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What are the admission requirements to the Conservation Management Program?

We have a single requirement: you must be enrolled in a graduate program at UC Davis. Note that the Conservation Management Program is NOT a graduate program, but a degree certificate program. You must apply and be accepted into a graduate program, including (but not limited to) Ecology, Animal Behavior, or Geography. We urge you to carefully review the admission and course requirements of the graduate program to which you are applying. For example, here are the requirements for the Ecology program. Please contact the graduate program directly if you have further questions on satisfying their admission and course requirements (including GRE and TOEFL scores, undergraduate courses, etc).

Are there exceptions to the admission requirements of graduate programs?

The Conservation Management Program has no authority to change or make accommodations for the requirements of graduate programs. Questions regarding admission requirements should be directed toward the graduate program to which you are applying.

If I am accepted into another graduate program, at what point do I move or transfer into the Conservation Management Program?

At no point is it possible to transfer into the Conservation Management Program. The Conservation Management Program is not a graduate program, but a training program intended to supplement the education received through students' own graduate program.

How do I let you know that I am interested in joining the Conservation Management Program?

In the past, we awarded fellowships through a competitive process where applicants were also required to submit a 1-page letter of intent to the Program Director. We no longer require this. However, we would still very much like to hear about your interest in our program while you are applying to UC Davis. Please send our Program Coordinator a message, with the subject line "Interested Applicant in Conservation Management Program," that contains (1) what graduate program you are applying to or belong to, and (2) a brief, informal introduction of yourself. There is no deadline for this message, but we encourage you to send it soon after you submit your application to a UC Davis graduate program. For example, the application deadline for Ecology is December 15th, 2009.

Are students from all graduate programs eligible to participate?

Yes, current students are from the Ecology, Animal Behavior, Education, and the MPVM programs. We recommend that you consider graduate programs that provide students training in biological diversity conservation and management, including: Ecology, Population Biology, Animal Behavior, Entomology, Geography, Horticulture and Agronomy, and Animal Science. Students from other groups will be considered on a case by case basis.

How competitive is admission into the Conservation Management Program? Is there a limit to how many students can participate?

In general, admission into UC Davis graduate programs is highly competitive. Participation in the Conservation Management Program is not. We envision 10-15 students per year participating in the Conservation Management Program. As demand and class space becomes an issue, enrollment will be considered on a case by case basis. In general, the Conservation Management Program has accepted every graduate student who has expressed a clear desire to participate. As a consequence, approximately 20 graduate students participated in 2008-2009 courses.

Do I need a faculty advisor from the Conservation Management Program? How do I find a faculty member?

No, there is no requirement that the faculty member of a participating student is affiliated with the program. Depending on the admission process of particular graduate programs, prospective students may need to find a faculty member willing to accept them before students can be admitted into the graduate program. We urge you to carefully review the admission process of the graduate program to which you are applying. As a general piece of advice, we also recommend that you think carefully about which faculty member is a good fit for you based on research interests, availability in their lab, among other factors. A good resource to find a faculty advisor is available here and you may also find it helpful to compare your research interests with our steering committee andfaculty trainers.

Should I mention my interest in the Conservation Management Program when contacting potential faculty advisors?

Yes, along with the research interests you share or hope to pursue with potential faculty advisors, you should feel welcome to mention your interest in our program. If the faculty member is unaware of the Conservation Management Program and our activities, please encourage them to contact our Program Director, Mark Schwartz, or Program Coordinator.

Will my graduate degree be in Conservation Management?

No, your degree will be in the graduate program from which you graduate (e.g., MS or PhD in Ecology). Upon satisfactory completion of our program's curriculum (and the requirements of your own graduate program), you will be awarded a certificate in Conservation Management by the UC Davis School of Graduate Studies.

Is there financial support available from the Conservation Management program?

No, not currently. In our initial training grant from the Packard Foundation, we were able to award 6 two-year fellowships in two incoming classes (2008 & 2009). More than 80% of our participating students, however, do not receive financial support from the Conservation Management Program (a testament to the program’s quality and popularity!). The students who are participating without receiving a program fellowship have financial support through their major professor or graduate program, or their own initiative (teaching assistant positions, grants, etc). For example, funding sources available through the Graduate Group in Ecology are here .

Do I have to be a PhD student to participate in the Conservation Management Program?

No, Masters students are welcome as well.

Is the program open to both international and domestic students?

Yes, of course. In our two years, the program will have students from China, Ecuador, Chile, and Tanzania, as well as students from across the United States. A common challenge for prospective international students is to secure funding for non-resident tuition and fees, which are higher than for California residents. This is not an insurmountable challenge, however, as 3-5 international students annually enrolled in the Graduate Group in Ecology, even before the existence of the Conservation Management Program. We recommend that both international and non-California US prospective students discuss funding and residency options with their potential faculty advisors and representatives from their potential graduate programs.

If I am a member of the joint doctoral program in Ecology provided by San Diego State University and UC Davis, will I be able to participate in the Conservation Management Program?

In general, yes, although this will be approved on a case by case basis. If you plan on being in Davis only one year, it may be a challenge to coordinate a 2nd year project with your fellow students. This should not negate your participation, however, as long as you and your group work creatively and invest the requisite effort.

What are some examples of group projects conducted in the Conservation Management Program?

During 2008-2009, students in Conservation Management courses worked collaboratively with The Nature Conservancy, the UC Davis Putah Creek Riparian Reserve (a local Davis reserve), Paso Pacífico (a Nicaraguan environmental NGO), the Audubon Society, and the Sonoma County Land Trust. The program's first round of 2nd year group projects will be in 2009-2010, including: The use of local experts and CyberTrackerClimate change adaptation strategies of wildlife in the Willamette Valley, Oregon; Natural Community Conservation Planning (NCCP) efforts with the CA Dept. of Fish & Game, Citizen science & the Landowner Stewardship Program with the Audubon Society.

If this FAQ section has answered all my questions, can I still contact the Conservation Management Program to introduce myself?

Yes, of course! We greatly appreciate your interest in our program and your careful reading of this FAQ section. You are very welcome to email our Program Coordinator and introduce yourself. Please note that while we do our best to respond to every prospective student, due to the high number of inquiries, we may not be able to respond individually.

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