Ecology and Conservation of Migratory Birds

The Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center is excited to offer its intensive two-week course: Ecology and Conservation of Migratory Birds.  The course will be taught at the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation ( in Front Royal, VA, USA. It’s open for enrollment.

Are you 1) A wildlife professional looking to expand your research skills to include migratory birds, 2) A recent college graduate looking to obtain professional skills to help you get into grad school or begin a career in natural resources and conservation, or 3) Beginning a graduate degree studying birds, but lack field and lab experience needed for your thesis/dissertation?

If so, the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, in conjunction with the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation has a solution for you.  We are excited to offer for the second time this intensive two-week course in the mountains of beautiful Front Royal, VA, USA designed to teach conservation professionals, field scientists and graduate students the most current methods in the research of bird migration including theoretical concepts, field and laboratory methods, data analysis and applied conservation strategies. Field sessions will involve training in avian sampling techniques including: daily mist-netting sessions, banding, aging and sexing, tissue sampling, radio-tracking and point-transect distance sampling. Full modules will focus on analysis of mark-recapture data in rmark, and distance sampling analysis using program DISTANCE. R packages used in the analysis of isotope, geolocator, and standard telemetry data will also be demonstrated. Lecture topics will include: migratory connectivity, seasonal interactions, radar ornithology, life-cycle analyses, overwinter ecology, applied genetics, threats to migration, and applied conservation strategies. Finally, participants will learn to prepare museum study skins of bird specimens. SCBI scientists will lead the course, and guest lecturers from local hot spots of migratory bird work will provide students a glimpse into exciting, ongoing research and conservation efforts.

The course takes place from September 14-25, 2015 and the deadline to apply is July 6, 2015Partial scholarships are available on a competitive basis and reduced course fees are offered to those applying from “less-developed” countries. For information on course fees, scholarship opportunities and contact information, please visit:

Participants earn Continuing Education Units; graduate course credit (3) is available for qualified applicants through George Mason University at an additional fee. See the course’s page on our website for prerequisites.

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