Master of Conservation Leadership Courses

Year 1


Residency1: Building a Collaborative Community in Ethical Space [POSTPONED UNTIL FALL 2020]

► CONS*6000 [0.50] Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Governance Models S F [POSTPONED UNTIL FALL 2020] CONS*6000 Course Outline F20

After gaining a foundational understanding of treaty rights and responsibilities will participate in face-to-face land based learning and lectures from Indigenous knowledge holders and scholars. Students are introduced to the different components of knowledge systems, investigate how western knowledge systems have engaged with Indigenous knowledge, and explore conservation models rooted in Indigenous knowledge and governance.

► CONS 6100 [0.5] Conservation Past, Present and Possible [SPRING 2020 DE offering]

This course will offer an overview of historical, contemporary, and emerging approaches to conservation governance and their consequences. It will focus on the shifting roles of key actors including government, non-governmental organizations, industry, science/academia, and the public. The rationales for various conservation approaches will be considered, as well as their strengths and weaknesses, and discussions will allow for debate and exploration of contentious ideas and practices. The course will review a range of conceptual and theoretical approaches to conservation, using case studies to illustrate how they relate to specific conservation tools.

► CONS 6010 [0.25]  Conservation Biology for Professionals [ FALL 2020 DE offering]

This course offers future conservation leaders an overview of conservation biology in the Anthropocene with an emphasis on mining peer-reviewed journals and data sets for increased comprehension of contemporary conservation challenges. Students gain an appreciation for ‘state of knowledge’ for key areas of conservation science including migratory species, climate change, managing for resilience and disturbance ecology and explore the implications of uncertainty for conservation decision-making.



Residency 2: Leading

► MGMT 6200 [0.5] Leadership Assessment and Development

This course provides an overview of leadership and leadership development focusing on leadership competencies that foster the effectiveness of the leader and the engagement and performance of his or her followers and teams. Students will complete self-assessments of some of their own leadership competencies and design tactics to improve them

► CONS 6020 [0.25] Public Communications and Engagement

This course reviews the importance of public communications and engagement in mobilizing communities in support of environmental policy reform. We will learn about the science-public interface in the field of conservation and interrogate issues including the public trust in conservation science, public understanding of conservation science, and different strategies for conservation education that includes science based and values-based communication. Through analysis of existing and proposed conservation campaigns, students will investigate the strategic importance of framing issues effectively to the public and identifying core messages in the development of a communications campaign.

► CONS 6050 [0.25] Partnerships in Conservation

This course builds leadership skills in the assessment, development and maintenance of effective conservation partnerships that span Crown and Indigenous governments, the private sector and civil society. This course will deepen the understandings of the drivers behind why partnerships, often with atypical allies, are increasingly forging conservation solutions and how governments at all levels are shifting to more inclusive models of decision-making.

Year 2


Residency 3: Innovation

► CONS 6030 [0.25] Conservation Tools and Technology

This course provides a critical review of classic and emerging tools for conservation planning and governance, such as: GIS modelling for landscape assessment and planning; public participation GIS; integrated modelling; social science tools; cost effectiveness analysis; cost benefit analysis; drones; DNA barcoding; and non-intrusive monitoring.

► CONS 6040 [0.50] Conservation in Working and Private Landscapes

This course examines both regulatory and non-regulatory measures for advancing conservation outcomes in intensively impacted and managed landscapes including agricultural, forested, and urban areas. The regulatory measures include standards, frameworks, and policies on landscape management such as the Clean Water Act and the Species at Risk Act. The non-regulatory measures include various mechanisms for incentivizing conservation actions such as cost-share payment in environmental farm plan, payment for ecosystem services, third party certification in agricultural, forestry and mining sectors, land trusts and other stewardship arrangement including conservation easements, volunteer agreements among stakeholders (e.g. Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement), and conservation opportunities in urbanized geographies including Greenbelt and nature features for green infrastructure.



► CONS 6300 [1.0] Final Learning Portfolio

The final learning portfolio (FLP) is the capstone experience where students demonstrate the ability to synthesize skills learned in the program. Students plan, organize and execute a project that advances knowledge or practice to address a conservation or organizational challenge, relevant to their current place of employment. The first semester is dedicated to a systematic review of peer reviewed literature to create an evidence base on a conservation-related issue and the development of a project proposal. Projects will be specific to the interests of the student and needs of the employer and/or stakeholders. Possibilities include, but are not limited to: creating a conservation plan for a particular area or species, creating a communications plan for an upcoming campaign, developing an educational program for their organization, writing a funding proposal for an innovative conservation intervention, or assessing a conservation intervention. The project must be approved by the faculty advisor, program coordinator and employer and/or stakeholders. The final portfolio will consist of the synthesis paper, the project report, an assessment of the student’s growth as a conservation leader and a revised IDP.