Education is Key to Empowering People
For conservation to work, it must be sustainable in the long term. We are dedicated to providing young African scientists with the skills they need to become future leaders in conservation, science and education. This includes training hundreds of local college students each year, providing scholarships to our staff for obtaining undergraduate and graduate degrees, providing professional internships, and building capacity of national park staff.
Training the Next Generation of African Scientists
Training aspiring young scientists is one of the key goals of our programs in Africa, helping to build the next generation of conservationists. Each year, we reach more than 400 students from universities in Rwanda and Congo, teaching them about conservation, gorillas, scientific methods, field research skills and more. We also provide intensive supervision for college students conducting their senior thesis research projects, and we offer post-graduate internship opportunities to provide further training.
Our education efforts are working! Our follow-up data show that more than 85 percent of those who do their senior thesis work at Karisoke go into scientific or conservation related careers. Many now work for the Rwandan government or local conservation organizations, or have gone on to pursue graduate degrees.
Educational Opportunities for Our Staff
The Fossey Fund also is dedicated to building the capacity of our own staff in Africa, and provides college scholarship opportunities for staff who wish to pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees. We also provide opportunities for staff exchanges among our field sites, attendance at conservation conferences, and support for research projects of their own.