Collaborating for a vibrant future

Our mission

We promote innovative solutions to complex environmental problems by fostering collaborations across broadly diverse disciplines and sectors. Our efforts support the sustainability of our world, encompassing biological and cultural diversity, social and ecological integrity, and matters of equity and justice.


We aim to provoke and inspire, and to provide the space, time, and social environments that students, faculty, and partners need to engage in mutual learning, risk-taking, and action on pressing conservation needs.


We define conservation as actions that promote and increase the sustainability of social-ecological systems.

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Current work

Our current work addresses three cross-cutting themes:


Harnessing the computing as well as cultural potency of video games, apps, and geolocated social media data to better understand and motivate solutions to environmental problems


Focusing on the health benefits of nature contact, and its implications for designing cities, parks, infrastructure, and policies to ensure these benefits are accessible to all


Studying the co-evolution of cultural practices and ecosystems, and promoting integrated knowledge to adapt to the increasingly complex changes in our social-ecological systems


Supporting projects integrating research with art to inspire social and environmental change

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Fostering conservation creativity

Broadly interdisciplinary and widely networked, the Center for Creative Conservation promotes learning and collaboration among researchers and practitioners from the environmental sciences, medicine, and engineering, to the social sciences, arts, and humanities. The Center aims to collectively expand our capacity to tackle emerging conservation challenges and foster sustainable social-ecological systems by leveraging the joint expertise, experience, and assets of the University of Washington and our partner organizations.

The Center strives to foster creative conservation by hosting salons, growing a network of collaborators, and supporting cross-cutting research projects, short- and long-term working groups, and professionals in residence. In doing so, we commit to:

  • creating venues that foster serendipity, mutual learning, and opportunities for novel thinking and risk-taking
  • developing meaningful and reciprocal university-community partnerships
  • assembling teams with diverse skills, backgrounds, and perspectives around critical conservation issues
  • hosting conversations about framing and reframing conservation discourse, practice, and policy
  • facilitating transdisciplinary scholarship, including collaborative grant-writing and publishing, co-production of knowledge, and development of applied conservation tools

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