“Magic Moments” in “Best of Austria”

by Selina Treffner

Austrian protected areas pool their wealth of experience

The newly launched master programme “Management of Conservation Areas” at the Carinthia University of Applied Sciences will start this autumn. “The preparations are in full swing,” says Michael Jungmeier, scientific director of the programme. “I am very pleased that we are receiving such diverse support.” National and international institutions and personalities support developing and offering extraordinary learning experiences in three accompanying committees.

The Austrian Experience Pool was constituted at a working meeting in February. Austrian national and nature parks, biosphere reserves, nature conservation departments and educational institutions are represented here. They collect, reflect and bundle the Austrian expertise in the catalogue “Best of Austria”. It is intended to make existing experiences and practical examples available to students from all over the world. This information can then be integrated into teaching and followed up in the form of seminar papers and excursions.

In the master programme, students learn what “magic moments” are and how the Hohe Tauern National Park stages extraordinary nature experiences. How can barrier-free visitor offers be implemented even in difficult terrain and what requirements must a modern visitor centre meet? In the Science_Linknockberge research programme, a biosphere reserve has established a long-term cooperation with a university. The participants learn first-hand how such a cooperation works, what opportunities it offers and what difficulties have to be overcome. Other interesting examples include species and habitat conservation, planning, nature conservation by contracts, regional cooperation, financing and new technologies. The students in the master programme “Management of Conservation Areas” not only receive a theoretically and technically sound education; inspiring examples also give them a deep insight into the practice of protected area management.

The master programme “Management of Conservation Areas” takes two years. However, the attendance phase lasts only 64 days, so that the course can also be completed part-time. The application deadline for the next round is on 30 June 2019. Further information can be found at https://e-c-o.at/trainings-en.html.

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