Alumnus Teddy Siles – MSc Forest and Nature Conservation

I hold a Bachelor degree in Biology from Universidad Autonoma Gabriel Rene Moreno in Santa Cruz de la Sierra Bolivia. When I finished my Bachelor degree I wanted to continue studying. However, in Bolivia there are not many opportunities to get a higher education. Therefore I decided to start working as a research assistant in the Noel Kempff Mercado Natural History Museum. During this job I developed and improved my research and conservation skills. After more than 8 years of work experience I decided that it was time to start a master program.

I apply all the conservation skills that I have learned during the Master Programme

I chose the Master Program of Forest and Nature Conservation because in Bolivia Wageningen University is leading in the field of forest conservation research. Now I have finished the master Forest and Nature Conservation I feel that this program was made to fit my conservation profile. Mixing Ecology, Management and Policy, it is just perfect.

During my time studying in Wageningen, I started the Ecology specialisation. But thanks to the advice of the professors, I changed it to the Management specialisation, because this specialisation suited me much better. Because of my work experience I got an exemption for my internship, this extra time helped me to finish my thesis. I wanted to be able to better understand the human and wildlife interaction, that is why my thesis was focusing on developing a Conservation opportunities index, that is using human dimensions and wildlife dimensions proxies to be able to identify the Conservation Opportunity at the landscape level.

I am currently working for the Wildlife Conservation Society, in the Greater Madidi-Tambopata Conservation Landscape, in Bolivia. Working on the conservation program, I apply all the conservation skills that I have learned during my Master Program. I also apply all the knowledge that I have learned as a Landscape analyst. I use ecological data of different mammal species, as well as different forest types, for monitoring different mammal species that are present in the landscape. I have also improved my skills in applied Ecology, and also the interaction of this species with the people that are living in the landscape.

I have many plans for the future; one of them is keep working in conservation, in Bolivia. To help all the different conservation partners, to understand how to manage their natural resources, and to help them to monitor their conservation goals. Help new Biology Students to develop great conservation and researching skills. The skills that I learned in the master program are very important in my work as a conservation practitioner. The two years of the master program in Wageningen were very special and also very demanding, but they helped me to improve my professional background.