Conservation Practice Teams deepen skills and knowledge, build professional networks, and help realize career paths.

Conservation Practice Teams (CPT), the Year 2 internship program for DDCSP Scholars, deepen scholars’ skills, networks, knowledge and understanding of their roles in conservation practice. Scholars engage with conservation issues in partnership with a host site (a government agency, community organization or NGO) who is positioned within the conservation field, or who works at the intersections of biodiversity conservation, cultural identity and environmental justice.

Each scholar conducts a research project that is designed and supported through direct collaboration with the Conservation Practice Team. Projects emphasize at least one of the four themes of Climate, Water, Food, or Ecosystems and result in a deliverable that benefits the partnering host site while supporting scholars in meeting their learning objectives (e.g. analyzed data set, report, documentary, or conservation action).

*Scholars are undergraduates entering their junior or senior year.

Learning Objectives and Research Project Deliverables:
The learning objectives outlined below should be consistant for all scholars.

  • Learn about conservation issues and organizations
  • Gain appreciation for the range of approaches and perspectives employed in conservation
  • Gain deeper insight into 1-2 methods/approaches used in conservation practice**
  • Learn about project development and management
  • Gain collaboration,shared leadership, and communication skills
  • Gain experience on project design and developing research questions
  • Learn to collect and analyze data and produce a media/other product
  • Bring value to conservation organization through an individual or joint project
  • Reflect on agency, identity and power across a variety of organizations engaged in conservation work

**Examples of conservation methods/approaches include; community engagement, education (formal, informal, field ecology/environmental science, communication-video-storytelling-audio, community assessment, sustainable business, engineering applications

Conservation Practice Team Projects

Bats and Biodiversity
2014 DDCSP scholars, Moses Coulee working with Ph.D candidate, Rochelle Kelly

Biological Impacts of Climate Change on Mountain Ecosystems

Host site; UW Department of Biology

Conservation Project Overview Statement:
Climate change represents one of the greatest threats to biodiversity. Because we want to understand the potential biological outcomes of a warming planet,
we study climate impacts on plant communities (and associated species) in the Cascade Mountains of Washington (including Mt. Rainier National Park, North Cascades National Park, and surrounding Forest Service Lands). We also run a citizen science project that engages the public in our research.

Project field site (region): Mt. Rainier

UrbanGardensPollinatorPatch copy
Saloni Dagli and Robin Chakrabarti are analyzing pollinators in this community garden in West Seattle. 508DD0116

Conservation Ethnography

Host Site; King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks and Transportation

Conservation Project Overview Statement:
King County Departments of Natural Resources and Parks and Transportation intend to continually update and improve its conservation and environmental programming and communications practices to better reach, engage with, and listen to its diverse customers, stakeholders, and partners. This project will discern and characterize culturally-responsive improvements in conservation programming and communication by working as a cohort to conduct ethnographic research.

Project field site (region): King County- Greater Seattle

Bat biodiversity
Stephen collecting data on bat biodiversity in the San Juan Islands with Rochelle Kelly. Photo by Joseph Eusebio

Climate change monitoring in two streams on the Quinault Indian Nation

Host Site; Quinault Indian Nation

Conservation Project Overview Statement:
The Environmental Protection department of the Quinault Indian Nation is beginning a long term monitoring project to help identify localized changes due to climate change in two coastal stream watersheds. This will be an annual project that includes summertime temperature monitoring and small scale habitat monitoring throughout both watersheds. In order to help manage and mitigate for climate change on these smaller coastal rain driven systems we must better understand the changes that are occuring.

Project field site (region): Quinault Indian Nation

Malayshia Lumpkin and Robin Chakrabarti work on their GIS analysis. 508DD0264
Malayshia Lumpkin and Robin Chakrabarti work on their GIS analysis. 508DD0264

Elwha River Revegetation Project

Host Site; Olympic National Park

Conservation Project Overview Statement:
The Elwha Restoration Project is the second largest restoration project ever attempted by the National Park Service and the largest dam removal ever in the United States. Dam removal is an important tool in restoring our nation’s rivers, vital to ensuring ecosystem functioning in all biomes. The Elwha dam removal also represents an important step in the cultural restoration of the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe.

Project field site (region): Olympic National Park, Port Angeles, WA

Ecosystem and Public Health at King County Lakes

Host Site; King County Water and Land Resources Division

Conservation Project Overview Statement:
Environmental monitoring and public communication are major components in the management of water quality in King County lakes. King County’s Swimming Beach Monitoring Program is aimed to identify and communicate risk to beach users regarding potential health impacts of exposure to harmful bacteria and algal toxins. King County can use these data to drive resource management decisions (e.g., beach closures, stormwater management, illicit discharge detection investigation).

Project field site (region): Puget Sound Lowlands – King County

Mount Rainier (39)

Moses Prairie Restoration

Host site; Quinault Indian Nation

Conservation Project Overview Statement:
Documentation of historical cultural management of ecosystems included burns on many Native American lands. Moses Prairie just went through its first burn in over 150 years. QDNR is conducting a multi-year research project to document cultural plants used by the Quinault Indian Nation.

Project field site (region): Quinault Indian Nation

Stories of human and ecological adaptation from the immigrant and refugee perspective

Host Site; Interim CDA

Conservation Project Overview Statement:
Explore API immigrant and refugee community’s place-based knowledge around community gardening, food justice and environmental justice through intergenerational storytelling. Identify ways in which such knowledge and experiences can impact immigrant and refugee’s sense of place/belonging as well as the broader urban food conservation movement in Seattle.

Project field site (region): Chinatown International District (CID), Seattle, WA

Pack Forest Rainier View
©  Wally Wright

Transforming Cities through Nature

Host Site; ECOSS & The Nature Conservancy

Conservation Project Overview Statement:
Polluted stormwater runoff is the largest source of pollution to Puget Sound. Partners ECOSS and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) believe that harnessing the power of nature to address this issue in collaboration with the city’s multicultural communities can create winning solutions for people and nature.

Project field site (region): Seattle Metro Area

Lake Diablo
Northern Cascades Institute

Workforce Development for Fresh Food

Host site; Seattle Parks and Recreation, Good Food Program

Conservation Project Overview Statement:
The Workforce Development Project of the Urban Food Systems Program is focused on disrupting the historical institutional discriminatory practices in training and hiring people of color and people in low income brackets in the environmental and conservation fields. This project is supported by the City of Seattle’s Race and Social Justice Initiative as well as its Equity and Environment Agenda.

Project field site (region): City of Seattle food desert communities as identified by King County/Seattle Public Health Department, i.e. Rainier Valley, South Park