Collaborative Fisheries Research Fellowship: Leading the Way in Building Conservation Engineering Capacity and Assessing e-Learning Strategies

The New Frontiers and Changing World in collaborative fisheries research entail new expectations for the conduct of fisheries science, including more collaborative approaches in the research toolkit.  Further, the field of conservation engineering is experiencing a rapidly shrinking workforce.  Leading the Way is a multi-institutional pilot Collaborative Fisheries Research Graduate Fellowship program.  The Fellowship was developed, tested and refined during the 2010/2011 academic year.  The Fellowship seeks to: expand the conservation engineering capacity of marine fisheries scientists possessing collaborative research skills and experience; cultivate a vibrant, enduring professional cohort with e-networking tools to integrate across generations, disciplines and employment sectors; and advance professional standards for collaborative research and re-establish a professional culture of collaboration between fisheries scientists and industry.   The Fellowship contains a: 1) web-based course, Theory & Practice of Collaborative Fisheries Research; 2) ongoing, moderated peer-mentoring and coaching, using social networking software; and 3) practicum to put Fellows’ new collaborative research knowledge, skills, and standards into practice, reflect upon their experience, and address a real-world fishing gear problem.  The accepted AFS symposium will include oral presentations that introduce and frame the demand and growing opportunities for collaborative fisheries research, conservation engineering, and a skilled workforce in NOAA Fisheries and the global NGO community.  Second, the symposium will provide a detailed overview of the Fellowship program, discussing and assessing its components, the e-networking strategies and tools, and research practicum projects (presented by the Fellows).  Last, the symposium will conclude with a panel among selected speakers to discuss evaluation issues, program design options, and future opportunities.   The proceedings will be published by the sponsors. 
Troy Hartley and Christopher Glass
Troy Hartley, Christopher Glass and Steven X. Cadrin
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