In summer 2020, Project Dragonfly built on its learning network of extraordinary conservation organizations, students, instructional team members, and global community partners to create a fully web-based course called Earth Expeditions: Connected Conservation. After COVID-19 forced Miami University to cancel all travel, Dragonfly was unable to operate its usual Earth Expeditions study abroad graduate courses throughout Africa, Australia, Asia and the Americas.
So, Earth Expeditions: Connected Conservation was born. The course focused on Dragonfly’s 15 global Earth Expeditions (EE) partner organizations and their missions. As part of the course, about 250 Dragonfly students joined more than 50 campaign teams, working in small groups to design and implement efforts that advance the critical conservation priorities of EE global field partners. Students explored the frontiers of shared investigation and action, broke new ground in community-engaged education, and provided needed insights into what is collectively possible. These Dragonfly students from across the United States and world gained direct experience in conservation campaign development. Thus, despite the global pandemic, the teams participated in opportunities to compare and celebrate the lessons learned from Dragonfly’s global partners who work on the front lines of conservation. Most weeks of the class also included a Dragonfly Dialogues video from different global field partners to connect students to world-class examples of positive change.
Because this year Project Dragonfly is celebrating its 25th Anniversary, the organization wanted to showcase the achievements of its national and global partners. In the coming weeks, a broad community of educators, conservationists, community leaders, students, prospective students, and alums will be able to view media from the Dragonfly Dialogues and the campaigns. Look for announcements on Dragonfly’s Facebook page and Dragonfly’s Instagram page.