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Conservation Biology

The Breakdown

Distilled down to its core, conservation biology is the branch of bio concerned with the protection of the world’s biodiversity. It is also a discipline well suited to the academic renaissance man/woman. Indeed, the major sits at the cross-section of ecology, evolution, genetics, public policy and social science.

As a conservation biology major, you’ll study how organisms interact with their environment and how they evolve through time. Importantly, you will also view the field through a philosophical and ethical lens, examining the way people and societies value biodiversity and how economies can effect and alter conservation. As you delve deeper into your studies, you’ll analyze the impact that globalization has on both organisms and the conservation movement. Upon graduation, not only will you have a firm understanding of factors causing environmental deterioration and methods to stem this decline, you’ll recognize how to marry science with policy work to implement conservation strategies.

Many conservation biology programs require their students to combine traditional classroom and laboratory work with field work. This allows majors to hone their research and writing skills while providing the opportunity to apply concepts and test their theories. The strongest candidates for this major are creative thinkers who are adept at gathering and interpreting data and can effortlessly relay their findings to layman. In other words, you need to be a scientist with solid communication skills.

Nuts and Bolts

The course catalogue for conservation bio majors could very well include Behavioral Ecology, Ethnobotany, Marine Ecology, Globalization and Sustainability, Philosophy of the Environment, Mammalogy, Ethics of Global Citizenship, Biostatistics, Organic Chemistry, Natural Resource Economics and Invertebrate Biology.

Decisions, Decisions

Conservation biology has a correlation to majors such as: ecology, environmental science, chemistry, forestry, environmental engineering, ecotourism, ecological design, landscape architecture, coastal management and oceanography

What's Next

As our world becomes more fragile and precious resources are drained, those spearheading conservation efforts are all the more indispensible and vital to the marketplace. Many conservation biology majors go on to pursue graduate work in biology, ecology and environmental policy. Still others find entry level positions within both governmental and nongovernmental agencies, performing policy and advocacy work. It is also common for graduates to find employment with environmental consulting firms, law firms and publishing houses. Additionally, jobs within education conservation are popular as are positions with zoos and aquariums.


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