Conservation & Restoration Science

On this page: Major Description | Requirements | Learning Objectives | Faculty & Staff  | Courses

The Conservation & Restoration Science Major

Do courses like Natural Hazards and Human Disasters and Marine Science sound exciting? Do you want to explore a career working outdoors or using computer-based technology to manage natural resources and wildlife?

The Conservation & Restoration Science (CRS) major at the University of Washington Bothell offers students the opportunity to recover habitats and protect wildlands from degradation due to disaster, contamination, overuse, or climate change. Academic and other learning experiences enhance students' ability for lab research, data analysis, communication, and problem-solving.

Conservation & Restoration Science is a major in the Health & Natural Sciences meta-major pathway. 
Sometimes it is described as a major in Natural Resource Management or Climate Science.

students taking notes in the wetlands


Students in the Conservation & Restoration Science major are passionate about maintaining and repairing natural landscapes impacted by climate change, invasive species, neglect, and the growth of urban spaces. Students spend time outdoors to examine the interaction between ecosystems and their various inhabitants.


Courses in the Conservation & Restoration Science major focus on lab and field experiences to provide students with a working knowledge of science research and analysis. Practice with graphing software and monitoring equipment help students design effective sustainability plans to protect and restore wildlands, plans, and animals. 


Using their background in science and research, graduates in the Conservation & Restoration Science major consult on policies, design reclamation plans, and manage the environmental affairs for businesses, education, nonprofit organizations, and wildlife centers. They also work in federal or local governments. 

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Major Requirements

Recommended Preparation

Start by choosing a course based on your individual passions and interests! First-year students at UW Bothell should consider taking one or more of the courses listed below to prepare for the Environmental Studies major. Students will have the opportunity to shape their experience in Conservation & Restoration Science based on the learning or experiences they come to value most. You may also find exciting special topics courses among the first-year Discovery Cores and Seminars.

  • B CHEM 143 General Chemistry I
  • BEARTH 153 Introduction to Geology
  • BEARTH 154 Introduction to Oceanography
  • BEARTH 155 Introduction to Climate Science
  • BIS 240 Introduction to Sustainable Practices
  • BIS 243 Introduction to Environmental Issues
  • BIS 246 Introduction to Sustainability


Options for First-Year Students at UW Bothell

  • Calculus I or two Pre-Calculus courses​
    • Calculus option:
      • STMATH 124 Calculus I or B MATH 144 Calculus for the Life and Social Sciences
      • Pre-calculus option:
        B MATH 122 Precalculus I: Algebraic Functions and B MATH 123 Precalculus II: Transcendental Functions

  • B BIO 180 Introductory Biology I or equivalent course
  • B CHEM 143 General Chemistry I
  • B CHEM 144 General Chemistry Lab I
  • BIS 215 Understanding Statistics or equivalent course
    - minimum 2.0 grade required
  • Introductory Environmental Studies
    • BIS 243 Introduction to Environmental Issues or equivalent course
    • Faculty Approved equivalent courses
      • BEARTH 154 Introduction to Oceanography
      • BIS 141 Natural History and Environmental Science
      • BIS 242 Environmental Geography
      • BIS 246 Introduction to Sustainability
  • One Introductory Earth Systems Science or equivalent course:
    -choose from below:
    • BEARTH 153 Introduction to Geology
    • BEARTH 154 Introduction to Oceanography
    • BEARTH 201 Mapping the Earth System
    • BEARTH 202 Modeling Global Systems
    • BIS 242 Environmental Geography
    • BIS 243 Introduction to Environmental Issues

Options for Transfer Students from another institutuion:

The prerequisites can be completed with equivalent courses that transfer to the UW. Review the Transfer Equivalency Guide to identify approved alternatives. Contact the IAS Transfer Advisor for help.

Have you earned more than 90 credits from a community college or other university?

After you apply to UW Bothell and have your transcripts evaluated by the Office of Admissions, it is important to connect with your IAS academic advisor to discuss how many of these credits will count toward your degree. A maximum of 135 total credits from another school may count toward the 180 credits needed for graduation. Schedule a meeting with your advisor to build an academic plan to includes some of your additional transfer credits.

Capstone and Portfolio Requirements (15credits):

All IAS majors require BIS 499 Portfolio Capstone in the final year of study. Learn more about IAS portfolio capstone and related course options. The Capstone Experience may also satisfy the Interdisciplinary Practice & Reflection requirement for the CRS major.

  • BIS 499 Portfolio Capstone (5 credits)
    - minimum 2.5 grade required

  • Capstone Experience (10 credits)
    -Fulfill 10 credits with any combination of the following courses:

    • BES 492 Capstone Research in Environmental Science
    • BES 498 Independent Research (and other approved independent research courses)
    • BISSKL 375 Academic Research and Writing Seminar (2 credits)
    • BES 462 + BES 463 + BES 464 Restoration Ecology Capstone
    • APPROVED studies in these courses:
      • BIS 480 International Study Abroad;
      • BIS 490 Advanced Seminar
      • BIS 495 Internship
      • BBIO 495 Investigative Biology
      • BBIO 498 Independent Study in Biology
      • BBIO 499 Undergraduate Research in Biology
      • BST 498 Independent Study in Science and Technology
      • BST 499 Undergraduate Research in Science and Technology

Learning Objectives

What influence does public policy and law have on decisions to protect and restore ecosystems?
How can we act critically in response to the environmental challenges facing the world today? 

The Conservation & Restoration Science major prepares students to address these important questions by deepening their ability to understand the mechanics of ecological systems and integrate biological and chemical processes to modify or reverse degradation or other environmental threats. The following learning objectives prepare students to make informed decisions about the management of natural resources:

Engage in Conservation & Restoration Science

  • Apply scientific understanding to the concepts of biological diversity, sustainability, ecological integrity and the socio-political systems with which they interact.

  • Recognize the important roles of indigenous knowledge and values in understanding and managing natural systems.

  • Acquire first-hand knowledge of regional ecosystems and the human communities dependent on them to enable meaningful engagement in local conservation and restoration activities.

  • Collect and analyze environmental data to address questions and assess impacts, identify management options, and identify new research directions.

  • Evaluate alternative responses to environmental problems, such as habitat change, biodiversity loss, and climate change, and advance solutions that enhance resilience, equity and sustainability.

  • Prepare for careers in conservation and restoration in academic, governmental, non-profit, and private sectors.

  • Learn data collection methods and technologies, such as field ecology methods, geo-technologies such as GIS and remote sensing, and ecosystem modeling for research projects, investigations, and surveys.

  • Understand the philosophical and scientific underpinnings of conservation and restoration science, including its strengths, limitations, and assumptions.

Promote equity & inclusion

  • Critically reflect on the social drivers of environmental problems and environmental inequity.

  • Build environmental consciousness and promote ethical human intervention for environmental and human sustainability.

  • Apply an understanding of ethics, power, and intergenerational equity in conservation and restoration decision-making.

Communicate & collaborate with others

  • Use both written and oral communication to effectively communicate the issues, questions, findings, and body of knowledge of conservation and restoration science to peers and the public, and to produce effective visual representations of data that articulate knowledge of conservation and restoration science.

  • Constructively work with others in partnership and shared leadership to achieve project goals.

  • Interact and communicate with others in disciplines outside of conservation and restoration science and beyond academia to produce new knowledge and understanding needed to address the interdisciplinary and multi-dimensional environmental issues of the future.

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Academic Advisor

Research Librarian

Lab Manager

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Conservation & Restoration Science Core Coursework (45 credits):

Visit the online Time Schedule and perform a webpage search for "CRS" to quickly locate course options available this quarter.

  • BIS 300 Interdisciplinary Inquiry (5 credits)
    - minimum 2.0 grade

  • BES 301 Science Methods & Practice or BST 301 Scientific Writing (5 Credits)

  • Ethical & Philosophical Foundations course (5 credits)
    - choose from:

    • BIS 307 Environmental Justice
    • BIS 345 American Environmental Thought
    • BIS 356 Ethics and the Environment
    • BIS 359Principles and Controversies of Sustainability
    • BIS 456Climate Anxiety, Grief and Resilience
  • BES 312 Ecology or BIS 390 Ecology and the Environment (5 credits)

  • BES 316 Ecological Methods (5 credits)

  • BES 362 Introduction to Restoration Ecology (5 credits)

  • BES 485 Conservation Biology (5 credits)

  • BIS 342 Geographic Information Systems (5 credits)

  • Additional Geospatial Analysiscoursework (5credits)
    - choose from:

    • BIS 344 Intermediate GIS Analysis and Applications
    • BIS 442 Advanced GIS Analysis and Applications
    • BES 440 Remote Sensing of the Environment

Conservation & Restoration Science Elective Courses (20credits):

The CRS major requires elective coursework in two areas of study: Natural History and Ecological Science and Geospatial, Mathematical, and Earth Science. A minimum of 3 elective courses must be taken at the 400-level.At least two courses must include a substantial fieldwork component.

Courses approved to satisfy the fieldwork component are designated with (F) in the list below. Visit the Time Schedule and perform a webpage search for elective course options using the abbreviations listed below.

Natural History and Ecological Science coursework (10 credits)
- Search for CRS:NHES

  • BBIO 330 Marine Biology
  • BBIO 335 Salmon and Society
  • BBIO 385 Animal Behavior
  • BBIO 471 Plant Ecology
  • BES 331 Estuarine Science and Management
  • BES 486 Watershed Ecology and Management
  • BES 487 Field Lab in Wildland Soils and Plants (F)
  • BES 488 Wetland Ecology (F)
  • BES 489 Pacific Northwest Ecosystems
  • BES 490 PNW Plants in Restoration and Conservation (F)
  • BIS 306 Marine Diversity and Conservation
  • BIS 319 Public Arts and Ecological Restoration
  • BIS 360 Pollinator Diversity and Conservation (F)
  • BIS 395 Environmental Change in Washington State

Geospatial, Mathematical, and Earth Sciencecoursework (5credits)
- Search for CRS:GMES

  • BCHEM 315 Quantitative Environmental Analysis
  • BES 303 Environmental Monitoring Practicum
  • BEARTH 317 Soils in the Environment (F)
  • BEARTH 318 Hydrogeology
  • BEARTH 321 Geomorphology (F)
  • BEARTH 341 Natural Hazards and Human Disasters
  • BES 439 Computer Modeling and Visualization in Environmental Science
  • BES 440 Remote Sensing of the Environment
  • BES 460 Water Quality (F)
  • BIS 343 Geographic Visualization
  • BIS 344 Intermediate Geographic Analysis & Application
  • BIS 442 Advanced Geographic Analysis and Applications

Policy, Management and Engagementcoursework (5credits)
- Search for CRS:PME

  • BES 331 Estuarine Science and Management
  • BES 486 Watershed Ecology and Management
  • BIS 346 Topics in Environmental Policy
  • BIS 386 Climate Change Adaptation Policy
  • BIS 391 Environmental History of the Pacific Northwest Bioregion
  • BIS 392 Water and Sustainability
  • BIS 405 Environmental Education
  • BIS 406 Urban Planning and Geography
  • BIS 408 Critical Physical Geography
  • BIS 458 Energy, the Environment and Society
  • BIS 459 Conservation and Sustainable Development

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