Amsterdam, Netherlands

Wildlife Crime Analysis: Data-Driven Nature Protection

when 20 July 2019 - 3 August 2019
language English
duration 2 weeks
credits 3 EC
fee EUR 1150

From the cruel slaughter of critically endangered rhinos for their horns to illegal hunting and the destruction of protected habitats, crimes involving wildlife evoke a visceral emotional response in many of us. But their very nature – indeed, the fact that they are offences in and against nature – poses particular challenges in policing them.

The term “wildlife crime” refers to any illegal activity involving protected species in nature. Poaching is perhaps the best-known form, but this act of killing is in fact just the most prominent of a variety of offences which supply the global demand for wildlife products.

Drawing from lessons learned by urban police forces in combatting crimes such as burglary, robbery and theft, this course teaches you how to collect and analyse data about wildlife crime. It begins with a basic introduction: how this form of criminality is defined, the variety of specific offences which fall under the umbrella term “wildlife crime” and what agencies are responsible for enforcing legislation in this area.

Building upon this foundation, we then explore the difficulties associated with studying wildlife crime – in particular, problems related to data limitations and biases. After that, you go on to learn the basics of crime analysis, situational prevention and problem-oriented policing so that you can link data-driven approaches to actually fighting wildlife crime. Meanwhile, the field trips and project expose you to wildlife in the Netherlands and the practical difficulties associated with protecting vast landscapes.

Course leader

Dr Andrew Lemieux

Target group

Postgraduate, PhD students or professionals in the field of Criminology, Sociology, Policing, Ecology and Conservation. Applications from outstanding, highly motivated undergraduates will also be considered. Students or professionals who are in their final year of bachelors studies or have obtained a full bachelors degree are able to register for this course. Our courses are multi-disciplinary and therefore are open to participants with a wide variety of backgrounds.

Course aim

At the end of this course you will:

• Understand the who, what, when, why and where of wildlife crime.
• Be able to identify spatial and temporal patterns in such crime.
• Be able to link crime analysis to prevention.
• Be able to formulate research questions and hypotheses regarding wildlife crime problems.
• Be able to collect and analyse data to answer specific research questions.
• Present your research findings.

Credits info

3 EC
Contact Hours: 45
If you want to earn more credits you can take courses in our other sessions to create a 4 or 6 week programme.

Fee info

EUR 1150: The tuition fee includes:
• Airport pick-up service
• Welcome goodie bag
• Orientation programme
• Course excursions
• On-site support
• Emergency assistance
• Transcript of records after completion of the course

An early bird discount of €150 is available for students who apply and pay before 15 March, and students from VU Amsterdam as well as from exchange partner universities will receive a €250 discount. You apply for the discount simply by indicating that you are currently a student at VU Amsterdam or at a partner university in the online application.

There are also discounts for students who attend multiple sessions, combine 2 courses and receive a €200 discount and combine 3 to receive a €300 discount. All courses include excursions. We will also organize trips and excursions as part of our social programme, which is a great way to get to know your fellow students and learn more about Amsterdam and the Netherlands. The social programme is not included in the tuition fee.

Furnished accommodation is available. Various housing options will be offered.


VU Amsterdam Summer School offers three kinds of scholarships: the Academic Scholarship, the Photographer Scholarship and the Vlogger/Videographer Scholarship. More information about these scholarships can be found on the VU Amsterdam Summer School websi

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