Welcome to the International School of Marine Conservation Science - isMSC!


The lack of professionals trained in integrated and interdisciplinary evidence-based conservation has been identified as one of the key problems in the field of marine conservation science. Therefore, three institutions from Europe and USA have come together and launched the International School of Marine Conservation Science – isMCS. Our goal is to enhance education and capacity building in the field of marine conservation by training a new generation of conservation scientists. We seek to identify the link between biological systems, human impacts and the critical role of social science, education, and policy in marine conservation.

Offered as a 10-day intensive graduate-level course, accredited by both U.S. (5 credits) and the European credit transfer system (6 ECTS), isMCS provides not only concept and content in the field of marine conservation science, but also facilitates interactions between, and learning among students coming from different countries and geo-political systems of Europe, Americas, Africa, Asia and the Indo-Pacific, providing international contacts as the basis for long-term international collaborative opportunities. If you have an interest in the biological, ecological, environmental, cultural, social, political and economic aspects of Marine Conservation, and aim to make your career in the field of marine conservation science then this class is for you!

Explore this website to learn more about isMCS, and if you have any questions please do not hesitate contact us us for more information!

An Introduction to Marine Conservation

The world’s oceans are vast, productive, and dynamic systems. Humans relied upon them for eons to provide food, transportation and numerous ecosystem services that sustain our life on Earth. Modern industrialization and a growing human population has created a changing environment, with subsequent losses of biological diversity and ecosystem resources1. The biggest threats to the world’s oceans include overfishing2,3, loss of biodiversity and extinction events4,5, pollution (physical6, chemical7, and environmental8), climate change9, ocean acidification10,11, overuse and coastal development12, and bioinvasions13. Dispersed and distributed impact sources, lack of strong governance, poor community buy-in for the implementation of new rules, and resource conflicts often compound these problems.

In the last decade marine scientists, conservationists, policymakers, and stakeholders have come together, creating visions for a way forward14,15,16. In some places, management action has led to the recovery of once decimated stocks17. Reforms of EU Common Fisheries Policy18 may correct that situation in Europe (although some are skeptical19). There are new bans on plastic inputs to our oceans20, and an increasing focus on how managing for ocean resilience can combat stress and change21,22. Marine reserves processes are becoming better understood, and reserves are being established at an increasing rate23, including the three largest reserves on the planet being created in 201524 and 201625,26. Working within and across political boundaries provide a means for oceans to continue to provide for the marine organisms as well as humans that rely on them27,28. Finally, real progress is being made to change the course of climate change29. In order to continue this progress and make marine conservation a success story, we need a new generation of conservation scientists, resource managers, and policy makers.

The International School of Marine Conservation Science is designed to do just that. Over an intensive 10 day period, the isMCS will cover concepts of evidence-based conservation science from population to ecosystem levels, including human dimensions, as well as topical issues in marine conservation. From this students will develop some of the knowledge, tools, and skills necessary to become effective players in the field of Marine Conservation Science.


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