Naturalis Biodiversity Center contributes substantially to educating a new generation of modern taxonomists and biodiversity experts. We work closely together with our partner universities to provide a wide range of educational modules for various course programmes.
As an international centre of expertise and part of an academic working group with our partner universities of Amsterdam, Leiden and Wageningen, Naturalis Biodiversity Center is contributing to educating a new generation of excellent scientists and academic professionals in taxonomy and biodiversity.
We badly need these top-class talents to address global problems such as:
- global change
- sustainability and competing claims on the use of natural resources
- the considerable decline in numbers of species and habitats
- large-scale changes in land use and damage to ecosystems
The combination of high-ranking collections, state-of-the-art research facilities and broad expertise in biodiversity, brought together in a single institute, makes Naturalis Biodiversity Center a unique and stimulating learning environment. We offer a comprehensive range of specific subjects and course modules to reinforce existing university programmes and other education and training tracks.
Naturalis Biodiversity Center contributes to our partner universities’ biology and earth science Bachelor’s programmes. The course modules are also open to students from other institutes, subject to certain conditions.
We organise guest lectures by leading research scientists, as well as seminars and summer coursesin:
- earth sciences
- comparative morphology and anatomy
- (molecular) systematics
Master’s students have wide-ranging opportunities to benefit from the clustering of collections, research facilities, fieldwork and our wide range of experts. As well as many research internships, we will by 2012 be able to offer a series of specialised optional course modules for researchers and professional biodiversity experts. The ultimate objective is to offer a full and accredited national Master of Science in ‘Systematics, Evolution and Biodiversity’ in cooperation with our partner universities. In order to reinforce the concept of combining university education and research, each of our partner universities will appoint at least one Naturalis Biodiversity Center staff member as a professor.
This clustering of academic expertise within a single, broad, cohesive Master’s in ‘Systematics, Evolution and Biodiversity’ will be unique in Europe and will attract students from the Netherlands and elsewhere. As part of the ongoing efforts to return biodiversity expertise to its sources, we will specifically focus on attracting students from tropical countries where biodiversity is very high, but where facilities for collections and educational capacity are lacking.
MSc graduates with an Naturalis Biodiversity Center specialisation will be widely employable and able to find jobs in:
- national and international academic or other research groups
- national, international, provincial and municipal authorities and semi-public bodies
- national and international forestry and nature management organisations
- selective plant breeding
- forensic studies
- drafting legislation and regulations at the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation (‘EZLI’) and the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment (‘IM’)
- research into plant diseases, plagues, pests and invading organisms
- water management
- monitoring consultancies
- vocational and higher vocational education
- nature and environmental education
- public relations (PR)
Naturalis Biodiversity Center and its partner universities will together represent a stronger organisation that will pro-actively reinforce the cohesiveness and increase the scope of their PhD programmes.
By combining state-of-the-art educational and research facilities with our own experts’ knowledge and individual supervision we will be able to contribute significantly to enhancing the quality of the PhD programmes on offer, and thus to establishing an internationally leading PhD programme in Systematics.
As in the Bachelor’s and Master’s tracks, the partner universities will share responsibility for the PhD programmes. Cooperation in education and research will result in reciprocal use of each other’s facilities.
Our organisational structure means we can offer specialised and demand-driven education in the form of courses and workshops on taxonomic expertise in plant and animal groups, monitoring and identification tools (such as DNA barcoding) and national and international legislation and regulations. Those interested will include other universities and training organisations, such as the International Training Centre (ITC) in Enschede, higher vocational education colleges such as Van Hall-Larensteijn and organisations such as CITES, the Dutch Customs Service, the Dutch National Forest Service and nature and environment consultancies.
For more information on our higher education programmes, please contact the Naturalis Biodiversity Center education coordinator, who is responsible for drafting and implementing our educational ambitions and for coordinating our programmes.