Conservation Biology at the University of California

Conservation biology is an emerging interdisciplinary field of study that is gaining attention in academic, public, and management spheres in basic and applied research, as a challenging educational path for undergraduate and graduate students, and an effective means of applying science in the management of natural resources. The diversity of landscapes and biota in California, the increasing pressures of population growth and development, and the abilities and interests of a broad range of scientists and researchers has led to many University of California (UC) programs, research projects, and courses.

Through meetings with representatives from eight UC campuses, the status of conservation biology education was assessed and recommendations for further action were prepared and published in a report from the committee. This working group has been formalized as a GRCP ad hoc committee. From a larger group of significant activities that would advance individual campus programs and collectively enhance UC as a whole in conservation biology, the committee has identified several high priority activities for attention:

  • Develop and maintain a UC Conservation Biology website to provide accessible information on UC research, teaching, and outreach programs in conservation biology.
  • Develop and present proposals to foundations and others for a UC Graduate Fellows Program in Conservation Biology with a three-year funding goal of $1.5 million.
  • Determine the need by the University of California, the State of California, the federal government, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector for a multisite California Biodiversity Assessment and Diagnostic Center operated by UC that would conduct research and provide services for biological resource management to California's public agencies and private-sector managers, and to provide training opportunities for UC students in applying traditional and emerging biotechnologies.
  • Plan UC intercampus summer institutes in conservation biology (three have been held to date, 1999–2001, in conjunction with the UC White Mountain Research Station) for students, faculty, and state and federal agency personnel involved in conservation.

This page last updated March 18, 2002. Copyright UC Regents. All rights reserved.