The Center for Creative Conservation was launched in Fall 2015 with an initial investment from the College of the Environment to spark innovation and collaboration in conservation.

The Center fosters creativity in conservation by hosting a variety of events and programs. In all of our work, we intend to learn and adopt innovative methods from our full spectrum of disciplines and partners for creating, communicating, collaborating, and enacting change.


The Center hosts periodic gatherings designed to bring together diverse groups of thinkers to explore solutions to environmental problems. Conservation salons are inspired by the Parisian tradition and may consist of a few or many groups of individuals (e.g., artists, musicians, writers, politicians, historians, business owners, religious leaders, scientists, and others). Loosely structured on a theme, salons allow for spontaneous interactions and serendipitous connections to arise. An example of one of our salons is EarthGames on Tap.


Project incubators convene interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral teams in a series of start-up meetings to encourage effective and creative conservation problem solving. Incubators help teams build effective working relationships, further conceptualize project ideas, develop plans for implementation, and seek additional funds to support long-term collaboration. We are currently supporting two incubators, Storymap of Climate Change and Camas Prairie Cultural Ecosystems. A third incubator, Social Science for the Salish Sea, is in the planning stage. We periodically announce calls for proposals supported by the center, and we invite proposals for self-funded incubators on a rolling basis.


Garages are long-term working groups that meet multiple times over months to years to apply collective scientific, humanistic, and artistic insights in ways that lead to positive conservation and human well-being outcomes. Garages allow in-depth mutual learning, collaborative relationships, and partnerships to develop over time. Where helpful, the Center may host structured workshops to facilitate transdisciplinary collaboration. Groups may have one or more members in residence at the Center for the duration of the garage session, as well as graduate student interns. Our current garages are EarthGames and the Nature Contact & Human Health Working Group.

Topic meetings

We host one-time meetings to address a specific issue. We will help find participants and design and host meetings


We plan to offer short- and long-term residencies to faculty, professionals, and others. Residencies may be offered to artists, scientists, entrepreneurs, and NGO and agency staff, among others, with the aim of building a community of diverse thinkers.

Applied conservation learning

We plan to offer two core courses that engage graduate and upper-level undergraduate students in applied conservation research and application. Students from CoEnv 599 will participate in salons and garages and be on-call for rapid responses to conservation needs. CoEnv 598 will provide opportunities for groups of students to engage in short-term projects to produce needed products.

Conservation network

The Center invites you to join a diverse and expanding network of people working to promote a vibrant and sustainable world. Join the network