CSU course caters for students near and far

30 APRIL 2001

Two students from the United States and Switzerland have travelled half way across the world to attend a Charles Sturt University residential school.

Two students from the United States and Switzerland have travelled half way across the world to attend a Charles Sturt University (CSU) residential school.

It is the first time international students have been involved in the University's captive vertebrate management course.

Kelly Corcoran and Christine Peraudin will spend this week in Dubbo, gaining hands-on experience in reproductive biology and wildlife management at the Western Plains Zoo.

Ms Corcoran works in San Francisco Zoo's veterinary hospital and is involved in a research study on pacing behaviours of captive polar bears. Her first visit to Australia in 1997 was spent studying the satin bowerbird at Wallaby Creek in NSW.

Ms Perraudin is researching the grazing ecology of deer and chamois in Switzerland. She said she hopes the course will help her become a wildlife carer and allow her to become involved in rehabilitation projects.

Head of CSU's Environmental Studies Unit and coordinator of the captive vertebrate management program, Dr Al Gibbs, said the course was now truly an international one, meeting the needs of zoo and wildlife park industry workers in Australia and overseas.

"This is very exciting. I am sure it is the start of more overseas students visiting Dubbo to do the course," Dr Gibbs said.

Dr David Blyde, Life Sciences Manager at the Western Plains Zoo and coordinator of the course, said the Zoo and CSU are firmly established as the leaders in providing advanced training for workers in the zoo and wildlife park industry.

"I am strongly committed to providing advanced university training for our workers. The course has been successful in Australia in meeting this need. I am sure that when the word gets out overseas, we will see more overseas students doing the course," he said.

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