Conservation Science and Practice (BSc Program)

Kathy Lewis, Professor and Chair
Annie Booth, Professor
Philip Burton, Professor
Mark Dale, Professor
Arthur Fredeen, Professor
Ian Hartley, Professor
Dezene Huber, Professor
Chris Johnson, Professor
Staffan Lindgren, Professor Emeritus
Hugues Massicotte, Professor
William McGill, Professor
Chris Opio, Professor
Ken Otter, Professor
Mark Shrimpton, Professor
Eduardo Martins, Assistant Professor
Sinead Earley, Assistant Professor
Ché Elkin, Associate Professor, and FRBC/Slocan Mixed Wood Ecology Chair (Ecosystem Science and Management)
Scott Green, Associate Professor
Phil Mullins, Associate Professor
Brent Murray, Associate Professor
John Shultis, Associate Professor
Oscar Venter, Associate Professor, and Forest Renewal BC Endowed Chair in Growth and Yield and Forest Valuations
Pamela Wright, Associate Professor
Ian Picketts, Adjunct Professor
Richard Shuster, Adjunct Professor
Roy Rea, Senior Lab Instructor


Ecological systems underpin human well-being in many ways from art and culture to food security. Conservation professionals work to ensure that ecosystems will continue to provide these values for future generations. However, we are facing an increasingly complex set of challenges as human populations and resource development increase and the global climate changes. Meeting these challenges requires an integration of human and ecological values across a broad range of ecosystems at increasingly larger spatial and temporal scales.

Students pursuing a BSc in Conservation Science and Practice focus on understanding and addressing the contemporary challenges facing the sustainable use and conservation of our environment. Navigating these challenges requires a strong scientific foundation, including the necessary appreciation for both the natural and human dimensions of conservation and management. This degree equips students with the knowledge to enter a solutions-based career that actively contributes to solving today’s conservation and management problems. Our goal is to provide students with the philosophical foundation, scientific theory, and technical skills to address the challenge of maintaining the functioning of ecosystems across developed, developing and still wild landscapes.

The BSc in Conservation Science and Practice allows students to pursue one of two majors:
  1. Wildland Conservation and Recreation
  2. Landscape Conservation and Management

The major in Wildland Conservation and Recreation focuses on portions of the landscape where conservation values, including recreation and aesthetic values, are the priority land use activities, and where these activities intersect with other values, priorities, and uses. Topics of study include: the promotion of and advocacy for conservation; integrated management of legally designated parks and protected areas; conservation area design; and human activities across these areas, including recreation, ecotourism and the associated positive and negative impacts on ecological integrity. Students develop the skills necessary to identify, plan, monitor, and manage conservation values within the parks, recreation and tourism sectors.

The major in Landscape Conservation and Management focuses on natural and human-modified systems across broad spatial scales. The emphasis in this major is on integrated landscapes that support a wide variety of values and activities including the maintenance of biodiversity, the rights and practices of Indigenous Peoples, ecosystem services, and resource extraction. Courses in this major consider human activities across a range of ecological scales but with an emphasis on landscape and ecosystem-level processes. Graduates from the major develop the skills to work with cutting-edge tools and data that are necessary for the planning and management of multiple values across space and time. 

Both majors are premised on an interdisciplinary and multi-value perspective. The degree is focused on the natural sciences, and draws on ideas, theory and practice from the social sciences. This broad perspective recognizes that humans are part of socio-ecological systems; thus, the human dimensions of conservation, management and natural sciences are integral components of the curriculum.


Major in Wildland Conservation and Recreation

Program Requirements

Lower Division Requirement

100 Level

BIOL 103-3 Introductory Biology I
BIOL 104-3 Introductory Biology II
BIOL 123-1 Introductory Biology I Laboratory
BIOL 124-1 Introductory Biology II Laboratory
ENVS 101-3 Introduction to Environmental Citizenship
FNST 100-3 The Aboriginal Peoples of Canada
NREM 100-3* Field Skills
ORTM 100-3 Foundations of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism

*Note:  Applications for exemption from NREM 100-3 must be made within the first year of study in this degree.

200 Level

BIOL 201-3 Ecology
FSTY 201-3 Forest Plant Systems
   or BIOL 301-3 Systematic Botany
NREM 204-3 Introduction to Wildlife and Fisheries
NREM 209-3 The Practice of Conservation
ORTM 200-3 Sustainable Recreation and Tourism
ORTM 205-3 Outdoor Skills and Leadership
STAT 240-3 Basic Statistics

Upper Division Requirement

300 Level

ENPL 304-3 Mediation, Negotiation and Public Participation
   or ENVS 326-3 Natural Resources, Environmental Issues and Public Engagement
GEOG 300-3 Geographic Information Systems
NREM 303-3 Aboriginal Perspectives on Land and Resource Management
ORTM 300-3 Recreation and Tourism Impacts
ORTM 305-3 Protected Area Planning and Management
ORTM 332-3 Outdoor, Environmental and Experiential Education
ORTM 333-3 Field School

Two of the following:
BIOL 302-3 Limnology
BIOL 304-3 Plants, Society and the Environment
BIOL 307-3 Ichthyology and Herpetology
BIOL 308-3 Ornithology and Mammalogy
BIOL 318-3 Fungi and Lichens
BIOL 322-3 Entomology
BIOL 323-3 Evolutionary Biology
BIOL 333-3 Field School
BIOL 350-3 Ethnobotany
NREM 333-3 Field Applications in Resource Management

400 Level

BIOL 411-3 Conservation Biology
GEOG 413-3 Advanced GIS
   or BIOL 325-3 Ecological Analyses
NREM 400-4 Natural Resources Planning
NREM 409-3 Conservation Planning
ORTM 400-3 Conservation Area Design and Management

Two of the following:
ORTM 306-3 Indigenous Tourism and Recreation
ORTM 403-3 International Dimensions of Resource Recreation and Tourism
ORTM 407-3 Recreation, Tourism and Communities
ORTM 408-3 The Psychology of Recreation and Tourism
ORTM 409-3 Critical Approaches to Outdoor Recreation Activities

One of the following:
BIOL 402-3 Aquatic Plants
BIOL 404-3 Plant Ecology
BIOL 406-3* Fish Ecology
BIOL 410-3* Population and Community Ecology
BIOL 412-3* Wildlife Ecology
BIOL 420-3* Animal Behaviour
BIOL 421-3 Insects, Fungi and Society

One of the following:
BIOL 409-3 Conservation of Aquatic Ecosystems
BIOL 413-3* Wildlife Management
BIOL 414-3* Fisheries Management
NREM 413-3 Agroforestry

*Prerequisites for these courses may be met by appropriate selection of courses in options listed in “Two of the following” and “One of the following” lists above.

Elective Requirements
Elective credit hours as necessary to ensure completion of a minimum of 120 credit hours.


BSc Honours - Conservation Science and Practice (Wildland Conservation and Recreation)

The Honours in Conservation Science and Practice (Wildland Conservation and Recreation) offers students a higher level of education and substantial research experience for proceeding to post graduate studies.

To enter the Honours Program, students must have completed 60 credit hours and obtained a minimum Cumulative GPA of 3.33 Attaining the minimum requirement does not guarantee entry into the Honours Program, which will be at the discretion of the Conservation Science and Practice Curriculum Committee. Maintenance of a Cumulative GPA of 3.33 is required to remain in the Honours Program.

Honours students are required to complete the degree requirements for the BSc Conservation Science and Practice (Wildland Conservation and Recreation). In addition, each student must also complete an additional 6 credit hours in the form of an undergraduate thesis (normally NRES 430-6) under the supervision of a faculty member. Students are responsible to find their own undergraduate thesis research supervisor. Faculty members are under no obligation to supervise Honours students.

Major in Landscape Conservation and Management

Program Requirements

Lower Division Requirement

100 Level

BIOL 103-3 Introductory Biology I
BIOL 104-3 Introductory Biology II
BIOL 123-1 Introductory Biology I Laboratory
BIOL 124-1 Introductory Biology II Laboratory
ECON 100-3 Microeconomics
ENVS 101-3 Introduction to Environmental Citizenship
FNST 100-3 The Aboriginal Peoples of Canada
MATH 152-3 Calculus for Non-majors
NREM 101-3 Introduction to Natural Resource Management and Conservation
NRES 100-3 Communications in Natural Resources and Environmental Studies

200 Level

BIOL 201-3 Ecology
ENSC 201-3 Weather and Climate
ENVS 306-3 Human Ecology
   or ENVS 225-3 Global Environmental Change: Science and Policy
FNST 249-3 Aboriginal Resource Planning
NREM 204-3 Introduction to Wildlife and Fisheries
NREM 209-3 The Practice of Conservation
POLS 257-3 Public Law in Canada
STAT 240-3 Basic Statistics

300 Level

BIOL 325-3 Ecological Analyses
ENPL 304-3 Mediation, Negotiation & Public Participation
   or ENVS 326-3 Natural Resources, Environmental Issues and Public Engagement
ENSC 302-3 Low Carbon Energy Development
   or ECON 305-3 Environmental Economics and Environmental Policy
GEOG 300-3 Geographic Information Systems
NREM 303-3 Aboriginal Perspectives on Land and Resource Management

Two of the following:
BIOL 301-3 Systematic Botany
BIOL 307-3 Ichthyology and Herpetology
BIOL 308-3 Ornithology and Mammalogy
BIOL 318-3 Fungi and Lichens
BIOL 322-3 Entomology
BIOL 350-3 Ethnobotany
FSTY 201-3 Forest Plant Systems
400 Level
BIOL 409-3 Conservation of Aquatic Ecosystems
   or ENSC 425-3 Climate Change and Global Warming
BIOL 411-3 Conservation Biology
ENVS 414-3 Environmental and Professional Ethics
FSTY 405-3 Forest Ecosystem Modelling
   or ENSC 406-3 Environmental Modelling
GEOG 413-3 Advanced GIS
NREM 400-4 Natural Resources Planning
NREM-409-3 Conservation Planning
ORTM 400-3 Conservation Area Design and Management

Elective Requirements
Elective credit hours as necessary to ensure completion of a minimum of 120 credit hours.


BSc Honours - Conservation Science and Practice (Landscape Conservation and Management)

The Honours in Conservation Science and Practice (Landscape Conservation and Management) offers students a higher level of education and substantial research experience for proceeding to post graduate studies.

To enter the Honours Program, students must have completed 60 credit hours and obtained a minimum Cumulative GPA of 3.33. Attaining the minimum requirement does not guarantee entry into the Honours Program, which is at the discretion of the Conservation Science and Practice Curriculum Committee. Maintenance of a Cumulative GPA of 3.33 is required to remain in the Honours Program.

Honours students are required to complete the degree requirements for the BSc Conservation Science and Practice (Landscape Conservation and Management). In addition, each student must also complete an additional 6 credit hours in the form of an undergraduate thesis (normally NRES 430-6) under the supervision of a faculty member. Students are responsible to find their own undergraduate thesis research supervisor. Faculty members are under no obligation to supervise Honours students.