Events during Fall 2016

Stay tuned for updated information about Fall Events for 2016–Coming Soon! In the meantime, you can visit our Calendar

Events during Spring 2016

1) Volunteer Day at the Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association (Saturday, February 20th 2016)

DCS organized a volunteer day engaging Nicholas School students in clearing invasive species at the 17- acre reserve on a beautiful afternoon. With similar workdays with local NGOs, DCS is fostering collaborative relationships to engage students and the local community in local conservation problems and solutions.

2) DCS/Duke Environmental Alliance Undergrad/Grad Mixer (Wednesday, March 9th 2016)

In association with the undergraduate society Duke Environmental Alliance, DCS organized a casual end of day mixer bringing together environment-focused undergrads, MEM and PhD students to discuss environment related career paths, research and interests after college and graduate school. This was a successful event and the first of its kind to bring together such a variety of students.

3) Networking lunch with Judy Teague & Milo Pyne of NatureServ (Wednesday, March 23rd 2016)

DCS hosted a casual brown bag lunch with the professionals from NatureServe with the aim of discussing internship and job opportunities for MEM and PhD students. The aim of this lunch was also to serve as a platform for exchange of ideas, projects and collaborations with professionals.

4) Nicholas School Conservationists around the World (April 1st– 10th 2016)

DCS organized a fun activity to specifically engage international students and all those who have or are planning to work abroad. With a huge poster sized map in EH, students were encouraged to flag/pin all the places they have worked outside of the States with a few words describing their work. This was a great hit and was covered by the Nicholas School instagram page too!

5) Interdisciplinary approaches to Conservation (Friday, April 15th 2016)

DCS organized an afternoon of lectures aimed and discussing interdisciplinary approaches to conservation around the world. We hosted Dr. Brian Hare (Associate Professor in the Department of Evolutionary Anthropology) who spoke about ape cognition to conservation planning and how saving the planet requires cognitive science. We also hosted Dr. William Pan (Assistant Professor in the Global Health Department) who spoke about connecting conservation concessions and health in South America. A well received discussion based event, DCS hopes to get this conservation on interdisciplinary approaches to conservation going in the coming years.

6) DCS at the Nicholas School Earth Day festivities (Friday, April 22nd 2016)

DCS hosted a table of activities at the Nicholas School Earth Day celebrations! A fun game of categorizing flora and fauna according to their IUCN listings, DCS also finally introduced the official tshirt for the year and also displayed the Nicholas School Conservationists around the World map!

7) DCS goes to the Duke Lemur Center (Saturday, April 23rd 2016)

DCS organized a volunteer workday with the Lemur Center and also got a private tour! A beautiful Spring afternoon, DCS members and other students engaged with lemurs outside and learnt about these endangered creatures, threats, requirements and conservation work being done.

Events during Fall 2015

1. DCS Information Meeting (Monday, September 7th 2015)

DCS kicked off the Fall semester with its first information meeting to spread the word about DCS, upcoming events and also tried to establish a forum for conservationists at the Nicholas School. We had a lively conversation with fresh Nic Schoolers with introductions, semester plans and beer and snacks.

2. Sustainable Ecotourism Lecture with Kurt Holle of Rainforest Expeditions (Monday, September 21st 2015)

DCS was proud and happy to host Kurt Holle, co-founder of Rainforest Expeditions based in the Peruvian Amazon. Dr. Holle spoke to the enthusiastic crowd about running a sustainable rainforest company, supporting scientific research and partnering with indigenous tribes of the Amazon and making a profit. This lecture was a great success and providing Nic Schoolers an opportunity to learn about community based environmental management from around the world.

3. Social Innovation in Conservation (Friday, October 2nd 2015)

This was an evening of showcasing conservation projects that extend the social reach of the conservation field. Sponsored by the Audobon Society’s Toyota Together Green program, DCS hosted 6 speakers that included 3 high school students who touched upon a range of topics such as Urban Habitat Restoration, Pollinator gardens in Atlanta, the Youth Faith Conservation Network (based in Raleigh, NC), Fighting Invasives with a Knife and Fork and Storytelling for Conservation. The recording of the seminar can be found here.

4. International Landscapes & Conservation Mixer (Wednesday, October 14th 2015)

In order to facilitate an environment for collaboration between the PhD and MEM students at the Nic School, DCS hosted a mixer about the work students are pursuing in exotic locations. PhD students Natalia Ocampo Penuela (Pimm Lab), Cooper Rosin and Amelia Meir (Poulsen lab) spoke of their work and conservation in Colombia, Latin America and Gabon, Central Africa. In addition, MEM students Eric Smith & Nina Hamilton shared their experiences working in Costa Rica and Madagascar before joining the MEM program. DCS also catered an assortment of international beers which was the big hit of the evening.

5. Wildlife/Conservation Summer Experience Panel Discussion (Monday, October 19th 2015)

In collaboration with the Career & Professional Development Center of the Nicholas School, DCS hosted a panel discussion of the internship opportunities available for MEM students pursuing the Ecosystem Science & Conservation concentration. The panel included 2nd year MEM students who pursued a variety of internships that included the Stanback Internship program, research abroad and domestic to discusses and address queries when looking for a useful summer experience. DCS hopes that this evening provided guidance and better insight to all 1st year MEM students.

6. Carolina Tiger Rescue Field Trip (Saturday, October 24th 2015)

DCS organized a field trip for 10 students to the Carolina Tiger Rescue center in Pittsborro. Please read more about this trip on Kati Moore’s blog post “A Safe Haven for Big Cats”, EcoNotes (Duke Environment Blogging Team). Thanks Kati!

7. Networking Lunch with Bill Hollman of the Conservation Fund ( Friday, November 13th 2015)

DCS hosted a networking lunch with Bill Hollman, NC State Director of the Conservation Fund. As MEM students are actively pursuing internship and job opportunities, DCS was lucky to organize this lunch meeting to discuss with Mr. Hollman possibilities in the conservation field and eligibility of fellow candidates.


2014- 2015 Academic Year

Upcoming Events

Date: November 13, 2014, 5-8pm, Field Biologist Movie Screening
Location: Love Auditorium (LSRC)
Hosted by the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation. Field Biologist is a film about one young man’s journey into the field to follow his passion for birds and do conservation-oriented research in the tropics. The film presents the major challenges facing biodiversity on Earth—climate change and habitat destruction chief among them—while also raising some fundamental questions: What makes someone a scientist? How important is a formal education? What risks are worth taking? What should you do with your life? Please join us for a reception and free film screening with Director Jared Flesher. Following a 5 pm reception, the film presentation will start at 6 pm and be followed by Q&A with the Director, Jared Flesher. This film is being hosted by the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation as a powerful example of how a deep and personal experience of nature can help foster an understanding of the importance of biodiversity and inspire stewardship. Learn more about the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation and our co-hosts— Working Group of the Environment in Latin America, Duke Conservation Society, Big Cats Initiative, Duke Stories for Nature and People (SNAP), and Duke Environmental Alliance—at the event reception and screening. Popcorn, pizza and refreshments provided. The film will also kick-off the Communicating Conservation Symposium & Workshop sponsored by Duke SNAP and the Duke Conservation Society. For questions contact


Date: November 14, 2014, 1:30-7pm, Communicating Conservation Symposium
Location: multiple rooms Environment Hall, final talk Field Auditorium
Duke SNAP and Duke Conservation Society are teaming up to host this great event that connects you with talented guest speakers who are experts in their field and in the art of communication. The day will be filled with 4 speakers who will challenge you to improve your communication skills via multiple mediums. It will begin with a free light lunch and presentation by marine science journalist Craig McClain and will culminate with our keynote speaker Jenny Nichols, a dynamic conservation producer that has filmed documentaries across the globe. A free reception with drinks and heavy hor d’oeuvres will precede the talk in Field Auditorium.

Date: November 15, 2014, 9am-5pm, Communicating Conservation Workshop
Location: Meet at Field Auditorium, then Horton Grove
Join Duke SNAP and the Duke Conservation Society for a mini-documentary production workshop complete with access to DSLR’s and professional sound and lighting equipment. The goal of the workshop will be to create a short film and stills for the Triangle Land Conservancy about their newest reserve, Horton Grove. They will use this media to promote the reserve and tell the story of the work they do to protect local lands and biodiversity in North Carolina. The workshop is FREE but space is limited to 15 participants and a $25 check is required as a deposit but will NOT be cashed and will be returned to you after the workshop on Saturday. This is to ensure that all spaces are filled by people who plan to attend. Lunch and transportation will be provided. You can register here, and feel free to contact Shannon Switzer or Ian Markham with any questions.

Past Events

Date: October 25-30, 2014 The Wildlife Society Annual Conference
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Date: October 29, 2014, 6pm, DCS Meeting
Location: EH 1101

Date: September 30, 2014, 7-8pm, Cages of Shame
Location: White 107 (White Lecture Hall)
Film screening of a documentary about bear bile farms in China. Co-sponsored by Animals Asia and the Canine Cognition Center at Duke University.

Date: September 25, 2014, 7-9pm, Durham County Library Film Screening & Discussion: Wild by Law
Location: Main Library, 300 N. Roxboro St.
A film screening of the film “Wild by Law” in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act with an introduction by Dr. James G. Lewis of the Forest History Society.

Date: September 24, 2014, 5:30-6:30pm, Talk with Operation Wallacea about international conservation and research
Location: Environment Hall 1105

Date: September 16, 2014, 4:30-7pm Turner Endangered Species Fund Panel Location: Environment Hall 1112 TESF Sept 16 2014

Date: September 11, 2014, 5-7pm NC Land Trust Meet & Greet for Duke Students
Location: LSRC A158

Date: September 8, 2014, 6pm First Semester Meeting Location: Environment Hall 2102


Date: March 1 2013 2013 Spring Symposium: Protected Area Management
Location: Sanford Building, Room 04, Duke University
A day of learning and discussion about the protected area management. We will be joined by experts on various issues within the field.

Date: October, 2012 Carolina Tiger Rescue
Location: Pittsboro, North Carolina
A day spent volunteering at the Carolina Tiger Rescue, including a guided tour of their facilities and animals. This is a chance to get a first hand look at a local conservation organization.

Date: September, 2012 Duke Lemur Center
Location: 3705 Erwin Road, Durham
Come take a tour and volunteer at the Duke Lemur Center.

Date: October 10-12 2012 Student Conference on Conservation Science New York Location: American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY Cost of attending is $10. More information at

Date: November 14 2012 Fuller Science for Nature Symposium
Location: Nat Geo Society, Washington, D.C.
Free conference hosted by WFF. More information at February 24, 2011 Wildlife Trade and Consumption Symposium
An afternoon of learning and discussion about the global trade of wildlife products. We will be joined by experts on bushmeat, trade, and enforcement. We will also have the opportunity to discuss the cultural significance of wildlife products with an International student panel. The symposium video is now available and can be viewed online here.Date: Februrary 4, 2012 DC Career Networking Trip
Location: Washington DC
Join DCS  for a day of networking with organizations relevant to conservation: WWF, USAID Biodiversity Office, EDF, and Union of Concerned Scientists.Date: December 1, 7-8:30pm An Evening with Bill McKibben
Location: Community United Church of Christ, 814 Dixie Trail , Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
Join local organizers and citizens for an evening with Bill McKibben, the man the Boston Globe calls “our nation’s most important environmentalist”. He’s an author and environmentalist, co-founder of and Tar Sands Action, and he’s coming to share with Raleigh the incredible momentum we’ve seen form in the past few months. The environmental movement just had a major victory, when we sent the pipeline back for a re-review, and we followed it with another one, when we prevented the Delaware River basin from being fracked. Join us on Thursday night to celebrate recent victories, discuss the future of the movement, and solidify our determination to move forward. Contact Triange SCB at with any questions.Date: November 20, 2011 TCSB: Sandhills Service Trip
Location: Calloway Nature Preserve
Join us to the Calloway Nature Preserve to collect wiregrass seeds for The Nature Conservancy. The land is beautifully managed to restore long-leaf pine savannah, an ecosystem once wide-spread in the southeastern US which frequent disturbances through fire house an incredible amount of biodiversity. The preserve is home to threatened species such as the red cockaded woodpecker, gopher frog, and tiger salamander. The fire-tolerant wiregrass is a key native species in the longleaf pine forest and is collected by The Nature Conservancy each year to continue restoration across the Sandhills region. Please contact Jennifer Moore ( with any questions.

Date: November 17th and 18th Conservation Forward: Ideas that work and how science can affect change
Location: WWF, Washington D.C.
FREE conference in DC, more info at:

Date: November 16, 2011 – 4:30pm Presentation: Conservation Finance
Location: LSRC A158
Join the Duke Conservation Society, the Environmental Markets Student Group and the Business and the Environment Club for a presentation by David Nicola, former Portfolio Manager at BlueMountain Capital Management and Fuqua MBA candidate, about how we can employ financial tools, structures, and mechanisms to address the global conservation funding challenge. The presentation will focus on three main topics: 1. Traditional financial structures for conservation: investment funds (i.e. hedge funds, private equity private & venture capital), traditional “bank & lending” mechanisms (i.e. bridge financing and revolving loan funds, and bankruptcies). 2. Hybrid private-government conservation finance tools: new market tax credits, tradable tax or conservation easement credits, and debt for nature swaps. 3. New avenues and application of financial products for conservation: marketable debt securities, climate bonds, water trust funds, securitization of conservation, “pay for success” bonds.

Date: November 15, 2011- 7:30pm Speaker Panel: Role of Zoos and Aquariums in Conservation
Location: LSRC A247 (Durham); Repass Center (Beaufort)
Speakers: Mindy Stinner, Executive Director at the Conservators’ Center; Wendy Cluse, conservation and research coordinator at the N.C. Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores

Date: October 12-14, 2011 Student Conference on Conservation Science
Location: American Museum of Natural History, New York
The Student Conference on Conservation Science (SCCS) is the only international conference designed for graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and early-career professionals pursuing or considering the field of conservation science. Interactions with established conservationists will encourage collaborations, inspire further research, and launch lasting associations. Registration is $100. Eligible for the Nicholas School conference funding.

Date: October 5, 6-7pm REDD+ and BLUE CARBON: climate change, conservation and markets
Location: LSRC A247
Brian Murray, Director for Economic Analysis at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions will present on environmental markets, REDD+ and Blue Carbon. Specifically, he will discuss the economic and scientific challenges need to be addressed in order to determine whether REDD+ and payments for blue carbon may one day help conserve forests, mangroves, seagrass meadows, and salt marshes. This event is also co-sponsored by the Environmental Markets Group.

Date: September 25, 2011 – 4-7pm All-Triangle Conservation Social at Umstead State Park
Location: Umstead State Park, south entrance, shelter #1
The Triangle Chapter of the Society for Conservation Biology ( and DCS partner) invites everyone with an academic interest or professional involvement in nature conservation to attend our 5th annual Fall Cookout and Social! The event will include an optional hike from 1-4pm. Activities will include general networking with folks from across the Triangle, discussion of potential TSCB activities for the coming year, elections of new board members, a fun conservation-themed competition or two, and of course wonderful food from La Vaquita. Bring your own cup and tableware, food and drinks will be provided. Please RSVP by Sept 21 to Dr. Ron Sutherland, Conservation Scientist, Wildlands Network (and TSCB President) at, so we can be sure to have enough food (please indicate veg/non-vegetarian preference).

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