International conservation charity the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) has opened applications for its tenth annual ‘Steppe Forward’ summer conservation field course, which takes place on the rolling grasslands of Mongolia.
Open to undergraduates studying a biology-related subject, the 12-day course gives students the opportunity to gain invaluable field training in practical conservation techniques from experienced researchers. Skills taught include small mammal trapping, bird population monitoring and remote camera trapping.
Julien Godfrey from ZSL’s Conservation Programmes team said: “The Steppe Forward programme is an unmissable opportunity for budding field scientists to explore the incredible biodiversity, culture and history of Mongolia and gain invaluable skills to equip them for a career in conservation.”
Run in collaboration with National University of Mongolia, participants will live and learn alongside Mongolian students in the centre of the breath-taking Hustai National Park, staying in traditional felt tents.
From wild Mongolian hamsters (Allocricetulus curtatus) to the reintroduced Przewalski’s horse (Equus ferus przewalskii), the Steppe Forward Summer Field Course is a unique chance for students to immerse themselves in the wildlife of this remote wilderness.
Former Steppe Forward participant Will Hurst from the University of Manchester said: “I’ll always remember Mongolia because of the amazing people I met and the incredible sense of adventure that it gave me while I was there.”
Participants are required to cover their individual course costs, which includes a donation that enables aspiring Mongolian conservationists to share the opportunity, building further local capacity.
- For more information on the 2016 Steppe Forward programme, please contact Julien.Godfrey@zsl.org or visit our webpage.
- Biology graduate Jack Poole blogs about his experience of the ZSL Steppe Forward Summer Field Course.