Essentials of conservation social science

A one-day course taking you from confused to confident about conservation social science

Many people working in nature conservation are experts in understanding species, habitats and ecosystems from a natural science perspective.  You’re familiar with methods, you know the literature and you know who to speak to when you need to solve a problem.

 

But when it comes to understanding the people within those ecosystems…you’re not so sure.  Your training has not equipped you to work with social scientists and the disciplines of social science.  It can be overwhelming to realise there’s a big gap in the skills you need to achieve your conservation objectives.  But you’re not alone.  Many of the people we work with are lost in the unfamiliar terminology, want to better understand social science methods, and are uncertain how to move forwards.

 

We can help you.  This one-day course is a great step to help you build a foundation understanding of conservation social science.

 

This course is for you if:

✔ you are just starting out in social science

✔ want to gain a foundation in social science and how it is used on conservation

✔ you have an existing background in natural sciences or conservation practice, and now find yourself either:

◾ using social sciences evidence

◾ commissioning social sciences research or

◾ integrating social sciences into your own research and practice

The course will provide you with a springboard to advance your understanding and application of conservation social sciences.

What you get:

✔ One day online course 9:30am – 4:30pm (GMT)

✔ Course workbook and resources guide

✔ Course recording accessible for six months

Connect with Dr Rebecca Jefferson and other course participants through group discussions and breakouts to discuss the content covered.

Standard price £125

Reduced rate for charity/NGO/students £95

Next course date

Thursday 14th March 2023

9:30am – 4:30pm London (GMT)

Check the times for your location

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Course participants join us from around the world bringing a range of insights and experiences to the group.  Please use the links to check the times for your location.

Is this course for you?

The Essentials of conservation social science course is for those starting out in social science, perhaps with an existing background in natural sciences or conservation practice, who now find themselves needing to understand the evidence of people.  You may be starting to explore the social science literature, commissioning social science or integrating social science into your 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 you with a springboard to advance your 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 vital 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

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The course is run online via Zoom.  You’ll get to meet other conservation professionals who share both your ambitions and uncertainties when it comes to conservation social science.

The day is a mixture of taught content, break out workshops and plenary discussions.

You’ll receive a workbook to support your learning with all the resources cited on the day.  The course will be recorded (excluding break out workshops) and you’ll have access to the recording for six months.

You’ll also get invited to the Human Nature Alumni drop ins.  A monthly chance to meet and ask questions as you implement what you’ve learned on the course.

 

The course content will:

Define conservation social sciences

You will get an introduction to the disciplines of social sciences and why it’s fundamental to conservation.  We’ll bust some of the myths around social science.

Explore social science methods

 

We’ll look at the importance of both qualitative and quantitative data, and the diversity of methods used in conservation social sciences. 

Identify your next steps

 

We’ll discuss the barriers and opportunities for integrating social sciences in conservation and identify conservation social sciences priorities in your work.

What you get:

✔ One day online course 9:30am – 4:30pm (GMT)

✔ Course workbook and resources guide

✔ Course recording accessible for six months

Connect with Dr Rebecca Jefferson and other course participants through group discussions and breakouts to discuss the content covered.

Standard price £125

Reduced rate for charity/NGO/students £95

Why do you need this?

I’ve been studying and researching conservation social sciences for nearly 20 years. I have seen time and time again people like me, perhaps like you, who have that similar hankering for the social sciences piece of the jigsaw puzzle.

People who have a toolbox in their minds full of ways to understand the ecological elements of the ecosystem – how to know if a system is degraded, how to measure change, how to solve the problem from an ecological perspective.

But who come up blank when they need to understand:

◾ Why people keep anchoring their boats in that seabed,

◾ Why people don’t hold the same intrinsic value for forest biodiversity,

◾  Why no one seems to listen when they share an ecologically robust answer,

◾  Why the policy isn’t changing fast enough,

◾  Why no one seems to care the same way they do.

For me, the solution is social sciences, and often social scientists!

 Social sciences use methods which are often unfamiliar, technical language which may not be immediately understandable, may seem to think differently to how you may think and they look at an ecosystem and see different things to you.

Social scientists bring new ways of looking at the ecosystems which are fundamental to the health of our planet.

 

Is conservation social science the jigsaw piece you need?

 

Want to build the social science skills of your whole team?

This course can also be run in-house for your team, organisation or network.  Training can be delivered online for a variety of time zones, or in person.  If  you would like to explore this option, please email Rebecca at rebecca@humannature.co.uk and we’ll find a time to meet.

 

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Who is Dr Rebecca Jefferson?

Dr Rebecca Jefferson is the Founder of Human Nature. A social enterprise that empowers conservation professionals, organisations and households to have a more positive impact on the planet through training, collaboration and support.

Rebecca initially trained as a biologist, and with her interdisciplinary PhD in marine sciences she ‘crossed over’ into the world of social sciences. Though rather than bridging a divide, she prefers to see social sciences and environmental conservation as collaborators.

In her teaching and research across the academic, public, private and not-for-profit sectors she has seen time and time again the power of bringing the natural and social sciences together to influence policy and ‘green’ behaviours.

Rebecca sees the growing appetite in individuals and organisations to do better – the desire to make changes to how they go about life and business so they have a more harmonious relationship with the natural world.

More than this, Rebecca firmly believes in the potential for people to be a force for good as we tackle ecological and climate crises – humans don’t have to be part of the problem, they are the solution.

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“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