Conservation research at the University of Washington College of the Environment is truly boundless, spanning all terrains on Earth. Globally, we are witnessing massive changes in how our world works, from loss of species and biodiversity, to systemic breakdowns in ecosystems to a changing climate, all happening at a staggering pace.

Our focus is on sustaining thriving ecosystems, creating pathways for sustainable natural resources and reducing human impact on the environment so people and the planet can thrive. Conservation topics include wildlife ecology, quantitative science and the social and political aspects of wildlife conservation issues.

Faculty and students from the College of the Environment have been collecting data at the Alaska Salmon Program in Bristol Bay for more than a half-century on everything from salmon DNA to the impacts of a changing climate. As the largest supplier of sockeye salmon in the world, research done at the Alaska Salmon Program has been used to help develop a model for sustainable fisheries management that’s emulated across the globe.

Pack Forest is in the foothills of Mount Rainier in the heart of the Nisqually watershed. Most of the 4,300 acres is dominated by second-growth Douglas Fir and Western Red Cedar and include 300 plus acres of lowland old-growth forest known as the Newton Creek Reserve. Management of Pack Forest’s natural resources is guided by three broad objectives: demonstration, education and research. Pack Forest management is ultimately aimed at maintaining both economic and social viability. This requires a delicate balance between the financial needs of Pack Forest operations and providing a “fair share” of commodity production with the societal need of protecting biodiversity, forest health, water quality and soil productivity, recreation opportunities and mitigating climate change through forest carbon sequestration.

Conservation research at the College of the Environment comes from units across the College, including: