Students participating in the regional ecology course at Rio Mora Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area in Northern, New Mexico
AIP AT A GLANCE
Through the unique and experiential Advanced Inquiry Program, you can earn a Master of Arts in Teaching, or MAT, in the Biological Sciences (for licensed K–12 teachers) or a Master of Arts in biology (for non-licensed educators or other professionals) from Miami University. All AIP courses are delivered online and are taught by a Miami University instructor. Two-thirds of AIP courses also include up to five days (or equivalent) per course of experiential learning on the grounds of a AIP site such as Denver Zoo.
Becoming a Catalyst for Change
The core goal of this program is become a driver for environmental and social change in your community, whatever this means to you—whether it’s your immediate neighborhood, school district, workplace, zoo, nature center, city, faith family, or your own interpretation. We encourage critical thinking and inquiry-based learning as tools for creating strategies for change. AIP courses focus on environmental and social topics and devising strategies for communicating with your community on these topics and issues.
Flexible, Self-Styled Education
In this program, students drive their own master’s experience through projects and opportunities they design, so your area of focus will ultimately depend upon your own personal goals. In general, you can expect to develop content knowledge and skills in the realms of biodiversity threats and conservation, evolution, social science, community engagement, inquiry-based education, science writing and publishing, and conservation leadership—among others.
Through the development and exposure of these tools, you will create a framework for bringing social and ecological change to your community. Even better: the entire program is designed to accommodate...well, LIFE! It's intentionally affordable and flexible, so you can successfully balance both tuition and coursework with other responsibilities.
Local Exploration + Global Expertise
This unique graduate program lives within Denver Zoo's Conservation Department. Our goal is to support and build your capacity to successfully collaborate in conservation initiatives in your own community, and throughout Colorado. To do this, we focus on holistic conservation models that drive positive behavior change.
What's more, this uniquely positioned graduate program not only gives you exclusive access to staff experts and opportunities to learn about the conservation projects taking place right here in your state—it also connects you to Denver Zoo's vast network of experienced professionals filling a variety of diverse roles within conservation organizations around the world.
CREDITS: For both MA and MAT degrees, AIP requires that you take 35 total credit hours, including 21 hours of Web+ Courses (online with in-person Zoo experiences) and 14 hours of Core Courses (online only) taken with Project Dragonfly master’s students nationwide via web-based learning communities.
COURSE DELIVERY: All AIP courses are delivered online by a Miami University Instructor, and two-thirds of AIP courses are Web+ courses, which also include up to five days or equivalent per course of experiential learning on grounds at the Denver Zoo, at other DZ facilities, or at sites across the greater Denver area.
PACING: AIP was specifically designed to accommodate working professionals and other lifelong learners, so coursework can be constructed around your life—rather than the other way around. Our students can complete the Advanced Inquiry Program in as little as 2.5, or as long as 5 consecutive years. Flexibility is a key component of this program to ensure the success of AIP students.
PORTFOLIO: Students are required to complete a master’s portfolio—in some ways like a master’s thesis—throughout their time in the program. Subject matter and research will be based on an overarching theme or passion/interest toward which they want to apply their various course projects.
FIELDWORK: Students in this program will be immersed in numerous opportunities in field work through their W + courses. In addition, AIP students in their 3rd year in good standing are eligible to apply for an Earth Expeditions course to take your explorations further afield—providing a unique opportunity to learn firsthand about community conservation efforts around the world, with specific applications to your individual studies. The 7 credits earned through an Earth Expedition can be applied towards those 35 credit hours for program completion.