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Training & Seminars

International Seminars

The U.S. Forest Service International Programs and its partners host twelve annual international seminars. Participants, who are natural resource management professionals from around the world, provide their own funding for the 2 or 3-week long educational exchanges held mostly in the U.S. The seminars stimulate deliberations and problem solving for issues related to unique areas of natural resource management.

The International Seminar on Natural Resource Law Enforcement is held in North Carolina and Georgia. Participants will explore the various crimes on protected lands and the authorities and jurisdictions; examine the approaches and methods for prevention, enforcement, investigation and prosecution, experience the power of collaborate partnerships within law enforcement, protected managers and the community; learn and share ways in which a strong law enforcement cadre can be sustained over time; and, forge relationships, exchanged ideas and build networks with colleagues from around the world. The program is sponsored by the U.S. Forest Service International Programs.

The International Seminar on Watershed Management is held in the southwestern United States. The southwestern U.S. is an excellent case study for watershed managers because there are tremendous pressures placed upon the area’s extremely scarce water supply. These include increasing demand for this resource, legal conflict, and competing uses and practices. This interactive and intensive training and exchange program on integrated watershed management is designed for mid-career professionals. The program is sponsored by the U.S. Forest Service International Programs.

The International Seminar on Climate Change will be held in California. Because of its national leadership on climate change legislation, greenhouse gas reduction targets, and multiple resource management agencies, the State of California is an ideal location to learn about cutting edge land management practices under climate change. The seminar is designed for natural resource managers and program leaders with professional interests in climate change, and who wish to participate in an intensive, interactive course focused on climate change. Attendees will learn about adaptation and mitigation practices for managing natural resources in the face of climate change, its potential effects on natural resources, and policy and technological developments in carbon markets and offsets.

The International Seminar on Forest Landscape Restoration, held in Oregon, is designed to stimulate interaction and learning on a broad spectrum of issues related to forest landscape restoration. The Seminar is designed for mid-career professionals with interest in forest land­scape restoration who wish to participate in an engaging, interactive, and highly informative training and field study program. Attendees will learn about tools and best practices for assessing forest landscape restoration opportunities and developing and implementing landscape res­toration plans across a mosaic of land uses, and will be introduced to approaches for fostering collaborative partnerships. Oregon is an ideal location to learn about innovative restoration approaches. The State contains examples of long-term restoration projects, covering a wide range of ecosystem services and bringing together diverse and sometimes conflicting interest groups. The seminar is hosted by the U.S. Forest Service International Programs, in collabo­ration with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and the World Resources Institute.

The International Seminar on Urban Forestry and Community Engagement is held in Chicago, Illinois, and New York City, New York. The seminar will explore ways to improve lives in urban settings. Designed for community leaders and city planners, the seminar is an interactive and intensive training that explores green infrastructure and planning as well as community engagement. Participants will learn about issues that cities face as urbaniza­tion and population growth explode: social justice, development pressures, crime and violence, eco-illiteracy, etc. They will learn about ways to engage urban youth, advocacy, citizen science, collaborative approaches to green planning as well as tools and research in urban forest management. The program is sponsored by the U.S. Forest Service International Programs.

The International Seminar on Protected Area Management is held in the northern Rocky Mountains of the western United States. Designed for senior level planners and managers of nationally significant protected areas worldwide, this integrated state-of-the-art course examines strategies to conserve the world’s most special places. The program, sponsored by the U.S. Forest Service International Programs and the Universities of Montana, Idaho and Colorado State, will evaluate policies and institutional arrangements that sustain both people and Natural Resources.

The International Field Course on Protected Area Management, co-hosted by the Center for Protected Area Management at Colo­rado State University and U.S. Forest Service International Programs, and held entirely in Spanish, presents key concepts, principles, and methods of protected area management while emphasizing field-based practical exercises. Participants will interact extensively with various local, state, and federal agencies, collaborating private con­servation organizations and tourism businesses, and citizen groups involved in natural resource management. This interaction pro­vides participants with hands-on experience in managing complex conservation challenges balancing use and conservation of natural areas. Participants also share their own experiences and challenges in managing different categories of protected areas and types of management issues in their own countries. The course involves rigorous outdoor activities including camping, long-distance hiking, and visits to remote wilderness areas on foot, with pack animals and in rafts on whitewater rivers.

The International Seminar on Livestock Grazing Management, held in Idaho and Nevada, presents key concepts, principles, and methods of sustainable rangeland man­agement. The seminar is designed to support those who work with rangelands and have a commitment to their sustainable use for the benefit of current societies and future generations. Through site visits, presentations and analysis of real case examples, participants will learn about and develop planning tools and techniques to address rangeland vegeta­tion and livestock management. Participants will interact extensively with livestock producers and land-owners, land managers at state and federal agencies, and various citizen groups. The program stimulates deliberation and interactive problem solving, taking advantage of the rich experiences and diverse cultural points of view repre­sented among program participants. Seminar themes include: science and socio-political implications of rangeland restoration and management; community engagement, watershed management, transitory range and managing competing uses of rangelands and rangeland science and planning.

The International Seminar on Disaster Management, which takes place in California, will use case studies from major disaster responses to understand and discuss disaster management systems and facilities. Together, participants will explore innovative approaches in disaster management, including those that involve alliances and partnerships between government agencies, NGOs, the private sector and community groups. The program will look at disaster management systems at all levels of government, from the policy to the tactical level, and will include a visit to an active disaster response in the US.

The Mobile Seminar on Planning and Managing Tourism in Protected Areas is an intensive, 2.5 week field-based training event aimed at professionals working around the world to promote sustainable tourism and outdoor recreation in protected areas. Seminar themes include planning, zoning, services and infrastructure for public use in protected areas; legal and policy frameworks; institutional roles and responsibili­ties including public-private partnerships; interpretation and environmental education; and staffing and funding sustainable tourism initia­tives. The seminar travels through Colorado, Wyoming, and South Dakota and includes visits to national forests, national parks, national monu­ments, state and local parks, gateway communities, a dude ranch, and a tribal reservation. Highlights of the seminar include visits to Black Hills National Forest; Yellowstone, Grand Teton and Rocky Mountain National Parks; Mount Rushmore National Memorial; and Devil’s Tower National Monument.

The International Seminar on Mining will be held in the southwestern state of Arizona. The seminar will discuss emerging issues in mining in the US and globally. The seminar is designed for mid-career professionals who wish to take part in an interactive and intensive training to explore themes such as the environmental impacts of mining, conflict management, public consultation, artisanal mining, reclamation and how the Forest Service manages mining on Federal lands. The program is sponsored by the U.S. Forest Service International Programs.

The International Seminar on Community Resilience is held in the southeast region of the U.S. because it provides opportunities for rich discussion around key themes including; resilience, community engagement, disaster preparation, and partnerships. Resilient communities are better positioned to recover from natural disasters. Participants will explore what it means to be a resilient community by examining case studies in several different environments including urban/rural and inland/coastal communities.  Participants will investigate how to engage all aspects of a community through inclusive methodologies and use this ideal to discuss on the ground projects and their ability to fully engage communities and livelihood impacts. Additionally, training and planning activities are explored as key aspect of preparation with participants engaging directly with community level responders to understand the impact of their training. Participants will also learn about a coastal community planning process and its related on the ground activities. Participants will explore the role of partnerships in both preparing for and responding to disasters in order to see the many ways that these often unique but powerful relationships emerge to tackle complex challenges.