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About the IIC

The mission of the Institute for Integrative Conservation is to empower an inclusive community of thought leaders to create and deliver timely, innovative solutions to the world's most pressing conservation challenges. 

IIC Infographic

Biodiversity supports all life, and is the foundation of human well-being. Yet, we are amidst a global mass extinction being driven by human activity. This loss can be slowed by changes in human behavior. Therefore, biodiversity conservation requires solutions that support human well-being while protecting ecosystems and the diversity of species within them. Integrative biodiversity conservation solutions attend to the entwined psychological, cultural, behavioral, social, and systemic aspects of our world.

Integrative solutions promote biodiversity conservation by supporting the sustainable livelihoods, health, and social well-being of people, and by promoting the rights, sovereignty and self-determination, engagement, and cultural heritage of diverse human communities. The IIC addresses systems needed to promote greater diversity and sustained capacity at all levels of the conservation enterprise. 

Introduction to the Institute for Integrative Conservation

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Conservation Education

In collaboration with academic and conservation partners, the IIC has designed an entirely new curriculum for training the next generation of conservation leaders, and offers both a major and a minor in Integrative Conservation. Along with conservation science, students develop skills in research design, business processes, management, finance, regulatory frameworks, and fundraising. They explore conservation ethics, diverse perspectives on conservation, and environmental justice. Students learn to be expert communicators who can relate to a diversity of audiences and cultures.

Conservation Research

Our Conservation Research Program offers paid internships for students to work directly with conservation partners on applied research projects around the world. We connect students to a network of conservation practitioners, and cultivate the research, communication, collaboration, and leadership skills needed to develop career-ready students.

Capacity Development

We connect conservation knowledge to action by bringing together partners from across private, public, and non-profit sectors to conduct applied, interdisciplinary research, to develop tools and trainings, and to establish long-term collaborative relationships that foster place-based learning and integrative conservation. 

Outreach and Outputs

We cultivate a community of conservation learners, scholars, and practitioners through speaking events, film screenings, workshops, and social events that foster cross-sector, transdisciplinary and multicultural conservation discussions.

Our Network

The IIC Network consists of innovative W&M faculty, staff and students, other educational institutions, conservation NGOs and nonprofits, state and federal agencies, private corporations, Indigenous Peoples, and local communities. Members of our network bring diverse perspectives, skills, knowledge, and expertise to the challenge of biodiversity conservation, which when synthesized, leads to innovative conservation solutions.

The IIC is thankful for the guidance and support of our external Conservation Advisory Board, our W&M Steering Committee, our Research and Curriculum Committees, our Student Leadership Council, and to our conservation partners.

Working with internal and external partners, the IIC will help design, test, and implement new technologies to solve specific conservation issues and help turn vast amounts of data into useful information. Through establishing a strong network of conservation organizations, federal and state agencies, and private corporations, the IIC can help turn integrative research into actionable policy.