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

Conservation Practice Teams (CPT), DDCSP’s Year 2 internship, engage scholars 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 identities and environmental justice.

Each scholar conducts a research project that is designed and supported through direct collaboration with the entirety of the Conservation Practice Team, which includes 2-4 scholars, a host site, faculty mentor and a DDCSP staff mentor. Projects emphasize at least one of the four themes of Climate, Water, Food, or Ecosystems and results in a deliverable that benefits the partnering host site while supporting scholars in meeting their learning objectives (e.g. analyzed data set, report, short documentary, or conservation action).

Learning Objectives and Research Project Deliverables:

  • 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

2018 Conservation Practice Team Projects

Lake Diablo
Northern Cascades Institute

Wreck Creek Climate Change Habitat Survey and Monitoring Program

Host site; Quinault Indian Nation: Department of Natural Resources

Conservation Project Overview Statement:

The Environmental Protection department of the Quinault Indian Nation is beginning year two of a long term monitoring project to help identify localized changes due to climate change and anthropogenic processes in two coastal stream watersheds. This is 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

Determining and Communicating Public Risk and Ecological Health Along a Salinity Gradient in an Urban Park

Host site; King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks

Conservation Project Overview Statement:

King County’s marine and freshwater monitoring groups collect data on the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of water across the County in streams, rivers, lakes, and Puget Sound. These data are used to improve our understanding the ecosystem and the impacts of human activities, and assess how water quality may impact humans and other organisms.

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

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

Moses Prairie Restoration

Host site; Quinault Indian Nation: Division of Natural Resources

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

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

Incorporation of Food Sovereignty Systems into Salmon Habitat Restoration

Host site; Skagit River System Cooperative

Conservation Project Overview Statement:

Project teaches students to propagate, cultivate and inventory food sovereignty and ethnobotanical plants, and allows them to design the integration of cultural plant cultivation and harvesting into salmon habitat restoration sites.

Project field site (region): Mount Vernon

Mount Rainier (39)

Camas Prairie Cultural Ecosystems

Host site; Center for Natural Lands Management

Conservation Project Overview Statement:

This project will give students a chance to: 1) learn about transdisciplinary collaboration between diverse partners; 2) identify effective collaborative approaches for conservation of cultural ecosystems; and 3) learn about the plants and animals involved in native prairie restoration.

Project field site (region): South Puget Sound

Health and Storytelling in Seattle's Central District

Host site; Odessa Brown Children's Clinic

Conservation Project Overview Statement:

Where do commnity health, access to green spaces and rich traditions of urban food production converge? For over 45 years, Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic (OBCC) has been a comprehensive facility with medical, dental, mental health and nutrition services that embrace patients and families in the community. This project explores the stories of health and conservation amongst the people and landscape of one of Seattle’s most historic, and rapidly changing neighborhoods.

Project field site (region): Seattle

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

Prairie Pollinators and Restoration Success

Host site; Center for Natural Lands Management

Conservation Project Overview Statement:

This field-based science project will give students a chance to study the community of pollinators that is supporting key late-season native prairie plants in restored and unrestored prairie. This project will focus on observing, identifying, and collecting the beautiful and diverse pollinators of late-season prairie flowers. This is a crucial step to refining our restoration practice to create resilient ecosystems.

Project field site (region): South Puget Sound

Multicultural Research and Outreach

Host Site; ECOSS

Conservation Project Overview Statement:

ECOSS aims to give immigrant communities the knowledge and opportunities to connect with their new environment. We cultivate interest and a shared responsibility in the stewardship of our shared lands, waters and natural resources. Polluted stormwater runoff is the largest source of pollution to Puget Sound. ECOSS believes 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

UrbanGardensChrisDyaami copy
Dyaami D'Orazio and Chris Deleon (year two) analyze urban ecosystem services in a community garden in Seattle's International District. 508DD0010

Portland Placemaking and Environmental Justice

Host Site; The City Repair Project

Conservation Project Overview Statement:

City Repair is reviewing how partner sites engage in environmental justice, and what they are doing to assess progress, needs, and share their stories to the wider community. Sites range from community gardens, to neighborhood greening development, to urban farms.

Project field site (region): Portland Metro Area

Water y Cultura: Exploring Non-Traditional Connections to Puget Sound

Host sites; Sierra Club and Latino Outdoors

Conservation Project Overview Statement:

Water is life – we learned that the hard way. In 2016, Standing Rock gripped the nation as it valiantly articulated how tribes depend on the natural world for their very livelihood. Mainstream environmentalism, by contrast, consistently disregards that connection by systemically overlooking stories that don’t fit the John Muir mold. This project, co-hosted by the Sierra Club and Latino Outdoors, aims to shift the conversation by challenging mainstream organizations (such as the Club) to explore non-traditional stories of connection to the Puget Sound. This includes working closely with the local Latino community of the Duwamish Valley. Our hope is to challenge the dominant perception of what it means to be a water conservationist.

Project field site (region): Seattle Metro Area

Mount Rainier
Dr. Janneke Hille Ris Lambers leads students back down the trail after completing a survey for the Meadow Watch program. 508DD0480

Past Projects