rapidly changing demands of today’s global society by blending traditional
science education with sought-after programs in the high-profile discipline of

To accomplish this, Mason and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
have partnered to establish the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation
(SMSC). The School engages undergraduates, graduate students and
professionals from around the world in a range of compelling programs in
conservation biology focused on developing the knowledge required to address
some of the greatest threats to biodiversity facing society today. The SMSC
is rapidly becoming a benchmark for innovative education for current and
future generations of, conservation biologists, policymakers, and global
conservation leaders in the 21st century.

We currently offer the undergraduate Smithsonian-Mason Semester for
Conservation Studies.  Like a “study abroad” program, students spend a full
semester living, taking classes, and working at a Smithsonian research station
located near the Shenandoah National Park. Starting this Fall 2012, we offer
two distinct programs of study, Applied Conservation Strategies and Ecology
for Effective Conservation Practices.  Each program of study offers a set of
five integrated courses that include a practicum experience as well as classes
focusing on conservation theory and applications.  In addition, the practicum
work experience gives students in both semesters the opportunity to interact
with animal keepers and researchers working with endangered wildlife species.

We are currently providing scholarships to qualified students thanks to the
generous donation of the G. Halpin Family Foundation.