From March 24-26, the 16th edition of the Student Conference on Conservation Science (SCCS) Cambridge, was hosted by the Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge. Since the very first conference held in 2000, this student-based conference has become a model to be replicated in other parts of the world, including Bangalore (India), Australia, New-York, Beijing and Hungary (see The PrimateCast's coverage of SCCS Bangalore and SCCS Brisbane). If you are a student and you are interested in conservation, this conference is made for you!
Why? As a first year doctoral student in Primatology at Kyoto University, I also have a deep interest in conservation. However, my research is not presently very “conservation-oriented“ so, I feed this interest by being involved in diverse conservation-related projects and going to SCCS conferences! The first project that got me involved in Conservation is our environmental education project in Iran: Kavikonj Nature School, for which I went to present a poster at SCCS Cambridge.
Intense… was the word! Four Plenary talks, 32 student talks, multiple workshops, and posters hung during lunch and dinners! Although a different style and environment than either Brisbane or Bangalore, SCCS Cambridge definitely lived up to the hype. The conference had a wide range of countries represented; I met 3 students from Iran, which was completely unexpected, and a lot of students from Africa, much less represented in other SCCS conferences due to geography.
What can you get by going to such conferences? SCCS Cambridge strongly encourages students to present their work either through a poster or a talk. However, I met students who were just attending, probably to get an overall idea of what others are doing and to get inspired. SCCS is a great place for networking, learning and recharging your batteries. You come out of such a conference and you want to get right to changing the world! For me personally, it was a useful experience toward raising awareness about our alternative school in Iran, meet other Iranian students and exchange ideas about the project. Additionally, I attended two workshops on raising funds for conservation projects and planning a conservation research programme, and discussed with other students about the role of education in conservation. Now I just have to apply all that I learned…
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We'd like to sincerely thank all of our guests on this episode as well as the SCCS Cambridge team for their help to get this podcast out!. Be sure to check out our other podcasts featuring interviews with leading scientists and conservationists in primatology and beyond.
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This podcast series is brought to you by CICASP, and was produced by Cecile Sarabian and Andrew MacIntosh.