INFORMATION FOR PARTICIPANTS
What you will learn
Our goal in this course is to give you some very practical tools that can help you design more effective conservation programs, and confront badly planned, unsustainable development projects. You are a highly trained, experienced professional, so we hope to add to your toolbox a package of knowledge and skills that will help you do a better job.
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.). It is microeconomics that provides the basis for all environmental and natural resource economics.
Preparing for the course
Before the course begins, we will make several of the readings accessible online. We will also post some readings from a basic microeconomics text that will be helpful to review 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.
This course should be considered like a professional conference or workshop, and you can apply for a B-1 business visa. Do not apply for a student visa. For more visa information, please see: http://conservation-strategy.org/en/page/visa-information
Travel to California
An orientation will be held on Sunday evening, August 19. All participants should plan to arrive at Stanford University by 5pm on Sunday, August 19. If you will not be able to arrive on Sunday, you should make plans to arrive on Saturday, August 18 instead.
The course will begin on the morning of Monday, August 20. The course will end the evening of Friday, August 31. We will provide transportation from Stanford University to the airport on Saturday morning, September 1. If you need lodging at Stanford the nights of August 18 or September 1, please let us know. Before or after those dates you will need to arrange for your own lodging.
When you make your travel arrangements, you should fly into the San Francisco Airport (SFO) or the San Jose Airport (SJC), both of which are located about 30 minutes from Stanford University.
Participants must secure their own transportation between the airport and Stanford University. Transportation from SFO/SJC to Stanford University is easy to arrange via a Door-to-Door airport shuttle van. Shuttles cost $25-$30 USD from either airport to Stanford University, regardless of time of day/night. It is customary to give a tip to the driver of about $2-$3. If at all possible, we recommend that you take "Super Shuttle" and do not take "South and East Bay Shuttle" because they often overcharge their passengers.
At the San Francisco Airport, shuttles pick up on the Departures/Ticketing Level from the roadway Center Island at all terminals.
For help getting from SFO, dial 511 from within the San Francisco Bay Area or (510) 817-1717 from outside the San Francisco Bay Area.
At the San Jose Airport, shuttles can either be arranged in the airport or can be found waiting in one of two areas: Terminal A - In the Ground Transportation Center located south of the Terminal Garage.
Terminal C – Outside on the same side of street, just south of baggage claim.
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LODGING AT STANFORD
Our Course House is where we will be staying during the course:
549 Lasuen Mall
Stanford, CA 94305
Phone numbers at our residence will be provided closer to start of the course. Please note that we will not be able to receive any mail or packages at our residence. An alternate mailing address is provided below.
Our course house (Columbae) is located on Mayfield Avenue off of Campus Drive East, near the Tresidder Union. Ask your shuttle driver to be dropped off on Mayfield Ave in front of the Mars house. (Again, this airport shuttle van should not cost more than $30.) You will be greeted by a CSF team member who will help you check in.
Course Mailing Address
If you need to receive mail or packages during the course, you can have them sent to the Woods Institute at the following address:
c/o Mollie Field, Woods Institute for the Environment
Y2E2 - MC 4205, 473 Via Ortega
Stanford, CA 94305-4205
Stanford Facilities and Grounds
The course will be held on the Stanford University campus in Stanford, California. The 8,000-acre campus is 45 minutes south of San Francisco and surrounded by foothills and rolling Oak woodlands. For more information on the Stanford campus and surrounding areas, including maps of the University, consult Stanford University’s visitor website at http://www.stanford.edu/dept/visitorinfo/plan.
Our group will be staying in a large dormitory-style house on campus. We will have sole use of the house, including the kitchen, bathrooms, laundry room, computer room and common areas, which will enable participants, staff and instructors to interact both during and outside of class. However, as with almost all student accommodations on the Stanford campus, these are shared accommodations with simple amenities. Your room will sleep two people of the same gender and share a common bathroom on each floor. With this in mind, we recommend that you pack a bathrobe and slippers for yourself. You will be provided two towels per week. Available single rooms in our residence will be available to participants on a lottery basis for an additional $500 fee.
Course lectures will be given in a classroom on the Stanford Campus and in the common space of the house. Our classroom is approximately a 20-minute walk from our residence, and a 10-minute walk from the dining hall. Campus shuttles will be available to and from our residence to the classroom for those not wanting to walk.
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MEALS AT STANFORD
We will eat breakfast and lunch in a dining hall on campus and eat dinners at our residence. The dining hall is a 10-15 minute walk from our residence. There will be a variety of choices at every meal, including a vegetarian/vegan option. Please indicate any special dietary requests on your medical questionnaire form (e.g. food allergies, vegetarian meal preference, etc.).
The first official meal of the course will be dinner on the evening of Sunday, August 19th. We will also have lunch items available at our residence on Sunday afternoon. The last meal of the course is breakfast on Saturday, September 1st.
There is also a convenience store in the Tresidder Student Union that offers a variety of food, drinks, school supplies, magazines, calling cards, and over-the-counter medications:
Tel: (650) 723-9224
10am - 6pm
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INTERNET AND TELEPHONE
Bring a laptop computer if you have one. We will have several desktop computers available in the residence for Internet access during evenings and breaks, and Stanford also has Internet access at various libraries around campus. If necessary, the staff can send and receive important messages for you (messages can be sent to [email protected]).
Wireless access at Stanford University involves a complicated registration process that includes ensuring that your computer is completely current with Microsoft updates and anti-virus protection software. Visit http://rescomp.stanford.edu/conferences/connections.php for more information. You will be receiving a code from CSF to cover the cost of registration. Please be advised that this can be a time-consuming process taking hours and even sometimes a couple of days to set up, so your patience is appreciated.
If you have questions, you can email [email protected]. Please note that all of your windows updates and anti-virus software must be current in order to register for wireless access at Stanford.
You will have use of a shared telephone at our residence that can be used to make and receive phone calls during breaks. The telephone number at our residence where you can receive calls will be provided closer to the start of the course.
Long distance calling cards can be purchased through the Internet from various vendors (try http://www.consumer.att.com/prepaidcard/ or http://www.callingcards.com/) or on the Stanford Campus at the Tresidder Express convenience store at the Tresidder Student Union. If you plan to make international phone calls, it is probably most cost-effective to buy a calling card online. If you bring a mobile telephone, it must be turned off during class hours.
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HEALTH, RECREATION AND WHAT TO BRING
You will need to be covered by travel health insurance during the course. If you do not already have a policy that will cover you while you are at Stanford, please let us know and we can obtain a short-term insurance policy for you.
You are responsible for all your personal expenses, such as personal telephone calls, mail, photocopies of personal materials, and food items outside the regular meals provided by the course. During the day off and optional trip to San Francisco, participants will be responsible for their own travel and dinner costs. Travelers’ checks, Visa and MasterCard are accepted at most locations.
Recreational and athletic facilities (pool, gym, etc.) are available on the Stanford Campus. Upon arrival, more information will be available about facilities, hours, access passes and short-term membership fees. Any fees associated with recreational or athletic facility usage will be the responsibility of the participant and will need to be paid directly to Stanford University.
What to bring
The weather is variable during all seasons, so bring clothing for both warm and cool weather. Stanford can be very warm, but visits to the coast and to San Francisco can be cold and foggy. In August, expect minimum temperatures of around 10°-13° C in the evening 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 an outfit for our graduation night and after party. You will have access to free laundry machines in the residence during the course.
Among other items, we recommend you bring:
- sturdy shoes for walking to and from the classroom, and for 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)
- sweaters (nights can be cold)
- a warm hat
- a sun hat
Equipment and other items:
- a flashlight
- a water bottle
- a calculator
- pens and pencils
- a camera (optional)
- binoculars (optional)
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Stanford University is located close to downtown Palo Alto and we will schedule a couple of evening trips for walking around, shopping and free time. Overall, please plan on having limited access to shops and stores. During the course, we will visit a nature preserve near Stanford and take a day trip to San Francisco or Monterey Bay. Northern California has a great deal to offer, and within an hour of Stanford are cities such as San Francisco and Berkeley, 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. We will be glad to direct you to information on tourist attractions, but please plan to do your shopping and sightseeing before or after the course. You will be very busy during the course, so there will not be time for such visits outside of planned excursions.
Stanford’s free Marguerite Shuttle (http://transportation.stanford.edu/marguerite/) provides service around campus and into downtown Palo Alto. Maps and schedule can be found at http://transportation.stanford.edu/maps.shtml