Conservation involves deliberate efforts to protect and sustain the Earth’s terrestrial, freshwater and marine natural resources. Conservation planning involves developing strategies and tactics for achieving conservation goals and objectives for specific resources and areas of interest.
Effective conservation planning requires consideration of local impacts as well as broader geographic and temporal effects. Political, social, and economic influences have significant impacts on conservation planning.
Students specializing in Conservation Planning (CP) in the Master of Environmental Science and Management program learn to systematically plan for conserving, managing, and restoring wild populations and ecosystems in a changing environment. The CP specialization is grounded in population and community ecology, landscape ecology, conservation biology, and climate change biology. Conservation planning requires technical training in ecological inventory and monitoring, data analysis, mapping, and modeling. CP students also learn about regulatory and policy frameworks surrounding issues such as land and water use planning, natural resource management, and endangered species protection.
Master of Environmental Science and Management students are required to take a minimum of 36 units of electives in their primary specialization. With an advisor’s approval, Bren students may also take courses in other UCSB departments as electives to satisfy specialization requirements.
ESM courses are offered through the Bren School and most ESM courses are offered every year. Courses marked with an asterisk (*) will be offered every other year.
CP Specialization Courses (16 units required)
ESM 211 Applied Population Ecology (4 units) or
ESM 215 Landscape Ecology (4 units)
1ESM 263 Geographic Information Systems (4 units)
ESM 270 Principles of Conservation Planning (4 units)
2ESM 270P Conservation Planning Practicum (4 units)
REQUIREMENT: Conservation Planning students must take ESM 263 the Winter Quarter of their first year, followed by ESM 270 in Spring Quarter of their first year, and then ESM 270P in Fall Quarter of their second year. ESM 211 does not have a required sequence, but is generally taken in a student's second year after a student has completed the ESM 201 prerequisite in their first year. Alternatively, students may take ESM 215 which has no required sequence, but is generally taken in a student's second year after a student has completed ESM 201.
1ESM 263 is a prerequisite for ESM 270.
If a student has equivalent prior knowledge of GIS, the instructor may allow a student to waive this course and substitute 4 units of other technical courses.
2ESM 270 is a prerequisite for ESM 270P.
Technical Skills (4 units required)
ESM 212 Biological Community Survey & Analysis (4 units)
ESM 228 Monitoring and Evaluation (4 units)
ESM 232 Environmental Modeling (4 units)
ESM 244 Advanced Data Analysis (4 units)
ESM 262 Computing for Environmental Science and Management (2 units)
ESM 269 Survey Design and Environmental Public Opinion (2 units)
ESM 271 Carbon Footprints and Carbon Accounting (4 units)
ESM 273 Life Cycle Assessment (4 units)
ESM 287 Energy Demand Analysis (4 units)
Environmental Economics, Policy, and Law (4 units required)
ESM 225 Water Policy (4 units)
ESM 229 Economics and Policy of Climate Change (4 units)
ESM 242 Natural Resource Economics (4 units)
ESM 243 Environmental Policy Analysis (4 units)
ESM 245 Cost Benefit Analysis (4 units)
ESM 248 Environmental Institutions (4 units)
ESM 257 Coastal Ocean Policy and Management (4 units)
ESM 277 International Environmental Law (2 units)*
ESM 278 Natural Resources Law and Policy (2 units)*
Environmental Management (4 units required)
ESM 230 Strategic Planning for Non-Profit Ventures (4 units)*
ESM 279 Financial Management and Environmental Accounting (4 units)
ESM 281 Corporate Environmental Management (4 units)
Additional Science (4 units required)
ESM 214 Biological Waste Treatment (4 units)*
ESM 215 Landscape Ecology (4 units)
ESM 219 Microbial Processes in the Environment (4 units)*
ESM 222 Pollution Risk Management (4 units)
ESM 224 Sustainable Watershed Quality Management (4 units)
ESM 226 Groundwater Management (4 units)
ESM 235 Watershed Analysis (4 units)
ESM 237 Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation (4 units)
ESM 239 Advanced Climate Science for Policymakers (4 units)*
ESM 240 Climate Change Biology (2 units)*
ESM 254 Coastal Marine Ecosystem Processes (4 units)
ESM 260 Applied Marine Ecology (4 units)
ESM 282 Pollution Prevention (4 units)
ESM 288 Energy, Technology and the Environment (4 units)
Or fill in relevant science course from other UCSB departments.
Advanced Special Topics (recommended)
Advanced Special Topics courses (variable units) are typically taught by Visiting Professors and Lecturers and may be offered during any quarter of the academic year.
ESM 293 Advanced Special Topics in Climate and Energy
ESM 294 Advanced Special Topics in Environmental Law
ESM 296 Advanced Special Topics in Environmental Management
ESM 297 Advanced Special Topics in Environmental Policy
ESM 299 Advanced Special Topics in Environmental Science
ESM 430 Workshops in Environmental Science and Management
Relevant Courses in other UCSB departments
EEMB 103A Flora and Vegetation of California
EEMB 112 Invertebrate Zoology
EEMB 119 Ecology and Management of California Wildlands
EEMB 153 Ecology of Lakes and Wetlands
EEMB 222 Ecological Constraints to Ecosystem Restoration
EEMB 279 Modeling Environmental and Ecological Change
GEOG 210C Analytical Methods in Geography III
Students gain experience in an industry or sector relevant to career goals through a summer internship. CP students have taken internships with a wide variety of organizations, including the Environmental Defense Fund, Conservation International, California Tahoe Conservancy, The Wildlife Society, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Earthwatch Institute, Wilderness Society, Catalina Island Conservancy, and many other agencies, organizations, and companies.
Research & Special Projects
Students may participate in research directed by Bren faculty through one of the many interdisciplinary research groups at UCSB. Explore faculty research specializations.