Introduction to social science for conservation

This course is targeted at those starting out in social science, perhaps with an existing background in natural sciences or conservation practice, who now find themselves either using social science evidence, commissioning social science or integrating social science into their research and practice. 

Participants will gain a foundation in the breadth of social science disciplines and how these can be usefully applied to conservation.  It will provide them with a springboard to advance their understanding and application of conservation social sciences.  

By the end of the course, the attendees will: 

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Have an appreciation for the breadth of social science disciplines and their place as a core component of conservation

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Understand the range of methods applied in conservation social sciences and the types of data collected

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Be empowered to integrate social science understanding into their current and future activities

Course Content

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Motivations and myth busting conservation social science; Overview of the disciplines of social science

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Social science methods: introduction to questionnaires, interviews and focus groups, qualitative and quantitative data and considering the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches

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Adopting social sciences in your work: practical tips for working in a traditionally natural science sector.

“The ‘Introduction to Social Science in Conservation’ with Rebecca has been one of the best-run online courses I have attended to date. Rebecca managed to create a comfortable and open environment online and the sessions were very interactive – allowing us to speak with other attendees and learn about one another’s conservation work. From a personal point of view, it was useful that Rebecca (and, as it happens, lots of the attendees on my course) has a marine background as lots of the discussions were very relevant to my work. 

 

The course gave an overview not only to the benefits of social science but gave a good understanding of the methods available and how to approach barriers we may face when integrating social science. The one-to-one with Rebecca was a really good follow up afterwards allowed me to have a focussed conversation about my own work and opportunities available to me. It has really reminded me to always “take a step back” and incorporate a wider view when planning work. The course, and integration of an interdisciplinary approach, will really help us to further embed the SMNR principles here in Wales and I can see it really helping us to achieve multiple benefits. I have already recommended the Human Nature course to many colleagues.

Amy Martin
Specialist Advisor: Sustainable Management of Marine Natural Resources,
Natural Resources Wales