Course Syllabus


Puget Sound Conservation Science: Bridging science, policy, and management


Course Description

This seminar will cover the interplay between science, policy, and management in Puget Sound Region with a focus on conservation, management, and recovery issues faced by state and federal agencies.  Students will read selected papers each week and come prepared to have in depth discussions led by senior research scientists from Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW) and other agencies who are tackling real-world applications of their research for policy and management issues.  Weekly seminar topics will range from population recovery to toxins and environmental health issues to conservation genetics and evolutionary biology.  Students will also have an opportunity to weave in discussions of their own research and practice communicating their work in a way that is applicable to agency scientists, other stakeholders, and the public.  We expect that primarily Masters and PhD students in Aquatic and Fishery Science, and related disciplines, who are interested in applied research and learning how science is used in natural resource agencies will be most interested in this course.


Course objectives:

  • Learn about key conservation issues, science, and management challenges facing the Puget Sound region
  • Gain an understanding of how research is being shaped to most effectively address Puget Sound management issues
  • Gain exposure to scientific careers in state and federal agencies.
  • Practice skills in science communication and packaging often necessary to ensure science effectively informs decision making


Meeting times and location:

Tuesdays from 10:00-11:20am in FSH 105


Course structure and evaluation

This is a 2-unit discussion seminar.  The general format will consist of a guest lecture (~45 mins) followed by a student-driven group discussion (~30 mins).  The weekly topics and accompanying papers will be presented to students the week prior and students will submit short (1-2 page) summaries of the work plus three relevant questions for the speaker via Canvas by 6:00pm the day before.    At the end of the quarter, students will produce a policy brief about their own research projects as they would to colleagues at management agencies and/or stakeholders who need to make decisions based on their science.  Course evaluation is Credit/No Credit; students must attend all but one of the discussion sessions plus complete the policy brief to receive credit for the course.  


Course Summary:

Date Details