More Online Classes Are Planned as Distance Learning Efforts Gear Up

Caption // Photo Credit: George Gentry/USFWS

The National Conservation Training Center has completely re-engineered the process by which its training products are invented, with "creativity" as the common thread among the myriad activities in a division formerly known as its Division of Training and Education Materials Production.

Renamed the new "Knowledge Resources and Technologies" division, its artists, photographers, writers, librarians, and computer gurus have been charged with producing a new, cutting-edge package of online training tools as NCTC's curriculum shifts to a more electronic-based delivery.

Chris Horsch, the new chief of Knowledge Resources and Technologies says that by harnessing his staff's knowledge resources and technology assets, the division will be better able to contribute to the NCTC mission of "conservation through learning." His staff will work across organizational boundaries to partner with NCTC trainers, course leaders, events planners, and information technology managers from concept stage through final product, growing these conservation resources to their fullest potential.

Horsch will be assisted in his efforts by three veteran Federal managers, each of whom heads a team of specialists whose skill with camera, computer, and conservation literature have been harnessed on behalf of the shift in emphasis toward online delivery of conservation training.

Mike McAtee supervises the Creative Imagery branch, a blend of still photographers, videographers, and image managers whose award-winning talents support NCTC and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Richard DeVries orchestrates the Creative Design and Reprographics branch, whose designers produce many of the course materials, posters, and exhibitry that add form to the NCTC's visual images. Don Tollefson manages a diverse group of curriculum designers and technology experts in the new Creative Learning and Knowledge Resources branch, which will package the work of its sister branches and NCTC's training division into the new online curriculum.

This re-engineering of the materials production division will enhance the delivery of quality on-demand conservation training. NCTC Director Jay Slack says this approach will enable Service employees to take advantage of the state-of-the-art training offered by NCTC all without leaving their home duty stations. Slack says this was a response to direct feedback from Service leadership provided via a needs assessment conducted by the training center.

One of the first online products developed by NCTC's new Division of Knowledge Resources and Technologies is this 3-minute video tutorial on how to use social media as a conservation tool.

 -- published --  May 24, 2011
 -- photo credit --  George Gentry/USFWS

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