Is this course for you?

I was always, and still am, passionate about the natural world. 

But I always felt that there was a piece of the jigsaw missing when I viewed the biodiversity and climate crises from an ecological perspective. I knew there was a need to understand what was happening to the biodiversity – to see population changes, to detect habitat degradation, to monitor changes in species’ distributions. 

But when it came to understanding how to slow or reduce those losses – to recover populations, to restore habitats or to protect species it felt like I couldn’t see the whole picture. 

And it was because the science I was drawing on was too narrow

I was missing the social sciences – the science of people, of the individuals, communities and societies whose behaviours both cause the pressures on ecosystems, and have the potential to alleviate pressures and drive shifts in the health of those systems – and the planet.

"The solution for me was to embrace the social sciences"

This course is for you if:

✔ you are just starting out in social science

✔ you have an existing background in natural sciences or conservation practice, and now find yourself either:

◾ using social sciences evidence

◾ commissioning social sciences research or 

◾ integrating social sciences into your own research and practice

    Through completing this course, you will gain a solid foundation in social science disciplines and methods and how these can be usefully applied to conservation. 

    The course will provide you with a springboard to advance your understanding and application of conservation social sciences.

    The course content is structured around three modules:

    - Module 1 -

    Understanding conservation social sciences

    An overview of the disciplines of social sciences, motivations and myth busting conservation social science.

    - Module 2 -

    Demystifying social sciences methods

    An introduction to questionnaires, interviews and focus groups, exploring the importance of qualitative and quantitative data, and human ethics principles for conservation social sciences.

    - Module 3 -

    How to add more social sciences to your work

    The barriers and opportunities for integrating social sciences in conservation and identifying conservation social sciences priorities in your work.

    What you get

    ✔ Recorded Lessons with access for 12 months 

    Complete in your own time (approximate completion time one day)

    ✔ Course Workbook

    Downloadable PDF workbook with associated tasks to complete alongside the lessons

    ✔ Three live meetups over Zoom

    Connect with Dr Rebecca Jefferson and other course participants with group discussions and breakouts to discuss the course content.

    Each live meet up is held twice to allow you to join at the most convenient time for your location (10am and 8pm GMT)


    Standard Price £250.00

    Reduced Rate for Charity/NGO/Student £225.00

    Why do you need this?

    I've been studying and researching conservation social sciences for nearly 20 years. I have seen time and time again people like me, perhaps like you, who have that similar hankering for the social sciences piece of the jigsaw puzzle.

    People who have a toolbox in their minds full of ways to understand the ecological elements of the ecosystem – how to know if a system is degraded, how to measure change, how to solve the problem from an ecological perspective.

    But who come up blank when they need to understand:

    ◾ Why people keep anchoring their boats in that seabed,

    ◾ Why people don’t hold the same intrinsic value for forest biodiversity,

    ◾  Why no one seems to listen when they share an ecologically robust answer,

    ◾  Why the policy isn’t changing fast enough,

    ◾  Why no one seems to care the same way they do.

    For me, the solution is social sciences, and often social scientists! 

     Social sciences use methods which are often unfamiliar, technical language which may not be immediately understandable, may seem to think differently to how you may think and they look at an ecosystem and see different things to you.

    Social Scientists bring new ways of looking at the ecosystems which are fundamental to the health of our planet. 

    Is conservation social science the jigsaw piece you need?

    - Course Delivery Dates -

    Monday 24th January 2022

    Access to lessons go live

    Tuesday 1st February 2022 (live Zoom meet up)

    Connecting with your motivation and others on the course - motivations and aspirations for learning about conservation social sciences

    Wednesday 2nd February 2022 (live Zoom meet up)

    How conservation social science methods can work for you - discussions and Q&A on methods, what they are and how you can use them

    Thursday 3rd February 2022 (live Zoom meet up)

    Implementing what you’ve learnt - identifying your barriers and opportunities and setting your action plan for integrating more social sciences into your work.

    All meet ups are 90 minutes.  Two live meet ups will be held each day to help you join wherever you are in the world.

    You can join either group each day (or both!).  The meet ups will be:

    10am London (GMT) / 2pm Muscat / 6pm Perth


    12pm Los Angeles / 3pm New York / 8pm London (GMT) / 9am +1 day Auckland

    So to recap - this course will:

    ✔ Provide you with the knowledge of what social sciences are so that you are comfortable exploring it when you hit a challenge – so that it doesn’t seem quite so overwhelming.

    ✔ Help you to become familiar with terminology so that you can talk to social scientists, as colleagues, collaborators or partners.

    ✔ Teach you why qualitative data is really important – and not just anecdotal story telling.

    ✔ Give you the confidence to focus on the areas of conservation social sciences which are most valuable to you.

    ✔ Support you to get past the imposter syndrome which keeps you from asking the questions, building the networks and stepping into the social sciences as fully as you want to.

    ✔ Help you slot that missing jigsaw piece into your work.

    ✔ Help you access the conservation social sciences which will allow your work to have greater impact.

    Course Details

    ✔ Recorded Lessons with access for 12 months

    Complete in your own time (estimated time one day)

    ✔ Course Workbook

    Downloadable PDF workbook with associated tasks to complete alongside the lessons

    ✔ Three live meetups over Zoom

    Connect with Dr Rebecca Jefferson and other course participants with group discussions and breakouts to discuss the content covered.


    Standard Price £250.00

    Reduced Rate for Charity/NGO/Student £225.00

    Who is Dr Rebecca Jefferson?

    Dr Rebecca Jefferson is the Founder of Human Nature. A social enterprise that empowers conservation professionals, organisations and households to have a more positive impact on the planet through training, collaboration and support.

    Rebecca initially trained as a biologist, and with her interdisciplinary PhD in marine sciences she ‘crossed over’ into the world of social sciences. Though rather than bridging a divide, she prefers to see social sciences and environmental conservation as collaborators.

    In her teaching and research across the academic, public, private and not-for-profit sectors she has seen time and time again the power of bringing the natural and social sciences together to influence policy and ‘green’ behaviours.

    Rebecca sees the growing appetite in individuals and organisations to do better – the desire to make changes to how they go about life and business so they have a more harmonious relationship with the natural world.

    More than this, Rebecca firmly believes in the potential for people to be a force for good as we tackle ecological and climate crises – humans don’t have to be part of the problem, they are the solution.