Course Curriculum
HomeCourse Curriculum

Course Curriculum


The program will provide curriculum that includes the following:

  • Experience in core ecological and evolutionary principles underlying conservation and restoration
  • Interdisciplinary training in the earth and environmental sciences important for a modern perspective on system-based conservation and restoration
  • Training in professional skills required for effective practice and success in leadership positions in non-profit, institute, for-profit, and agency settings
  • Research experiences in community-engaged research projects to build bridges between communities of research capacity (universities, institutes, agencies) and need (non-profits, land management agencies, private land-holders, and governments)
  • Exposure to social, political, and economic principles that guide the application of science to conservation and restoration

The MCRS is a 2-year program, consisting of 6 full time quarters (each 12 units).  The 72 total units are broken down as follows:

  • Core content courses: 18 units
  • Topical electives: 16 units
  • Technical and professional skills courses: 18 units
  • Technical and professional workshops: 8 units
  • Group Capstone Project: 12 units

Sample Program


Course Descriptions


EE203B. Conservation Restoration Science

This course focuses on the practice of conservation and restoration science by providing fieldwork opportunities. Through this course, you will be exposed to important aspects of environmental management, including research and monitoring to help you develop skills in the application of theory to practical work situations.

EE205. Ecology

This course focuses on the principles of ecology to support the practice of implementing ecological research within an adaptive management framework.  This framework will be used to explore the complexities of ecological systems, working with multiple stakeholders, incorporating changing weather and climate conditions, and using experiments to compare conservation and restoration techniques.

EE207. Quantitative Methods

Statistics for ecologists and evolutionary biologists. Emphasis on specific applications and underlying assumptions rather than on methods of calculation.  Topics include experimental design, parametric and nonparametric methods, analysis of variance and covariance, and multiple regression.

EE268. Technical Writing

Practice developing key documents for restoration projects including a response to a request for proposal (RFP), a restoration project plan, and a monitoring and maintenance plan.

EE264. Conservation Biology

Explores concepts in ecology with potential for conserving biological diversity. Identifies creative applications of ecological research that mitigate impacts of rapid human population growth and habitat destruction on biodiversity.

EE134. GIS

Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Topics include fundamentals of cartography, creating/editing GIS data, linking spatial and tabular data, georeferencing, map projections, geospatial analysis, spatial statistics, and the development of GIS models. Examples from hydrology, ecology, and geology.

EE262. Professional Workshop

This course focuses on the knowledge, skills, certifications, and licenses needed by professionals in the field of conservation and restoration.  The primary goals is to provide students with opportunities to explore educational opportunities related to professional and/or technical skills in more depth.

EE265. Restoration Ecology

Study of principles and practices that help recover degraded ecosystems including restoration in different ecological systems, restoration motives and intensities, implementation and monitoring, and scope and success of case studies.

EE266. Restoration Techniques

This course will provide experience performing field methods that help recover degraded ecosystems in different ecological systems.  Emphasis on the plant community composition, soil, irrigation, maintenance, and monitoring of a project.

EE269. Project Management

Discover the planning, design, implementation, and aftercare phases of managing a conservation or restoration project. Students will project cost, manage risk, analyze sites, evaluate and review projects, and become familiar with common permitting and consultation requirements.

EE286. MCRS Capstone

The capstone project is designed to prepare students to produce meaningful solutions to today’s environmental problems. Over the course of the year, students will complete a project in collaboration with a local partner/stakeholder to address a current management need and/or solve a real environmental problem. To complete the project, students will apply the knowledge and skills learned in this program to a practical professional setting, working directly with practitioners to plan, implement, and evaluate the project. All projects must be solution oriented and nested within an active adaptive management framework.

EE203A. Science Communication

This course will develop students’ abilities to convey information related to conservation and restoration in a way that has broad appeal and/or effective messaging for non-scientific audiences by assessing the audience, developing effective storytelling, and deploying a persuasive information campaign.

ESS264. Ecosystem Ecology

A mechanistic perspective on ecosystem processes. Covers ecosystem development, element cycling, and interactions with plants and microbes. The role of ecosystems in environmental change is also addressed.