University of Florida as the leader in conservation training for Latin America


University of Florida is internationally recognized as the leading academic institution for conservation training in Latin America. Over the last 20 years, UF has provided conservation training for more than 200 graduate students and conservation practitioners from Latin America.

The beginning of the Southern Cone Conservation Leadership Initiative dates to 1991, when UFs Center of Latin American Studies and Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation initiated training of conservation professionals from Argentina and Chile with a grant from the Tinker Foundation. Since that time, UF faculty have continued to train Southern Cone students supported by faculty grants, Fulbright scholarships, and funding from their home countries. UF faculty also teach at Southern Cone universities, advise programs such as the Argentine National Biodiversity Monitoring Network in Agro-ecosystems, and collaborate with in-country partners to build conservation education and research programs.

UF graduates are leaders in conservation programs throughout Latin America and their impacts in the Southern Cone are significant. For example, as directors of the Andean and Patagonian Steppe Program of Wildlife Conservation Society in Argentina, our graduates have conducted research that lays the foundation for three new wildlife reserves and corridors to protect long distance migrations of wildlife in Patagonia. Other graduates are building conservation programs at universities in Argentina and Chile, directing sustainability initiatives for subtropical forests, and designing innovative solutions to agriculture-wildlife conflict.

Officially launched in 2009, SCCL is part of an interactive and highly synergistic cluster of training programs at UF focused on conservation training in Latin America, Africa, and Asia (TCD, ACLI, PSTC, MDP).