WildCRU’s eLearning Wildlife Conservation Course piles up successes

September 14, 2020

The eLearning Wildlife Conservation Course (eWCC) conceived by the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit and directed by our treasured alumnus Dr. Cedric Tan has enjoyed numerous   successes, and it’s time to celebrate another. One of our students, Nyein Zaw Ko (eWCC alumni 2020) is the founder of Nature Advocacy and the director of “Save Irrawaddy Dolphin” Campaign. Nyein was inspired with his campaign communication idea from an online lecture about communication by Cedric who directed and taught eWCC (WildCRU, Oxford – see also details of our residential Diploma course).

Originally graduated as a bioengineer from Bucknell University in Pennsylvania, Nyein always had a passion for nature conservation. After extensive experience as a quantitative analyst in consumer research at the Nielsen Company, he entered the conservation field as a freelance eco-tourism researcher, and developed a cooperation with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) to protect the critically endangered Irrawaddy dolphins in Myanmar.

Nyein explains how he came to participate in WildCRU’s  eWCC, “It was from my colleagues at WCS that I learnt about e-learning Wildlife Conservation Course (eWCC) conducted by University of Oxford’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU). Initially, I was only interested in finding out more about the field of conservation but when the course commenced, I found the materials to be very engaging and the practical skills were also readily applicable to the field. The concepts and lessons from the course are also quite fundamental and the explanations are suitable not just for entry-level conservationists but also for anyone with a science background who has a passion for the field.”

“Another big asset about the course is an extensive cast of teaching assistants, and students from all over the world, engaged in a wide range of conservation projects. The course provides an excellent opportunity for early career conservationists to network with each other and learn more about ongoing conservation works from many different parts of the world. Even though the course only covers the basics, I quickly noticed the utilitarian value of various tools, such as GIS, R programming, communication, storytelling etc. Hence, I consult regularly with the experts in those fields to make the best use of these tools in “Irrawaddy Dolphin Online Campaigns” as well as in my other projects.” – Nyein

Click here to read the story, in Nyein’s words, revealing how he transformed the plight of Irrawaddy Dolphin in Myanmar, inspired by the skills he studied in our eWCC course.

  • Snippets of eWCC: Virtual reality of Cedric’s research seminar on clouded leopards (above) and Webinar (below)