Applied Wildlife Ecology and Policy: Science for the 21st Century and the Era of Global Change


Spring 2014 quarter

Taught by

conservation biology, wildlife management

This elective will explore the ecological and political aspects of wildlife conservation in the Pacific Northwest, with special emphasis on Threatened and Endangered (T&E) species recovery in the Puget Sound region and Washington State.  T&E species management necessitates a fundamental interdisciplinary understanding of ecology, policy and social science disciplines.  We will cover field ecological assessments and methods (especially novel ones) to study wildlife species, as well as read, discuss and debate policy papers addressing species’ status, protection, and recovery.  We will introduce the concept of adaptive management science and illustrate the successes and failures of its application as a multi-stakeholder tool to advance critical policies.  We will also explore climate change as a driver of emerging 21 st century policies.  Students will participate in lecture and seminar discussions, in-class exercises, and optional field work to learn approaches and techniques to study and recover species at risk.  We will invite expert agency scientists, government managers and policy analysts to speak to the class and to contribute to field exercises and discussions.  We will cover ecology and policy issues for a diversity of species from across the taxonomic spectrum.  Student learning will be assessed through writing exercises and oral presentations to their peers, student participation, and through a final paper on methods to assess a chosen species’ status and recovery from ecology, policy or social angles.

Faculty Biography:

Marc Hayes, Ph.D., is a research ecologist and herpetologist with 39 years of field experience with amphibians and reptiles. He has supervised >60 projects addressing the ecology and habitat needs of amphibians and reptiles in California, Florida, Oregon, Washington, Costa Rica, and Mexico. He has worked with diverse entities ranging from the US Forest Service; the California Department of Fish and Game; the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife; the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife; US Fish and Wildlife Service; the Nature Conservancy; Stillwater Sciences, Inc.; the California Academy of Sciences, and a suite of additional private entities. His research has focused on the ecology of amphibians and reptiles, including stillwater breeding ranid frogs and toads; plethodonid salamanders; and stream-associated amphibians in timber-managed landscapes.

Dina Roberts, Ph.D., is a conservation biologist with broad field experience as an ornithologist and wildlife biologist, as well as experience in species management and forest policy development.  Her background in field research spans more than two decades and includes studies in temperate and tropical forests to understand the impacts of forest fragmentation and land use change on biodiversity.  Dina completed her Master’s research from University of Georgia in collaboration with Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center in Panama looking at the importance of shade coffee plantations for tropical ants and birds.  Dina received an IGERT Fellowship from the NSF to complete interdisciplinary doctoral research in a team of researchers looking at the importance of sustainable development and biodiversity protection in Costa Rica.  She has since worked as a Postdoctoral Researchers at Washington State University, as an Endangered Species Biologist with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and as a Staff Scientist working at the science/policy interface to increase understanding of the global importance and increase protection of boreal forest of North America.

Program Details

Location and Schedule

Campus location



Offered during: Evening

Advertised schedule: 6-10p Wed


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Online Learning

Enhanced Online Learning: Access to web-based tools required, but use of these tools does not displace any face-to-face instruction.

Required Fees

$20 for an overnight field trip.

Undergraduate Credit Option

Requires Faculty Approval


Date Revision
April 17th, 2014 $20 fee added for an overnight field trip.

Registration Information

Credits: 4 (Spring)

Class standing: Graduate

Maximum enrollment: 15


Course Reference Number

(4 GR credits): 30387

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