On Monday 12 April, Leave No Trace Ireland and Munster Technological University officially launched the Certificate in Nature Animation. Speakers at the online orientation included Minister Malcolm Noonan and MTU President Maggie Cusack. Leave No Trace Ireland’s chairperson Paddy Doherty welcomed the students and highlighted the need for education in nature conservation and the capacity for developing communication and collaboration with a range of audiences. Doherty highlighted the great opportunities that are available when multiple organisations come together for a singular goal.
MTU President Professor Maggie Cusack also welcomed the students to the course and discussed the importance of collaboration between different organisations and the development of higher learning opportunities. Professor Cusack then introduced Malcolm Noonan, Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, who officially launched the Certificate of Nature Animation. The Minister was highly supportive of the course and stated that the Certificate of Nature Animation is the beginning of an important journey for our country and our relationship with nature. He said, “This course is unique, and it’s very important to recognise the potential for turning the whole story around regarding protection for the environment.” The Minister highlighted that courses that inspire environmental responsibility will be crucial to meeting Ireland’s National Biodiversity goals in the coming years.
This unique level 6 accredited training course is a partnership between Leave No Trace Ireland, Munster Technological University and the National Parks and Wildlife Service. It is the first of its kind in Ireland.
The Certificate of Nature Animation has been designed to support those interested in a career as a National Park Ranger for National Parks, Nature Reserves and Wildfowl Sanctuaries throughout Ireland. The course modules blend elements of ecology, wildlife biology, sustainability and communication. Subjects include communications and visitor experience, nature wildlife and habitats in Ireland, sustainable handling of our wildlife and habitats and practicing nature interpretation. The programme will be delivered part-time through blended learning. It will include influential guest speakers, practical site visits, online discussion forums and practical projects. The course will run from April to December 2021.
Course Co-ordinator Dr Noel Doyle said that the collaboration between the partners demonstrated how much can be accomplished through partnerships, “The students are in for a truly unique experience this year, the combination of environmental education, coupled with training on communication and visitor engagement make this a very attractive course“.
Questions regarding the course should be sent to the Course Co-ordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.