A degree in conservation biology will help you get ready for a job protecting, managing, and reintroducing biological diversity to human-affected places. Learn more about undergraduate and graduate degree programs in conservation biology as well as relevant career information by reading on.
What You Need to Know about Conservation Biology
An endangered species, ecosystem, forest, and other natural resources may be the focus of your work as a conservation biologist. You will receive classroom teaching in a variety of biological and environmental scientific areas as part of your study in this field, in addition to participating in fieldwork.
Degrees: Fisheries, wildlife, and conservation biology bachelor’s degrees, ecology and organismal biology master’s degrees, fish, wildlife, and conservation biology doctoral degrees, and degrees in ecology, evolution, and environmental biology from Ph.D. programs.
Certificates: Environmental Studies undergraduate certificate and Tropical Biology and Conservation graduate certificate
Courses: Wildlife habitat, wildlife management, sustainable watersheds, restoration ecology, land use, and water quality are among the topics of wildlife ecology and conservation, conservation of large mammals, and resolving conflicts between people and wildlife.
What Types of Undergraduate Degrees are Available?
Bachelor’s degrees in conservation biology, as well as certifications, are offered. Normally, these programs are not provided online, but you can find stand-alone undergraduate and graduate courses in conservation biology that are. The effects of environmental policies and human behavior on plants and animals are the main topics of bachelor’s degree programs. A broad education in the biological, physical, and social sciences is often provided by the curriculum. There might be a program leading to a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences (Conservation Biology and Ecology).
What Courses Will I Take in a Bachelor’s Program?
Lecture classes and practical training are frequently combined in bachelor’s degree programs. Through fieldwork, internships, research projects, and summer camp activities, you will gain experience working in animal conservation and habitat management. Environmental ethics, ecology, zoology, biology, and wildlife management may all be included in your course offerings. A bachelor’s degree program may also include these courses:
- Population and evolutionary genetics
- Statistical methods
- Global and cultural awareness
- Aquatic insects
- Principles of animal biology
- Plant Biology
- Chemistry fundamentals
- Organic chemistry
What Graduate Degree Programs are Available?
Master’s degree programs frequently let you select a path that corresponds to your professional objectives, whether you want to pursue further academic studies, work in conservation policy, or enter the field of public education. Interdisciplinary doctoral programs offer comprehensive lab, classroom, and fieldwork experiences. There may be a Master of Science program in conservation science or conservation ecology. There is also a Ph.D. in Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology.
What Courses Will I Take in a Master or Doctoral Program?
According to your area of specialty and professional objectives, your master’s degree courses will vary. You might be required to conduct in-depth research for your coursework on issues including ecological risk assessment, conflict management about natural resources, environmental policy, and landscape preservation. In some degrees, you may additionally need to do a thesis or independent project, and passing a comprehensive exam is also a requirement.
Behavioral ecology, ecosystem restoration, endangered species conservation, and species adaptation to climate change may all be topics in your Ph.D. program and research interests. Invasive species recovery, plant-animal interactions, or fire ecology are a few examples of themes in which you can specialize. Other courses might include content including contentious conservation biology issues, issues with evolution and ecology, and economic and social elements of conservation biology. Some programs call for you to spend at least two semesters instructing undergraduate students. Graduation usually entails comprehensive written and oral exams, as well as a dissertation.
What Can I Do With My Degree?
The majority of conservation scientists, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) (www.bls.gov), work for federal, state, and municipal governments. These organizations include, among others, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. Non-government employment opportunities for conservation biologists include consultancy firms, non-profits, and commercial businesses engaged in resource exploitation and land development.
You could look for jobs as a wetlands ecologist, field technician, fishery biologist, game warden, restoration project manager, or educator after graduating from a program in conservation biology. Having more education and experience can help you land jobs with greater responsibility. The majority of specialists, educators, managers, and researchers hold doctorate degrees.