We wrapped up the Oceanswell Social Science for Conservationists 5-day residential course on 24th February in Negombo, Sri Lanka and we were thrilled with how it all went!
The course covered all the fundamentals of understanding the human dimensions of conservation; from the ethics of working with people, to designing interviews and conducting them, and even the quantitative elements of this work. The sessions were a mix of theory and activities – making it educational and fun. The 15 Sri Lankan students who were awarded full scholarships to attend listened intently, worked hard, asked questions, and balanced all of that with some fun! Beyond what they learned in the classroom, they have also found a group of like-minded people from across the island, who we hope they will collaborate with in the future!
Massive thanks to our MPhil student Lasuni Gule Godage for working hard on the logistics for the event and sharing her work and experiences. This course would not have been possible without the amazing knowledge, wisdom and patience of our collaborators and course instructors Dr. Ana Nuno, Dr. Claire Collins, Dr. Divya Karnad and Dr. Asha de Vos. The group also benefited from the support of our Indian students Abhishek and Sneha Satheesh. Thanks also to Prof. M Fairoz for his welcome address and the team at Arie Lagoon for creating a very conducive and comfortable space for us to teach, learn and share. Finally, thanks to our funders the Bertarelli Foundation for enabling us to empower the next generation of conservationists in Sri Lanka.
Keep a lookout for more exciting learning opportunities just like this one!