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Biodiversity Initiative



   Welcome to the Biodiversity Initiative!

Reintroducing biodiversity into the community, one project at a time

The Biodiversity Initiative is a unique collaboration between facilities, students, and faculty. It manifests the college's commitment to increasing campus biodiversity through student projects, research, and leadership opportunities. Participation in the initiative provides students with the opportunity to engage in activities that address the global problem of rapid biodiversity loss locally using the campus as a living lab. 


Meet the Spring 2022 Biodiversity Initiative Team! Meet the Fall 2021 Biodiversity Initiative Team!


What is Biodiversity?

Biodiversity describes the wide variety of life forms on Earth. There are millions of known unique species and millions more that are undiscovered. Many species may be observed in your local community. Flowers, insects, birds, reptiles and mammals are organisms that surround us and have complicated relationships with one another. Paying attention to the diversity of life forms is an enriching pursuit filled with fun surprises. The incredible array of ecosystems, each with their own assemblage of organisms, makes Earth a fascinating place to explore.


Why is Biodiversity Declining?

Anthropogenic factors threaten biodiversity. Examples are urbanization, deforestation and climate change. Cities and roads often disrupt habitat, while deforestation for agriculture and livestock leave many populations without homes or food. Climate change is a major driver for biodiversity loss as many organisms are unable to migrate or adapt to rapidly changing conditions.

How Can We Help?

Reversing decades of ecological damage requires transformative change. Students in the College of the Canyons Biodiversity Initiative aim to take action by studying and enhancing biodiversity within their communities. In this way students have an opportunity to tackle a global problem at the local level. Each member develops an individual project ultimately designed to enhance biodiversity. Students also gain experience conducting research and effectively managing their project. In this way students gain valuable experience focused on solutions to minimize biodiversity loss.


Getting Involved:

There are two ways to get involved with our campus biodiversity projects.  

1. Volunteer to help with planting and maintenance of native plants. If interested, please send an email to with the days/times that you are available to help out. 

2. Enroll in the .5 unit CWE ENVR 186 class which is a 30 hour independent study internship focused on a biodiversity topic. Interviews occur the first two weeks of each semester. Please contact for information and to set up an interview. 


monarchlarvae                 test          cliffswallow2            



monarch            iwakichi and kyla



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Cliff swallow and monarch larvae photos by Stephanie Meredith