Biodiversity Informatics Training – “Measuring Ecosystem Services & Biodiversity Variables” course in Kigali, Rwanda

Biodiversity Informatics Training - "Measuring Ecosystem Services & Biodiversity Variables” course in Kigali, RwandaCourse: Measuring Ecosystem Services & Essential Biodiversity Variables
This course centers on building capacity in the areas of measuring and quantifying ecosystem services and essential biodiversity variables, which are key in efforts to study, report, and manage biodiversity change. The course will be imparted by experts in this field, and will provide expertise in translating data that are readily and openly available into concrete information about biodiversity. Instructors will provide perspectives on pollination, medicinal plants, carbon cycling, remote sensing, and more.The course will initiate with a symposium presented by instructors and other regional experts, after which will follow an intensive workshop in which a limited number of participants chosen via this application form will focus on preparing and developing their own information resources and datasets. The final phase of the course will include a networking meeting with local and regional governmental agencies and policy-makers to discuss biodiversity policy and management. The initial symposium is indeed open to everyone, but the subsequent events will be restricted to a small number (10-15) of participants, to be selected from among those applying via this form.The course will take place 16 September – 26 September, 2019, in Kigali, Rwanda. Potential applicants should note that the course will be taught in English, but that several of the instructors speak French, and we will make arrangements to assist French-speaking trainees in understanding course content and materials.


NOTE: Owing to constraints of the funding that is making this course possible, this course is only open to Africa-based participants, and indeed is supposed to focus in an 8-country subset of East Africa; we may be able to make some exceptions to this latter limitation. To open the content of the course more broadly, however, we will capture all course content and events in the form of digital video, and this content will be made openly available worldwide via YouTube and other platforms, with all content indexed and linked at

All researchers, students, technicians, planners, managers, and other interested persons from Africa and based in Africa are welcome to apply. Approximately 6-8 applicants from outside Rwanda will be selected to participate in the training course; local participants will be admitted as well in approximately equal numbers. Final selection of participants will be based on the following criteria:

1. Applicability of course material to the applicant’s occupation, research, studies, and overall interest.

2. Potential for applicant to use new knowledge to implement studies and advances in the area of essential biodiversity variables and ecosystem services.

3. Adequate knowledge or experience in related fields so as to maximize the benefit of participation in the training course.

4. Potential for further sharing and diffusion of knowledge acquired during training.

5. Strength of letter of recommendation from current employer/supervisor.

Cost of Attendance

Thanks to support from the JRS Biodiversity Foundation, participation in the course will be free to all participants chosen. Transportation costs will be covered, and meals will be provided during training sessions; per diems will not be provided, in light of all relevant expenses being covered. To maximize numbers of course participants that the program can accommodate, participants residing in Kigali within a commute of less than 1 hour will be reimbursed for daily travel to and from the course. Lunches and snacks during breaks will be provided for these local participants. Course participants traveling from outside Kigali will be funded for travel from the closest major city in their home or resident country to Kigali and back. These longer-distance participants will be provided food and lodging for the duration of the course.

Application Requirements

Applicants are responsible for assuring that all of the following materials are in the hands of the program organizers.

1. Application form.note that all prompts denoted by a ” * ” are required information, and answer all questions explicitly. Please do NOT copy and paste your CV into answer blanks.

2. Letter of recommendation from current employer/home institution

3. Curriculum vitae (CV)

Completed applications are due no later than 1 JULY 2019 and applicants accepted to the training course will be notified by approximately 1 August 2019. Application materials and any questions regarding the application process may be addressed to the course organizers (Erin Saupe and Town Peterson are the project co-directors) at


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