The Berkeley Institute for Parks, People, and Biodiversity

The UC Berkeley Institute for Parks, People, and Biodiversity aims to bring an interdisciplinary approach to the research, management and protection of our national, state and local parks and public lands.  Recognizing that parks and public lands play an increasingly important role in climate adaptation, public health, education, jobs, and environmental justice, the Institute will serve as convener, research coordinator and bridge between field managers and the academic community.

The Institute is devoted to the investigation, dissemination, and application of science to the critical issues facing national, state, and local parks, and equivalent protected areas. The Institute fosters cross-disciplinary research, applied science, policy, and field management, and also strives to help prepare the next generation of conservation leaders in academia and in the field.

We work to:

  • Address the major challenges to our public lands and waters
  • Explore new models of parks in light of climate change adaptation
  • Connect all people to parks and open space
  • Expand equitable access to the outdoors
  • Learn from park managers around the world
  • Use parks to link the disciplines of natural resources, law, public health, and education

Focus areas:

  • The concept of managing parks and equivalent protected areas as discrete natural areas is no longer viable
  • Climate change and other global environmental threats are altering the conservation paradigm for a predictable and desirable future
  • Science has demonstrated that small, isolated protected areas will lose biological diversity over time
  • A new generation of conservation leaders is needed, bringing diversity, innovation, and interdisciplinary solutions to complex problems
  • There is the need to connect all people to parks and open space, especially within the urban environment through the collective impact of the public, private and non-profit sector
  • Parks and equivalent protected areas, both domestic and international, present opportunities to explore and evaluate new models of conservation