MESM Specialization: CP

CONSERVATION PLANNING (CP)

Faculty Advisors: Frank Davis (MESM 2017) and Ashley Larsen (MESM 2018)
Specialization Description

Conservation planning is concerned with societal activities to protect productive ecological systems, conserve native biological diversity and associated ecological and evolutionary processes, and maintain wild species of special interest. Conservation includes a diverse array of policy and management approaches (e.g., zoning, ex-situ and in-situ nature reserves, conservation easements, adaptive ecosystem management) and engages a wide range of disciplinary perspectives. Interdisciplinary research in systematic conservation planning is concerned with theory and techniques to improve the scientific basis of planning and the cost-effectiveness of conservation and management actions.

The conservation planning specialization will teach students to assess and develop effective strategies for conserving, managing and restoring wild populations and ecosystems in a landscape and regional context. Conservation Planning students will be well grounded in the fields of population and community ecology, landscape ecology, conservation biology, and conservation planning with training in ecological inventory and monitoring, data analysis, mapping, and modeling. They will also learn about the regulatory and policy framework surrounding issues such as land use planning, endangered species protection and wetlands restoration. Potential employers for these students include domestic and international public agencies, NGOs and private firms involved in environmental planning, natural resource conservation, environmental impact and risk analysis, as well as endangered species recovery and habitat restoration.

Course Work

MESM students are required to take a minimum of 36 units of electives in their primary specialization. Students who pursue two specializations must meet the 36-unit requirement for each specialization. Some electives may count toward more than one specialization. Most courses associated with this specialization are offered every year. If the course is marked with an asterisk (*), it will be offered every other year.

CP students should take the following courses (16 units total):    

ESM 211: Applied Population Ecology
ESM 270: Principles of Conservation Planning
ESM 270P: Conservation Planning Practicum

ESM 263:

Geographic Information Systems 1


1ESM 263 is a co-requisite for ESM 270 and a pre-requisite for ESM 270P. If the instructor of ESM 263 feels the student has equivalent prior knowledge of GIS, the student may waive ESM 263 and substitute an additional 4 units from the technical skills section.

CP students should develop strong technical skills by taking at least 4 units from the following:

ESM 232:

Environmental Modeling

ESM 244:

Advanced Data Analysis 

ESM 262: Computing for Environmental Science & Management
*ESM 266: Remote Sensing
EEMB 279: Modeling Environmental and Ecological Change

GEOG 210C:

Analytical Methods in Geography III

GEOG 277:

Spatial Environmental Modeling

GEOG 278:

Practice of Geostatistical Modeling of Spatial Data

CP students should take at least 4 units of economics:

ESM 229 Economics & Policy of Climate Change2

ESM 242:

Natural Resources Economics and Policy

ESM 245:

Cost Benefit Analysis and Non Market Valuation

ESM 285: Environmental Markets

CP students should take at least 4 units of policy:

ESM 229: Economics & Policy of Climate Change2
ESM 243: Environmental Policy Analysis
ESM 248: Environmental Institutions
ESM 257: Coastal Marine Policy and Management          
ESM 275: Principles and Practice of Environmental Planning
ESM 280: Organizations and Environmental Leadership
ESM 283: Environmental Negotiation

ESM 294:

Adv. Sp. Topics in Env. Law: Natural Resource Law and Policy 3


CP students should take at least 8 units of additional conservation planning electives from this approved list:

*ESM 212: Biological Community Survey & Analysis
*ESM 215: Landscape Ecology
*ESM 240: Climate Change Biology
ESM 254: Coastal Marine Ecosystem Processes

ESM 260:

Applied Marine Ecology

ESM 296: Advanced Special Topics in Env. Mgmt: Conservation Management in Practice, Ecosystem Services4
ESM 430: Workshop in Env. Science and Mgmt: CEQA/NEPA Workshop4
EEMB 228: Ecological Constraints to Ecosystem Restoration5
EEMB103A: Flora and Vegetation of California
EEMB 107: Biology of Amphibians and Reptiles
EEMB 112: Invertebrate Zoology
EEMB 119: Ecology & Management of California Wildlands
EEMB 166: Field Approaches to Terrestrial Plant and Ecosystem Ecology
EEMB 253: Ecology of Lakes and Wetlands

4ESM 296 Advanced Special Topics in Environmental Management, ESM 299 Advanced Special Topics in Environmental Science and ESM 430 Workshop in Environmental Science and Management are special-topic, temporary courses, that are offered in multiple iterations; in other words, not every 296, 299 or 430 course will be relevant to Conservation Planning. If students wish to apply a course to their specialization other than the specific titles listed, they must consult their specialization advisor and obtain approval to apply the course.

5EEMB 228 is recommended for all Conservation Planning students. The remaining EEMB courses will primarily benefit students without a background in ecology or organismal biology.

There are a number of courses in other departments that may be of value for students pursuing a

CP program of study. A few possibilities include:

EEMB 119:

Ecology & Management of California Wildlands
EEMB 159: Tropical Ecology
EEMB 214: Global Change Ecology
EEMB 222: Experimental Design Workshop
EEMB 225: Dynamics of Ecological Systems
EEMB 228: Ecological Constraints to Ecosystem Restoration
EEMB 288RE: Restoration Ecology Seminar
EEMB 230: Population Genetics
EEMB 245: Advanced Population Biology
EEMB 253 Ecology of Lakes and Wetlands
EEMB 276: Advanced Biostatistics
EEMB 279: Modeling Environmental and Ecological Change
EEMB 295A: Soils and Ecosystems
GEOG 291: Optimization Models for Geographic Problems.


2ESM 229 Economics & Policy of Climate Change may only count towards one requirement, either economics or policy.

3ESM 294 Advanced Special Topics in Environmental Law has many iterations, of which Natural Resource Law and Policy is only one. In various quarters this course number is used to offer other temporary intensive courses. Students should consult the schedule of classes to make sure they are taking the correct course.