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A William Jessup University Research Institute

Mission Statement

The Institute for Biodiversity and the Environment exists to inform and motivate the conservation, preservation, and restoration of biodiversity, and the environment upon which it depends, through research, education, and the dissemination of knowledge.

Your support of the Pacific Crest Trail Mega-transect project or the Institute for Biodiversity and the Environment as a whole goes directly towards funding the conservation, preservation, and restoration of biodiversity, and the environment upon which it depends, through research, education, and the dissemination of knowledge. Thank you for your support.

Featured Projects

Institute Projects

The database contains the project data that are collected annually. At this time,
the kinds of data include avian, herpetofauna, aquatic vertebrate, and audio
recordings from avian surveys. It is our goal to include student participation
(particularly those who are computer science majors) in the design, construction,
and maintenance of the database and web-based applications/tools.
Principal Investigator: Joseph Liauw, PhD
Objectives:
1. Examine historical archives for establishing more accurate baseline data relating to sea otter recovery and decline throughout the Eastern Pacific

日本一本道a不卡免费2. Research the environmental histories and cultures of California and Pacific Northwest communities

Overview:
The Pacific: Historical and Environmental Frontiers. Faculty and students across disciplines are invited to contribute to this ongoing project that charts the Pacific Ocean’s faunal pasts through a synthesis of archival historical research and digital methodologies. Emphasis is also given to understanding the ways that local cultures have helped to shape environments and ecologies across time with particular emphasis on California and the Pacific Northwest.

Principal Investigator: Richard Ravalli, Ph.D.
Objectives:
1. Investigate the biology and chemistry of landfill leachate.

日本一本道a不卡免费2. Investigate the composition and production of gas emissions from a commercial urban landfill.

3. Investigate the efficiency and efficacy of several technologies in the conversion of green waste
to compost.

Overview:
Municipal waste is never ending product of urban cities with the average individual in the US producing about 4.4lbs per day. Given the continued decadal urban growth, the appropriate recycled and landfilling of this material will likely present a great management challenge for city utilities charged with processing it. Although landfilling of waste is well-established, best management procedures are still evolving to minimize the carbon footprint of this remediation technique.

Principal Investigator: Fungai Mukome, Ph.D.
Objectives:
Organize conferences for churches to learn about the biblical perspective on our current environmental crises and inspire Christians to value caring for God's good world. Publish a book that explains the biblical story of God's new-creation kingdom and explores its present-day implications for followers of Jesus.
Principal Investigator: Matthew Godshall, Ph.D.
Objectives:

日本一本道a不卡免费1. Track the population trends and distributions of hundreds of wildlife species, and their habitats, along the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail (PCT)

2. Inform conservation decisions that protect biodiversity in the remote mountain regions of the Pacific Crest Trail

Overview:

The Pacific Crest Trail Biodiversity Megatransect – A Biodiversity “Barometer”

The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) Biodiversity Megatransect is an ambitious ecological study that involves undergraduate researchers and faculty in WJU’s Environmental Science program. Surveys for hundreds of vertebrate species using a variety of novel, noninvasive techniques are conducted continuously as observers hike the trail along the PCT. The PCT is a hiking trail that runs from the Mexican border to the Canadian border along the mountain ranges of California, Oregon, and Washington (2,650 miles long).

Principal Investigator: Michael McGrann, Ph.D.
日本一本道a不卡免费The Placer County Conservation Program (PCCP) is a local, county-based conservation initiative. The purpose of PCCP is to streamline the permitting process and facilitate economic growth while also conserving natural resources throughout Placer County. It will allow a single government entity, Placer County, to issue state and federal permits for local development within the county. The PCCP acts as both a Habitat Conservation Plan under the Federal Endangered Species Act and a Natural Community Conservation Plan under the California Natural Community Conservation Planning Act.

William Jessup University and the Institute for Biodiversity and the Environment (IBE) have signed an MOU with Placer County to facilitate collaboration with the PCCP. IBE will assist with the following program needs as part of our research agenda in order to help the PCCP obtain its conservation goals, including conservation-related research, habitat restoration, wildlife population monitoring, the management and storage of biodiversity data, and the collection of baseline wildlife and habitat data for the PCCP. Specific activities may include eDNA surveys and lab analysis (PCR), GIS analysis, soil/water/air sampling, aquatic surveys, wildlife habitat surveys, and computer data storage/database development and management.

Principal Investigator: Michael McGrann, Ph.D.

Vision Statement

We envision an interdisciplinary community of scientists and scholars who desire to foster unity and collaboration across boundaries of faith, both within and outside the Christian community, in order to study and to help protect biodiversity.

As a community of scientists and scholars who share a faith in Christ, we believe that caring for God’s good world is fundamental to our identity as followers of Jesus and, thus, offer a distinctly Christian perspective to the conversation as we seek out partnerships with individuals, private organizations, government entities, and all who share with us the broader vision to conserve, protect, and restore biodiversity and the environment now and for generations to come.

About the Institute

We are an interdisciplinary community composed primarily of Christ-motivated scientists and scholars who all share in the Institute’s vision and are committed to the practice of new creation (see Theological Framework below). What do we mean by a community composed “primarily” of Christ-motivated scientists and scholars? Although we define ourselves as Christ-motivated - as it is our faith in Christ that unifies and motivates us in our work - we also affirm the importance of partnerships with those who share our vision but who may not necessarily share, but respect, the beliefs of our faith. Thus, we will work across the boundaries of faith and seek out partnerships both within, and outside the Christian community.

We define biodiversity as all the ways living organisms interact with other living organisms and the nonliving environment at multiple levels throughout all of life; this includes the levels of the molecular, cellular, organismal, population, species, community, ecosystem and the entire biosphere. Biodiversity refers to the number of species in a particular area as well as...

  • the genetic diversity within and among populations.
  • the diversity of adaptations that have evolved within populations that have responded
    to past environmental change.
  • the diversity and distinctiveness of species compositions and the interactions among ecological communities.
  • the diversity of ecological interactions (e.g., mutualisms, predation, competition, parasitisms, pathogens, etc.) among organisms, including the interactions of microbes, fungi, plants, and animals, including humans, with each other and with the nonliving environment.
  • the diversity of functions and services provided by ecosystems.
  • the diversity of interactions between distinct ecosystems across the broader landscape.
  • the diversity human interactions with the living and nonliving environment.

We believe that biodiversity is a priceless treasure that must be understood, conserved, preserved, and restored. Our main reasons for valuing biodiversity and the environment are as follows:

  • We value biodiversity because it provides direct benefits to humankind. Biodiversity enriches our lives, maintains our spiritual, mental, and physical health. In addition, as the foundation of our global economy, biodiversity provides economic benefits through recreational opportunities, food, medicine, and many other products that we consume.
  • We believe God values biodiversity. We value biodiversity, not solely because of the benefits that it provides to humankind, but also because God has placed value on the “good” creation (see Theological Framework). Therefore, biodiversity has intrinsic God-given value regardless of whether humanity places value on it.
  • We recognize that humankind is also part of and dependent upon the ecosystems in which we live. We must, therefore, conserve biodiversity for future generations as we consume resources for our present needs. We must also work to protect biodiversity where it presently receives minimal impact from humankind. We must restore biodiversity where it has been impacted adversely by humankind for the enjoyment of future generations.
  • We acknowledge that we are in a global biodiversity crisis and experiencing an unprecedented loss of biodiversity, including a loss of genetic diversity, species, and ecosystem function, due to environmental change from anthropogenic drivers, including human land use and climate change.

We will engage in impactful interdisciplinary environmental research and scholarship, across the sciences and humanities, addressing both theoretical and applied questions at the local, regional, and global scales.

We will foster interdisciplinary dialogue as a means of resolving environmental concerns that relate to the natural and social sciences and the humanities.

We will seek a broad understanding of how past and present processes, cultures, and institutions affect local, regional, and global environments.

We will implement both short-term studies that address relevant questions for conservation decision makers and long-term studies that monitor trends in biodiversity.

日本一本道a不卡免费We seek to inform strategic decision-making and adaptive management in government agencies, private industry, environmental nonprofits, policy makers, and others who are responding to the biodiversity crisis.

We desire to train the next generation of problem solvers who leverage skills and techniques from a multitude of disciplines to generate practical solutions to the biodiversity crisis.

日本一本道a不卡免费We seek to bridge coordination and communication gaps across administrative boundaries within and between government agencies, environmental nonprofits, private landowners and industries, and other stakeholders.

日本一本道a不卡免费We seek to lead the Christian community to an understanding of the scientific, social and biblical perspectives framing environmental concerns and the biodiversity crisis.

According to the biblical story, caring for God’s good world is fundamental to our identity as followers of Jesus. At the heart of this story is the Creator’s commitment to establish his kingdom on earth—a place absent of evil; where all the creation can flourish, where human beings can become who they were made to be, and where God himself lives with his creation. The kingdom arrived “in the beginning” through God’s creative activity, was lost when humanity rebelled, returned through the death and resurrection of Jesus and the re-creating work of the Spirit, and will be fully revealed in the new creation. Thus the biblical story does not culminate with the destruction of God’s creation, but with its renewal. The full arrival of God’s kingdom includes the restoration of all the earth so that humanity can live with God and live out their identity as image bearers and caretakers of his good world (e.g., Isaiah 65:17; Romans 8:19-22; 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21-22). God’s promise to one day restore all creation should not lead us to abuse and misuse it, but to value and care for it.

In the time between the resurrection and return of Jesus, God intends for his people to be a preview of his renewed world—a foretaste (or foreshadowing) of the full arrival of his new-creation kingdom. We are thus the present witnesses of God’s new-creation kingdom and the evidence that the great cosmic renewal has begun. Therefore, as those who participate in and foreshadow God’s new creation, we are to live as people of the future in the present time by practicing new creation now. We believe that we can foreshadow the new creation by caring for God’s good creation and actively engaging in its preservation, conservation, and restoration in the present time. We, therefore, commit to practicing new creation by demonstrating and promoting respect, humility, self-restraint, openness, justice and love toward all aspects of God’s good creation.

This program consists of three research- and field-oriented courses within the Biodiversity Study Program that provide a rich undergraduate experience, emphasizing academic excellence and research exploration for academically gifted students.This program provides an additional 15 units of specialized study and scholarly research beyond the original degree requirements which allows graduates to have special recognition upon graduation.

For the additional 15 units that are required, choose from the following:

  • ESCI 442 Field Research in Ecology (5 units)
  • ESCI 497 Research Assistantship in the Environmental Science (up to 2 semesters at 5 units each).
  • BIOL 495 Molecular Methods (5 units)

Students taking these courses will participate directly in the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) Megatransect research (see below). Students may choose to enroll separately in the field course on the PCT (ESCI 442 Field Research in Ecology, see course description below), or either of the other two courses (ESCI 497 Research Assistantship, BIOL 495 Molecular Methods) and students may apply these courses as upper division credit toward their degree at their respective institutions. Students may also choose to enroll in the complete Honors Program (15 additional semester units beyond the student’s original degree requirements). See below for course requirements for the Honors Program.

日本一本道a不卡免费The field course on the PCT (ESCI 442) is open to both WJU and non-WJU students across majors (both science and non-science majors) of good academic standing and who have good observation skills, a desire for adventure, ability to work in a wilderness setting, and a passion for science (see application materials for students qualifications). The Honors Program is also open to WJU and non-WJU students across majors in natural sciences (e.g., environmental science, biology, etc.).

Apply to the Program

Please complete and submit the Honors Program Form.

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