New Short Course on Adaptive Management to be Offered April 21-24

March 13, 2014

Tim Lucas, 919-613-8084,

DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke Environmental Leadership (DEL) Executive Education program will offer an intensive four-day course, “Adaptive Management for Conservation Projects,” on April 21-24 at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment. 

The course is designed to help conservation professionals and graduate students master the fundamentals of adaptive management, which uses system monitoring and in-depth analysis to reduce uncertainty and improve future conservation outcomes.  

Adaptive management frameworks have been adopted by the U.S. Department of the Interior and many other leading environmental organizations, including The Nature Conservancy, the World Wildlife Fund, and the National Audubon Society.

“There is strong evidence that this trend will continue and that the skills and tools required to implement adaptive management will be critical for project managers looking to enter the field; for project teams and organizations aiming to show strong results; and for donors who want to measure the impact of the projects and programs they support,” says Marcia Brown, senior program officer with the environmental nonprofit Foundations of Success.

The new short course targets this need by providing in-depth knowledge of the concepts behind adaptive management and fusing them with the working practices used in the industry today, says Brown, who will lead the instructional team.

“Participants will receive hands-on training in applying the Conservation Measures Partnership’s Open Standards for adaptive management to a working case study,” she says. “We’ll coach them step-by-step through how to apply the Open Standards framework and use the Miradi software to do a viability assessment, a biodiversity threat identification and rating, and other essential skills that are essential to conservation success but still not incorporated into most classroom programs.”

The goal, she says, to bridge the gaps between theory and practice, science and management, and knowledge and results.

The course’s instructional team also includes Norm Christensen, research professor and founding dean of Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment, and Louise Vaughn, research associate in environmental decision analysis at the North Carolina Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit.

Cost for the course is $1,200 if you register before April 1.  After April 1, the cost is $1,275.

For detailed course information or to register, go to

Brown earned a Master of Forestry from Duke in 1993.