Highly recommended for those with refuge station biological program responsibilities or interests, especially new (<5 years) refuge station biologists. In addition, those wanting to learn about refuge biological programs may find value in this course.
Summary and Objectives:
The complexity of natural resource conservation on refuges continues to increase due to the necessity of incorporating both environmental and societal factors into the decision making process. To address these challenges, this course provides guidance to those involved with refuge biological programs, particularly refuge station employees new to the position. National and regional factors are discussed in a meaningful context to strengthen the sense of purpose and define the role of refuge biology. At the refuge scale, instructors identify and describe in more detail the and function of biological programs; the roles and responsibilities of biologists; and the key characteristics, skills, and knowledge that allow for the successful use of biological information to support refuge management.
Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:
- Demonstrate what the Natural Resource Program is and how a station biological program fits into regional- and national-level programs.
- Identify the basic biological information needs for refuge conservation planning and habitat management information that informs the whole station program.
- Identify key elements of the Refuge Improvement Act and other major statutes, policies, and guidance documents related to biology.
- Identify and understand the essential components of a decision making process.
- Identify and understand the basic concepts and components of adaptive management.
- Describe the National Inventory and Monitoring Resources Program.
- Understand the importance of conveying messages effectively to different audiences (i.e., talking to the public; talking to other staff; and talking to managers, researchers, statisticians, etc.)
- List the critical technical skills that biologists must continually increase/cultivate during their career and major professional responsibilities for continuing education and development.