Conservation & Restoration Science


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

Use your research and observation skills to increase a shared sense of social responsibility and confront the complex issues facing humans and the world!

Three students working on the ground in the wetlands.

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.

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?


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

Interested in exploring this major, but not ready to commit? First-year students at UW Bothell should consider taking one or more of the courses listed below to prepare for the Conservation & Restoration Science major.

  • B CHEM 143 General Chemistry I & B CHEM 144 Gen Chem Lab
  • BEARTH 153 Introduction to Geology
  • BEARTH 154 Introduction to Oceanography
  • BEARTH 155 Introduction to Climate Science
  • BIS 243 Introduction to Environmental Issues
  • BIS 246 Introduction to Sustainability


There are no formal prerequisites for Conservation and Restoration Science major. Current UW Bothell students can submit a declaration form if they are in good academic standing (2.0 cumulative GPA), follow this link to the IAS Major Declaration Form. Incoming students can apply directly into the major when applying to UW Bothell.

Useful preparation for this major includes formal and informal training in environmental courses and field work.

Degree Requirements

The following degree requirements are required as of Autumn 2024 quarter. Student who enter the Conservation & Restoration Science (CRS) major prior to Autumn 2024 have different requirements. Please see your Academic Advisor for questions and academic planning.

  • Conservation & Restoration Science Introductory Science Coursework (31 credits):
    • B MATH 123 Precalculus II or MATH 120 Precalculus (5 credits)
      • Students who complete Calculus coursework do not need to complete a Precalculus Course. See your Academic Advisor for assistance.
    • BIS 215 Understanding Statistics or other Introductory Statistics Course (B MATH 215, B BUS 215, or STAT 220) (5 credits)
    • B BIO 180 or BIO 180 Introductory Biology I (5 credits)
    • B CHEM 143 & B CHEM 144 General Chemistry and Lab (CHEM 120, CHEM 142 CHEM 143, or CHEM 145 or equivalent) (5 or 6 credits)
    • BIS 242 Environmental Geography (5 credits) (AUT quarter)
    • BIS 245 Environment & Humanities (5 credits) (WIN quarter)
  • Conservation & Restoration Science Core Coursework (45 credits):
    • BES 301 Science Methods & Practice or BST 301 Scientific Writing (5 Credits)
    • BES 312 Ecology or B BIO 471 Plant Ecology (5 credits)
    • BES 362 Introduction to Restoration Ecology (5 credits) (AUT or SPR quarter)
    • BES 385 Biodiversity Conservation (5 credits) (WIN quarter)
    • BEARTH 317 Solis in the Environment or BEARTH 318 Hydrogeology (5 credits)
    • BIS 307 Environmental Justice (5 credits) (AUT quarter)
    • BIS 342 Geographic Information Systems (5 credits)
    • BIS 356 Ethics and the Environment (5 credits) (AUT or SPR quarter)
    • BIS 386 Climate Change Adaptation (5 credits) (WIN or SPR quarter)
  • Conservation & Restoration Science Elective Coursework (20 credits)
    • See full approved course list below for course options

Total= 96 credits

School of IAS Requirements & Policies

  • Residency Requirement: 60 credits must be completed in residency at UW Bothell
  • Cumulative GPA Requirement: Major GPA must be at a cumulative of 2.00 or higher
  • Interdisciplinary Practices & Reflection (IPR): The IPR requirement can overlap with 96 credit major coursework or it can be completed through elective credits. Please see the IPR page for course options.
  • Upper Division Credit Policy: Of the credits applying to the major requirements, a minimum of 55 credits must be completed at the Upper Division (300-400) level.

Conservation & Restoration Science Approved Elective List

BEARTH 153 Intro to Geology
BEARTH 154 Intro to Oceanography
BEARTH 155 Intro to Climate Science
BEARTH 201 Mapping the Earth System
BEARTH 202 Modeling Global Systems
BEARTH 310 Fundamentals of Weather and Climate
BEARTH 317 Solis in the Environment (if not taken with core)
BEARTH 318 Hydrogeology (if not taken with core)
BEARTH 320 Impacts of Climate Change
BEARTH 321 Geomorphology
BEARTH 341 Natural Hazards and Human Disasters (change to 200 level)
BES 303 Environmental Monitoring Practicum
BES 311 Environmental Chemistry
BES 312 Ecology (if not taken with core)
BES 316 Ecological Methods
BES 330 Limnology
BES 397 Special Topics in Environmental Science
BES 415 Advanced Environmental Measurement Laboratory
BES 440 Remote Sensing of the Environment
BES 460 Water Quality
BES 486 Watershed Ecology and Management
BES 488 Wetland Ecology
BES 489 Pacific Northwest Ecosystems
BES 491 Undergraduate Research in ES
BES 492 Capstone Research in ES I
BES 493 Capstone Research in ES II
BES 497 Special Topics in ES
BIS 141 Natural History and Environmental Science
BIS 243 Intro to Environmental Issues
BIS 246 Intro to Sustainability
BIS 252 Politics of Science
BIS 304 Political Economy and the Environment
BIS 312 Approaches to Social Research
BIS 319 Public Arts and Ecological Restoration
BIS 338 Political Institutions and Processes
BIS 340 Approaches to Cultural Research
BIS 343 Geographic Visualization
BIS 344 Intermediate GIS
BIS 346 Topics in Environmental Policy
BIS 353 Human Rights Theory and Practice                                                                                                    
BIS 359 Principles & Controversies of Sustainability
BIS 360 Pollinator Diversity and Conservation
BIS 365 Institutions and Social Change (formerly BISSTA 304)
BIS 372 Representation, Colonialism, and the Tropical World
BIS 392 Water & Sustainability
BIS 405 Environmental Education
BIS 406 Urban Planning and Geography
BIS 408 Critical Physical Geography
BIS 415 Public Policy and Law
BIS 442 Advanced Geographic Information Systems BIS 456 Climate Anxiety, Grief and Reliance
BIS 458 Energy, Environment and Society
BIS 459 Conservation & Sustainable Development
BIS 483 Community Organizing
BISGST 303 History and Globalization
BISGST 324 International Political Economy
BISGWS 303 Approaches to Feminist Studies
BISSTS 307 Science, Technology, & Society
BISSTS 355 History of Science and Technology     
B BIO 330 Marine Biology
B BIO 335 Salmon and Society
B BIO 471 Plant Ecology
B CHEM 315 Quantitative Environmental Analysis
B CHEM 350 Atmospheric Chemistry and Air Pollution
BST 445 Political Economy of Energy
BST 446 Sustainable Energy

Learning Objectives

The Conservation & Restoration Science major prepares students 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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Research Librarian

Lab Manager

  • Jennifer Cabarrus

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IAS students may submit an online Major Petition form to request that alternate coursework satisfy a School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences (IAS) major requirement. Students must be admitted or declared in an IAS major in order for the online petition to be reviewed.