Course: Measuring Ecosystem Services & Essential Biodiversity Variables

This course centers on building capacity in the areas of measuring and quantifying ecosystem services and essential biodiversity variables, which are key in efforts to study, report, and manage biodiversity change. The course will be imparted by experts in this field, and will provide expertise in translating data that are readily and openly available into concrete information about biodiversity. Instructors will provide perspectives on pollination, medicinal plants, carbon cycling, remote sensing, and more.

The course will initiate with a symposium presented by instructors and other regional experts, after which will follow an intensive workshop in which a limited number of participants chosen via this application form will focus on preparing and developing their own information resources and datasets. The final phase of the course will include a networking meeting with local and regional governmental agencies and policy-makers to discuss biodiversity policy and management. The initial symposium is indeed open to everyone, but the subsequent events will be restricted to a small number (10-15) of participants, to be selected from among those applying via this form.

The course will take place 16 September - 26 September, 2019, in Kigali, Rwanda. Potential applicants should note that the course will be taught in English, but that several of the instructors speak French, and we will make arrangements to assist French-speaking trainees in understanding course content and materials.


ELIGIBILITY

NOTE: Owing to constraints of the funding that is making this course possible, this course is only open to Africa-based participants, and indeed is supposed to focus in an 8-country subset of East Africa; we may be able to make some exceptions to this latter limitation. To open the content of the course more broadly, however, we will capture all course content and events in the form of digital video, and this content will be made openly available worldwide via YouTube and other platforms, with all content indexed and linked at http://biodiversity-informatics-training.org/.

All researchers, students, technicians, planners, managers, and other interested persons from Africa and based in Africa are welcome to apply. Approximately 6-8 applicants from outside Rwanda will be selected to participate in the training course; local participants will be admitted as well in approximately equal numbers. Final selection of participants will be based on the following criteria:

1. Applicability of course material to the applicant’s occupation, research, studies, and overall interest.

2. Potential for applicant to use new knowledge to implement studies and advances in the area of essential biodiversity variables and ecosystem services.

3. Adequate knowledge or experience in related fields so as to maximize the benefit of participation in the training course.

4. Potential for further sharing and diffusion of knowledge acquired during training.

5. Strength of letter of recommendation from current employer/supervisor.


Cost of Attendance

Thanks to support from the JRS Biodiversity Foundation, participation in the course will be free to all participants chosen. Transportation costs will be covered, and meals will be provided during training sessions; per diems will not be provided, in light of all relevant expenses being covered. To maximize numbers of course participants that the program can accommodate, participants residing in Kigali within a commute of less than 1 hour will be reimbursed for daily travel to and from the course. Lunches and snacks during breaks will be provided for these local participants. Course participants traveling from outside Kigali will be funded for travel from the closest major city in their home or resident country to Kigali and back. These longer-distance participants will be provided food and lodging for the duration of the course.


Application Requirements

Applicants are responsible for assuring that all of the following materials are in the hands of the program organizers.

1. Application form (below) ... note that all prompts denoted by a " * " are required information, and answer all questions explicitly. Please do NOT copy and paste your CV into answer blanks.

2. Letter of recommendation from current employer/home institution

3. Curriculum vitae (CV)

Completed applications are due no later than 1 JULY 2019 and applicants accepted to the training course will be notified by approximately 1 August 2019. Application materials and any questions regarding the application process may be addressed to the course organizers (Erin Saupe and Town Peterson are the project co-directors) at BiodivTraining@gmail.com.

Email address *
Title *
Given Name *
Your answer
Surname *
Your answer
Post Name
If applicable
Your answer
Preferred Name
what your friends call you
Your answer
Email Address *
Your answer
Phone Number *
Include country code
Your answer
Current Address *
Your answer
Do you reside in Kigali or within a 1-hour commute? *
Lodging is provided for course participants; however, if you live in or can stay within a 1 hour commute, please indicate 'yes'. This will allow for more participants.
Required
If you do NOT reside in or near Kigali, from where would you be traveling to attend the training course? *
Please specify city AND country.
Your answer
Please indicate your HIGHEST level of education completed *
Required
Institutional Affiliation *
Name of employer
Your answer
Job Title *
Your answer
Job Description *
Please CONCISELY describe your duties with your employer or host institution.
Your answer
What is the primary role of your institution? *
Choose all that apply. If "other", please specify.
Required
Please rate the infrastructure available at your host institution. *
Ratings from 1 (NO insfrastructure in place, completely lacking) to 5 (excellent infrastructure, everything necessary for success).
1 (None)
2
3 (Adequate)
4
5 (Excellent)
Office and Laboratory Facilities
Computational Facilities
Library Facilities
Biodiversity Collection Facilties
Statistical Expertise
GIS Expertise
Biodiversity Expertise
Computational Expertise
Describe your interests specifically in measuring ecosystem services & essential biodiversity variables *
Be as specific and detailed as possible, as this question provides information crucial to your acceptance
Your answer
Briefly describe your experience in biology and biodiversity studies. *
Please do not duplicate information found on your CV. Be sure to include completed coursework, research, participiation in relevant trainings/seminars, and involvement in related fields. Limit 500 words.
Your answer
Describe your interests in terms of education and research as they relate to biodiversity informatics and ecosystem services/essential biodiversity variables in particular. *
Be sure to specify: 1) How you will incorporate knowledge gained via this course into your present and future work, and 2) How will you pass on the knowledge gained from participating in this course. Limit 500 words.
Your answer
Describe how your participation in this course will benefit your institution. *
Please be sure to specify: 1) any particular areas of research or management/planning that will benefit from your completion of the course, and 2) if there are plans to provide education/training for others at your home institution (or elsewhere) on the course material. Limit 500 words.
Your answer
Computer facilities available to you. *
Please describe (briefly) the computer facilities that you have available and, in particular, whether you will plan to bring a laptop computer with you to the course, if accepted for participation. Limit 200 words.
Your answer
Language Abilities *
Please indicate language(s) in which you can speak and write, at a level that you will be able to understand instruction in that language.
Required
English Language Ability *
Courses will be taught in English; however, to every extent feasible, we will work to assure that language assistance is provided to students lacking English proficiency. Please provide a candid evaluation of your facility in English in terms of listening to lectures and interacting with lecturers.
Required
How did you hear about this course? *
Your answer
That is the end of the formal application form. HOWEVER, please...
We ask you for two (2) further pieces of information, in order to complete your application.

1. A letter of recommendation from your supervisor at your home institution describing how
your institution will derive maximum benefit from your participation in this course
(e.g., time dedicated to such endeavors, opportunities to teach others what you have learned, etc.)

Save the file as: 'YourSurname_YourGivenName_LOR"

2. Provide a curriculum vitae (CV) describing your education experience, research and/or employment
history, achievements, and interests.

Name this file: 'YourSurname_YourGivenName_CV"

Please submit both documents as PDF attachments by email to BiodivTraining@gmail.com by 1 JULY 2019. If you are unable to submit as a PDF, please submit as a .doc or .docx.

Upon receipt of these items, as well as the completed application form, we will advise you that your application is considered complete.

Thanks very much, Erin Saupe & Town Peterson
BiodivTraining@gmail.com

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