Economic Tools for Conservation - Information for Participants

Information for participants

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This course is designed and implemented by Conservation Strategy Fund (CSF) in partnership with the College of Natural Resources' International and Execitive Programs at UC Berkeley.

What you will learn

Our goal is to provide practical tools to help you design effective conservation programs, and confront badly planned, unsustainable development projects. You are a highly trained, experienced professional, and we hope to add a package of helpful knowledge and skills to your toolbox.

At the core of this course is economics. We do not regard economics as a philosophy that tells us the way things should be. Economics is one way of explaining and predicting phenomena in the world and offers useful insights about the way people use land, water, forests, oceans and other ecosystems. You will learn the methods experts use to place a monetary value on nature and how these methods are applied to tropical forests and reefs. You will do the sort of quantitative analysis experts at the World Bank and private companies use to justify development investments. You will gain a clearer understanding of the economic decisions private companies make in exploiting forests and other natural resources. Further, you will practice negotiating conservation policies with different stakeholders.

While the course will give you tools to evaluate the viability of conservation investments, it is not a course in business administration, and will not teach you to run a successful business. Similarly, we will not cover internal financial management and budgeting for non-profit organizations. We also will not be focusing on macroeconomics, which deals with the functioning of entire national economies. Rather, our focus is on microeconomics, which allows us to understand how individuals, families and companies interact and make up markets for particular goods (timber, fish, oil, land, tourism, etc.). Microeconomics provides the basis for all environmental and natural resource economics.

Preparing for the course

Before the course begins, we will make some reading available in an online workspace, including some from a basic microeconomics text. It will be helpful to review this reading before the course, especially if your native language is not English.

After the course, CSF hopes to help some of you apply your new skills in your home countries, so please begin to think now about projects or policies you may want to analyze upon your return.

You will have the opportunity to make a brief presentation (7 minutes) during an evening of the course about your home country and your work. You can share music, pictures of work and family, traditional clothing, etc. These presentations are meant to be fun and interesting and NOT slides full of text. Time limits will be strictly enforced to ensure that all participants have the chance to present. If you are interested in making a presentation, we encourage you to begin preparing something before the course begins.



Niki Gribi, Training Program Coordinator or

Kim Bonine, Training Director

Office Phone: 707-822-5505

Email: [email protected]



Visa Information

This course should be considered as a professional conference or workshop, and you can apply for a B-1 business visa. Do not apply for a student visa. Find more visa information HERE.

Travel to California

Check-in will be held on Saturday, June 30 and Sunday July 1. We will hold a mandatory orientation in our lounge space on Sunday evening. All participants should plan to arrive at UC Berkeley by 5pm on the June 30. The course will begin on the morning of Monday, July 2, and end the evening of Friday, July 13. Check out and departure will be Saturday, July 14.

We will have housing available starting on the night of Saturday, June 30. Please fill out the travel form so we can plan accordingly. After the night of July 13, you will need to arrange for your own lodging. You can check out the following resources for ideas:

San Francisco Bay Area Travel Guide

San Francisco Hostels

Berkeley Hostels

Northern California Hostels

When you make your travel arrangements, fly into the Oakland Airport (OAK) or the San Francisco Airport (SFO). OAK is about 30 minutes from the UC Berkeley campus, and SFO is about 60 minutes from the campus.

Airport Transport

Participants must secure their own transportation between the airport and UC Berkeley. Information about all the transportation options from SFO or OAK to UC Berkeley can be found HERE

The Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) public transportation system can bring you to Berkeley from either airport.

For information about traveling from OAK to Berkeley via BART, click HERE

For information about traveling from SFO to Berkeley via BART, click HERE



We will be staying in the Clark Kerr Campus. More information about your room assignment and check-in procedures will be provided in the week prior to the course. 

UC Berkeley Facilities and Grounds

The course will be held on the University of California’s flagship campus in the heart of Berkeley, California. Situated in the East Bay Area near San Francisco and Silicon Valley, the beautiful 1,232-acre campus includes world-renowned research facilities, a large ecological reserve, and botanical gardens.

Participants enjoy a “back to university” experience in the residential facilities on the UC Berkeley campus. These are shared accommodations with simple amenities. Your room will be in a suite with three other participants, one common bathroom per suite. With this in mind, we recommend that you pack a bathrobe and slippers for yourself. You will be provided two towels per week.

The residence hall is walking distance to the classroom, dining facilities, campus attractions, and downtown Berkeley.



Breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be provided at the Cark Kerr dining hall. The dining hall is in the same complex as our residence hall. There will be a variety of choices at every meal, including a vegetarian/vegan option. Please indicate any special dietary requests on your medical form (e.g. food allergies, vegetarian meal preference, etc.).

The first official meal of the course will be dinner on the evening of Saturday, June 30. The last meal of the course will be breakfast on Saturday, July 13.



Bring a laptop computer or tablet if you have one. Wireless internet access will be available on an unlimited number of devices per participant. Staff will be available to help you with the setup, and your patience is appreciated.



You will need to be covered by travel health insurance during the course. If you do not have a policy that will cover you while you are at UC Berkeley, please let us know and we will obtain a short-term insurance policy for you.

Personal Expenses

You are responsible for all of your personal expenses, such as mail, photocopies of personal materials, and food items outside the regular meals provided by the course. During your day off, you will be responsible for your own travel and lunch costs, if you choose not to eat at the dining hall. Travelers’ checks, Visa and MasterCard are accepted at most locations.

Recreational Facilities

Recreational and athletic facilities are available on the UC Berkeley campus. Fees associated with recreational and athletic facility usage will be your responsibility and will be paid directly to UC Berkeley. 

A day pass or one month membership can be purchased. The current facility schedules can be found HERE.  

What to bring

The weather in this part of California is variable during all seasons, so bring clothing for both warm and cool weather. In August, expect minimum temperatures of around 10°-13° C and maximum temperatures of 25°-35° C. Bring comfortable, casual clothes – at least enough to last 7 days without doing laundry. Bring long pants and shorts or skirts, and both long- and short-sleeved shirts, as well as a sweater or sweatshirt for cool nights. Please also pack a celebration outfit for our graduation ceremony and party. You will have access to laundry machines during the course.

Among other items, we recommend you bring:


Sturdy shoes for walking to and from the classroom, hiking or playing volleyball, soccer or other recreational activities during free time; a windbreaker or rain jacket (visits to the coast can be cold, wet, foggy and windy); a sweater or jacket (nights can be cold); a warm hat; a sun hat.

Equipment and other items

A flashlight, sunscreen, sunglasses, water bottle, calculator, pens and pencils, notebook or paper, camera, binoculars (optional)



UC Berkeley is very close to downtown Berkeley where you can walk around and go shopping during your free time. 

Northern California has a great deal to offer, and within an hour of Berkeley are cities such as San Francisco and Oakland, the popular beach and surfing town of Santa Cruz, and ample opportunities for hiking, camping and biking through woodlands and redwood forests. Many of the most well-known California wineries are located about two hours away in Napa and Sonoma counties. On your day off you may want to take a day trip to San Francisco, Monterey Bay, or one of several nearby State and National Parks. We will be glad to direct you to information on tourist attractions, but please plan to do extended shopping and sightseeing before or after the course.



Payment Policy: Payment is due within 60 days of acceptance, and no later than 7 days before the start of the training program.

Refund Policy: If you cannot attend a program, you must notify CSF by phone or email prior to the program start date. To notify please call our Training Staff at (707) 822-5505 or send an email to [email protected]

You then have the following options:

  1. Send a substitute participant at no extra cost. Please provide a written request to [email protected] indicating the name of the original registrant and the name/contact information for the substitute attendee.
  2. Receive credit for any other training program of equal or lesser value. Program credit must be used within one year of the date issued.
  3. Receive a refund (minus $100 administrative fee) in the same form as payment.

No Show Policy: Registrants who do not show up for the training without prior notification will forfeit the full course fee.

Cancellation Policy:  Conservation Strategy Fund reserves the right to cancel any training program. If a program is cancelled, we will notify each registrant as soon as possible. Registrants may choose a full refund or credit towards another program.

For more information regarding training program policies, please contact CSF at (707) 822-5505 or by email at [email protected]