Strategic Planning for Biodiversity Collections Online Course

Release Date: 
Thursday, October 15, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

iDigBio is pleased to announce a 7-week "Strategic Planning for Biodiversity Collections” online course.

Take this opportunity to introduce new purpose and excitement into your organization. Prepare to relate your collection’s compelling vision to stakeholders and discuss long-term goals and strategies with administrators.

All collection types (insects, birds, fish, fossils, plants, etc.), collection settings (natural history museums, universities, field stations, government agencies, etc.), and locations on Earth are welcome to apply, though the scheduled time might make it difficult for people in some locations to participate. Discussions and presentations will be in English. If you are part of a herbarium, you might like to wait to take the “Strategic Planning for Herbaria” course that we will offer in spring 2021 in collaboration with the Society of Herbarium Curators. However, those from herbaria are also welcome to apply for this course, which will have a more diverse set of collections in attendance.

The “Strategic Planning for Biodiversity Collections” course will occur on Mondays from 3:00–4:00 Eastern Time from November 2–December 14, 2020.  We anticipate that the course will require 3–5 hours of work per week, including the 1 hour in-class. The goal is to produce a short (5–10 pages) strategic plan for each represented biodiversity collection. Each plan will address vision, mission, stakeholders, strategies, goals, objectives, evaluation, and sustainability, among other things. The process is at least as valuable as the product, and you might find that the exercises benefit your organization in unexpected ways. We have previously worked on strategic planning with over 90 biodiversity collections.

The course will be capped at a size to ensure adequate opportunities to participate in discussions. We are looking for creative, committed participants who can help us to build momentum for this as an annual event. If multiple individuals from a biodiversity collection are interested in participating in the course, we ask that one formally apply and the others participate in the out-of-class exercises and brainstorming sessions.

A draft syllabus of the course is available at

To apply, please fill out this short Google Form ( by October 26. Admission decisions will be made shortly thereafter.

Please share this with relevant communities.

With best regards,

David Jennings (iDigBio’s Project Manager) and Austin Mast (Director of iDigBio’s Digitization, Workforce Development, and Citizen Science Domain)