Training the next generation of conservation leaders

The Center for Biodiversity Outcomes provides a platform of exemplary training and research experiences for students at all levels of learning. The Center for Biodiversity Outcomes draws on a critical mass of intellectual acumen and is a shining example of the kind of problem-solving that Arizona State University’s singular brand of interdisciplinary freedom can produce.

Center for Biodiversity Outcomes-affiliated scholars and practitioners share expertise from diverse fields — including conservation biology, sustainability, ecology, anthropology, geography, economics, political science, law, philosophy, education fine arts, the performing arts, design and engineering — in a collaborative effort to address the issues of sustaining global biodiversity.

Some of the opportunities available include:

  • More than 125 faculty affiliates who engage from 33 different schools and units across ASU.
  • More than 50 external research partnerships of cross-disciplinary faculty.
  • Numerous graduate and postdoctoral fellowships through partner organizations.
  • Graduate Certificate in Environmental Communication and Leadership.
  • Biodiversity Conservation in Practice class taught by professors of practice.
  • Opportunities to network and meet expert guest speakers.

Education and research

Understanding the role nature plays in sustaining life is critical to the survival of the planet, but that information is less accessible to younger generations, especially underrepresented youth. The Center for Biodiversity Outcomes develops innovative education programs that provide environmental and ecological literacy to increase access and support for marginalized and minoritized youth to pursue university study and careers in STEM.

K-12 programs

GirlsConserve: Environmental leadership intern program for 9th–12th graders

GirlsConserve is a culturally responsive educational program that offers a safe space for underrepresented students to learn and explore STEM while witnessing critical representations of fellow women in STEM through multi-generational mentoring (faculty, graduate, and undergraduate students). It aims to empower middle and high school girls of color to see their futures in STEM careers using a place-based and culturally relevant One Health approach.

Classes and certificates

Undergraduate programs and classes

SURE Program

ASU’s Sustainability Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) program provides students with research opportunities to help build career skills and enhance competitiveness for jobs and graduate school. Through the program, students will enhance their knowledge, skills, and experiences in exploration and discovery to generate knowledge and develop evidence-based solutions for sustainability.

Graduate programs and classes

BIO 578: Environmental Communication and Leadership

BIO 578: Environmental Communication and Leadership will be offered in Spring 2023. This core course for the Graduate Certificate in Environmental Communication and Leadership teaches leadership and communication to early career scientists who are motivated to become agents of change. The course will take place Wednesdays from 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in LSC 260 on the Tempe campus. It is open to all graduate students.

Conservation Innovation Lab

An interdisciplinary and collegial group of ecologists, mathematicians, economists, geographers and conservation scientists applying our research to address real world challenges. Grounded in natural history, primary data collection, quantitative methods, and an appreciation of human-environment interactions, our work employs decision science to inform policies that help sustain life on Earth.

Environmental Communication and Leadership

Scientists must go beyond publishing in journals if they want their research to be relevant to society. However, academic training rarely covers how to communicate with the press, the public, policymakers and other relevant stakeholders. This certificate program gives graduate students in environmental disciplines the important leadership and communication skills needed to increase their influence and reach above and beyond academia.

Diversity and inclusion

Understanding the role nature plays in sustaining life is critical to the survival of the planet, but that information is less accessible to younger generations, especially underrepresented youth.

The Center for Biodiversity Outcomes collaborates with many external partners, such as the ANGLES Network for Graduate Leadership in Sustainability and Beyond the Academy, to enhance diversity and inclusion in STEAM+H (science, technology, arts, mathematics and health) careers at ASU and beyond, while also developing innovative education programs that provide environmental and ecological literacy. The promotion of gender equity and inclusion is a crucial component of any successful diverse organization. This principle applies not only to students, but also to university faculty and staff. In that spirit, we partner with other ASU units and initiatives – working together to propel engagement opportunities in training the next generation of conservation leaders.

Center for Gender Equity in Science and Technology

CGEST exists to actively drive the discourse and experiences of underrepresented girls in STEM by owning, generating and critiquing the collective body of scholarship on and offering culturally responsive programs for, girls of color (e. g. African American, Native American, Latina and Asian American) and STEM education. The Center for Biodiversity Outcomes has partnered with CGEST to facilitate a series of workshops with students, faculty and administration to address some of the issues surrounding equitable access and participation incentives for underrepresented youth before, during and after they pursue STEM careers.

Nature at ASU

Nature at ASU is an undergraduate student group with the mission of building, uniting and empowering an inclusive community of students to study and protect Earth’s biodiversity and its wild habitats. It helps undergraduate students connect with a variety of resources and opportunities available to them inside and outside ASU, including scholarships, fellowships and job opportunities. Learn more and sign up to their e-newsletter. Nature at ASU’s office is located in the The Center for Biodiversity Outcomes administrative suite. The group is led by CBO faculty affiliate Sharon J. Hall.