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Wildlife agency joins Smithsonian on conservation work

Friday - 10/26/2012, 4:40pm  ET

FRONT ROYAL, Va. (AP) - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is joining an educational partnership between the Smithsonian and George Mason University to provide hands-on instruction in conservation work.

The agency signed an agreement Friday with the university and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in northern Virginia.

Already, the partnership has formed the new Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation on the Smithsonian's vast conservation property in Front Royal. It's a residential program for students to learn about conservation science for a semester with hands-on experience with various species.

Organizers say the Fish and Wildlife Service will help provide experiential training, instruction, internships and student employment opportunities.

The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute is affiliated with the Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington, sharing scientists and researchers. It also has field sites around the world.

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