The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T +44 (0)1227 764000
'This Institute represents a marriage between ecology and conservation: the science that tells you how the world works, and the science that tells you how to keep it working. At long last. ' Gerald Durrell, 24 November, 1989
DICE was founded by Emeritus Professor Ian Swingland OBE (below right) at the University of Kent in November 1989. The name was chosen in recognition of Gerald Durrell's (below centre) lifelong commitment to conservation. (His widow, Lee Durrell, below left, continues to be an active board member, and we maintain strong links with the Durrell organisation based on Jersey.)
DICE’s early activities sought to widen participation through offering a Diploma in Ecology and a Diploma in Raptor Biology (taught by Ruth Cromie, below right, amongst others), as well as in establishing a research and consultancy programme.
Many early DICE Diplomates, have continued their careers in UK conservation or progressed to higher degrees. However, DICE quickly moved to consolidate its international mission, and first offered its MSc in Conservation Biology in 1991. We also set up the first biodiversity degree in the UK in 1995.
DICE has always maintained its committment to the ideals set out at its founding ' to fuse the accumulated experience of practical conservation projects and state of the art biological science with realistic perspectives of economics and the social sciences'. We have now trained over 500 conservation scientists and biodiversity managers.
Our growth has been continuous since we took our first students in 1990. However, despite this growth, many excellent conservationists working in parts of the world high in biodiversity and with urgent conservation issues are unable to find the funding to come to DICE. In celebration of our 20th anniversary, we are now determined to change this by raising the funds necessary for a substantial DICE Scholarship Fund.