Environmental Conservation and Restoration

The Conservation and Restoration Study Plan is for students who intend to pursue a career or graduate study in a variety of fields related to conservation, restoration, and management of ecological and environmental systems. Under the plan, students combine an interdisciplinary education in environmental studies with in-depth work in a particular area of interest, giving them a valuable area of expertise within the broader fields of conservation and restoration.

Students that complete this plan will be well prepared for positions with organizations that use, conserve, or manage ecological or environmental systems. Past graduates have taken positions with federal and state land management and wildlife agencies, state and county park systems, water districts, open space districts, non-profit conservation organizations, private environmental consulting firms, and many others.

This interdisciplinary plan consists of a core set of courses dealing with the ecological and social dimensions of the environment, and two alternative tracks that develop deeper expertise in areas related to biological or planning/management perspectives of conservation and restoration.

An important component of this study plan is the internship, which provides the opportunity for real-world experience in the field. Many excellent opportunities for internships exist near campus. Students are encouraged to divide the four required internship units into two different internships in order to broaden their experience and expertise.

Track 1. Biological Resource Conservation

The Biological Conservation Track is for students interested in science-based conservation, restoration, and management. Students participate in an interdisciplinary curriculum that combines course work in ecology and biology with environmental policy, law, and/or planning. This track is ideal for ENSP students who intend to pursue a career or graduate education in the field of conservation and restoration. A minor in Biology is strongly encouraged.

Hiking At Tolay Creek

Track 2. Resource Planning & Management

The Resource Planning & Management Track is for students interested in these more social- science-oriented dimensions of the conservation and restoration. The emphasis is on the political, historical, and/or geographic aspects of land and resource conservation, planning, and management. In following this track, students will acquire a thorough knowledge of methods used in the natural and social sciences as well as geographic information systems (GIS), a valuable technical tool in a variety of social and natural science applications. A minor in Geography is strongly encouraged.

Sonoma State University has many resources of interest to Conservation and Restoration students. An extensive native plant garden, the Copeland Creek Preservation Area, Earthlab (an agro-ecology demonstration facility), and the Environmental Technology Center, all are on campus. SSU also has two spectacular field preserves: Fairfield Osborn Preserve, located only 15 minutes from campus, and Galbreath Wildlands Preserve, a new 4000 acre preserve located in southern Mendocino County. Also nearby are Point Reyes National Seashore, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Armstrong Redwoods State Park, and numerous other parks and preserves.