Kazakhstan’s success in implementing its long-term environmental protection strategy relies on the knowledge and skills of a new generation of scholars, policy makers, environmental engineers, and natural resource managers. Through the U.S.-Kazakhstan University Partnerships program, funded by the U.S. Embassy in Kazakhstan and administered by American Councils for International Education, Michigan State University (MSU) and Kazakh National Agrarian Research University (KazNARU) revamped outdated curricula in the fields of environmental studies and ecology.
During the project, the partners reviewed and revised eight courses related to environmental studies and ecology. To share U.S. best practice in teaching these subjects, MSU invited faculty from University of South Dakota, the University of Maine, Pace University and George Washington University to build an intensive 10-day series of webinars and presentations for higher education institutions in Kazakhstan.
In spring 2021, a total of 25 junior faculty members from 7 Kazakhstani universities participated in online sessions delivered by representatives of the four U.S. universities. The webinars focused on a wide array of topics including General Ecology, Biogeography, Urban Planning and Development, and Geographic Information System Mapping (GIS). Webinar teaching materials are available online (http://workshopkzusa.tilda.ws/) for future reference by project partners and other interested universities.