About Us

We started all about bears and in many ways still are. (Photo: Dennis Sizemore)

We started all about bears and in many ways we still are. (Photo: Dennis Sizemore)

Round River Conservation Studies is an ecological research and education organization whose goal is the formulation and implementation of conservation strategies that conserve and restore wildness. We recognize that flourishing wildlife, wildness and wild places are important in and of themselves and that conservation to be sustainable must be tied to the communities most dependent upon these landscapes.

Employing the principles of conservation biology, we formulate strategies to give our partner communities, organizations and governments a well-founded scientific basis for their long-term wildlife conservation planning efforts.

Primary Goals

• To develop, implement and refine effective conservation strategies that are tailored to local circumstances and are capable of securing durable conservation outcomes.
• To lead innovation in the field of applied conservation biology at the international level and accelerate application and uptake of the best emerging ideas.
• To demonstrate tangible conservation gains that provides for biodiversity values the cultural and traditional practices of indigenous peoples.
• To lead innovation and experimentation in the field of conservation education and leadership.
• To cultivate an active, informed and inspired constituency of international young scholars as scientists, artists and conservation advocates by providing experiential conservation education and leadership training.

Core Strategies

• To secure a principal role and broad reach by engaging respectfully as scientists, planners, strategists, consultants and trainers with a variety of partners.
• To rigorously develop and implement analytical approaches that meet international peer-review standards and that test and advance science-based conservation strategies. .
• To incorporate students into our conservation programs to build competence, confidence and passion in future conservation professionals while assisting the implementation of our community and science-based field efforts.
• To establish partnerships with indigenous or local communities who need or want assistance in the development and implementation of science-based conservation strategies and the enduring institutional arrangements that support them.
• To foster creativity and growth in Round River by actively supporting our areas of core competency and utilizing diverse partnerships to expand our collective capacity.

Round River Conservation Programs

Round River Conservation Programs
Round River engages in conservation programs in several countries where we work with our local partners to develop and support creative and enduring wildlife conservation strategies. In many programs, Round River students are integral to the implementation of these strategies, working closely with the local communities and our scientists and technical staff. Typically, these programs combine multiple approaches that incorporate conservation science, wildlife research, community engagement and capacity-building and strategic alliances that leverage investments into enduring solutions.

Many of these programs and their projects involve a mix of applied skills and different forms of engagement, in varying sequences:

• Identification of a significant conservation concern and opportunity, typically through initial conversations with prospective conservation partners, often including indigenous people(s);
• Appropriate and beneficial establishment of student programs;
• Providing assistance and training to local communities and partners;
• Analysis of conservation values, often articulated through a Conservation Area Design (CAD) or similar;
• Development of land plans that define and secure conservation gains as well as appropriate economic development opportunities;
• Development of implementation strategies, with other partners; and,
• Engagement with local communities to support implementation by providing assistance or identifying additional partners to help with local needs for social, education, cultural and economic development.

Scope of Regional Conservation Initiatives

The number and scope of these regional programs is reviewed annually. The criteria for selection of regional conservation programs include:
• Opportunity for significant conservation gains in large, relatively intact landscapes;
• Opportunity to partner with indigenous or local communities as well as regional or national governments or organizations to achieve and maintain conservation gains;
• Opportunity to develop and implement innovative and effective conservation strategies; and
• Provide training to current and future conservationists through strategic support and targeted capacity building.

Round River Student Program

The focus of our Student Program is to encourage and expand the commitments, minds and spirits of current and future conservationists. The focus is to cultivate an active, informed and inspired constituency of international young scholars as conservation scientists, artist, activists and advocates by providing conservation education and leadership training. The principal activities of the program include:
• Innovation and experimentation in the field of experiential conservation education and leadership training;
• A recognized leadership role in the establishment of conservation literacy criteria and guidelines;
• Providing direction, curriculum, academic accreditation and instruction for student activities in various regional programs; and,
• The promotion of conservation training and leadership through publications and symposia.