Our Community Engagement team has been working since 2005 to make the Institute’s scientific staff and facilities available to challenge, engage, and inspire students from middle school to college. In our state-of-the-art Conservation Education Lab and Eddy Family Outdoor Learning Lab, students, teachers, and community members have direct experience with research scientists, gain access to powerful research tools, and are involved in lessons that connect them to the science of conservation in new and exciting ways.

Our approach provides the opportunity to share a full, in-depth look at the work of conservation biology and the many fields of study that help guide conservation decision-making. Our specialized facilities offer the chance to work firsthand with the tools and techniques used in conserving endangered species. All of our programs are developmentally appropriate, relevant to real-world problems, and emphasize understanding through inquiry.

Field Trips

For more information on Community Engagement programs available to school and community groups, download our MODULE and PROGRAM PACKET.

​​Program Contact: conservationeducation@sandiegozoo.org

Teacher Workshops in Conservation Science

Our summer workshops for middle school and high school science teachers began with 12 participants in the summer of 2006. A dozen high school life science teachers from all over Southern California were invited to the Beckman Center for Conservation Research to experience a week in the life of a conservation scientist. The pilot program focused on the conservation history and recovery of the California condor, and was designed to bring topics of conservation science into local classrooms.

Over a decade later, we have built a nationally recognized and fully accredited program with a stellar reputation for giving teachers access to unparalleled information and experiences. To date, we have trained more than 1000 middle and high school science teachers from all 50 states and nine other countries. Participants spend their days in intensive study in the Conservation Education Lab and their evenings at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, engaging with staff members and acquiring invaluable new skills to take back to their home campuses. During the workshop, teachers work together to frame content standards in the context of wildlife conservation and explore ways to challenge students to apply textbook knowledge of life science to current biodiversity challenges.

Share our program flyer with your colleagues!

Each year we invite middle school, high school, and undergraduate educators from around the nation (and the world!) to our research headquarters in Escondido, California to learn about headline scenarios in wildlife conservation. During the program, participants engage in activities that focus on critical issues facing endangered species using a variety of advanced technical tools and techniques; all activities support the Next Generation Science Standards and can be implemented back in the classroom. Our grant-funded scholarships for this residential program include all meals and lodging, and a $500 stipend paid upon completion of the full program.

This year, we would like to focus on site team pairs, and ask that you find just one partner from your site to apply with. These pairs can be cross-curricular and cross-grade level, provided at least one educator teaches life science. Both team member should attend the same session together if selected to participate. If you cannot find a partner to apply with, you are welcome to apply as a solo applicant. 

Weeks available this summer:

July 9-11th: High School Focus

July 16-18th: Middle School Focus

*August 6-8th: High School Focus

*August 13-15th: Middle School Focus

The starred weeks are dependent on further funding and are subject to cancellation.

The application deadline to participate on one of our grant-funded scholarships has been extended to Sunday, April 15th. Acceptance decisions will be sent via email Friday, April 20th.

Apply for our Teacher Workshops in Conservation Science!

Introducing our new registration option!

Would you like to skip the application process (we receive hundreds of applications for only 120 spots) and guarantee your spot in a Teacher Workshops this summer? New this year, our registration option allows educators to immediately secure their spot in a 2018 Teacher Workshop by mobilizing their own professional development funds. Registration for this residential program includes all meals and lodging for the duration of the workshop, in addition to program fees, special experiences, and materials.

Week available this summer: July 30th-August 1st. The registration rate for 2018 is $2,000, to be paid by personal check or purchase order. More details can be found at the link below!

This option is first-come first-served to the first 32 registrants who would like to guarantee their spot with us at the ICR this summer. We hope you will consider the option of registering for your Teacher Workshops in Conservation Science experience with professional development funds or by other means.

Register for our Teacher Workshops in Conservation Science!

Program Contact: teacherworkshops@sandiegozoo.org