HS Courses in Conservation for College Credit

Greetings from the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation!


You may know that SMSC—a partnership between the Smithsonian Institution and George Mason University—offers summer courses for rising high school juniors and seniors interested in conservation, environmental science, biology, and related topics. We wanted to introduce you to our pair of upcoming immersive programs so that you could share this information with interested students.


Our high school courses are residential, so students stay in our recently built residence hall within the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia. There is no better place to live and learn about the world of conservation from some of the leading experts in the field! Each of our Summer 2020 courses is worth 2 college credits. The courses won’t overlap, so students may take one or both.


CONS 100: Introduction to Field Conservation Ecology

June 21 – 28 (2 credits) | Registration Fee: $2,300

Get hands-on field experience in conservation, and define an ecological research question with a conservation practitioner.


CONS 110: How to Be a Better Naturalist

July 19 – 25 (2 credits) | Registration Fee: $2,100

Describe field marks for a variety of animal and plant taxa, deploy observation and monitoring equipment, and apply conservation techniques to the natural world near your home.


Included with the course costs are:

·         all program lodging and meals;

·         all course fees, entrance fees, and field-trip costs during the program; and

·         complimentary round-trip transportation between Front Royal, VA and Dulles International Airport (IAD) on arrival/departure dates.


Registration is open now through mid-May. Students and parents can register using the red button at the top of the page here


If you could use a stack of our physical info cards (e-version attached), I’ll gladly drop some in the mail for you. Just reply with the best mailing address. We love sharing information about our programs, so if you, instructors at your institution, your students or their parents or guardians have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.


Wishing you a fantastic spring,




Robert Barrett

Assistant Director of Recruitment and Outreach

Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation
184 Farm Road, Front Royal, VA 22630

(540) 635-0460 | rbarret@gmu.edu