Conservation Biology

Conservation Biology, School/College: College of Letters and Science
Student pulls up a plankton net from Lake Mendota
Joanna Klass pulls up a plankton net cast in Lake Mendota( Photo by: Jeff Miller)

Advisor: Ginny Jackson ( Schedule appointments with Ginny online. Upon major declaration, student will also be assigned a faculty advisor in the program. For more information, contact an advisor at 141 Birge Hall, 608-890-3099. Also review the Conservation Biology Major Website

Field of Study: The study of the issues and problems surrounding efforts to conserve biodiversity, including natural history, whole organism biology, ecological relationships, impacts of human activities, and how humans respond to nature.

Possible Careers: Positions in natural resource management including park ranger, naturalist, and field technician. Also, positions with environmental organizations, environmental education, and science or environmental journalism. With additional graduate work, positions in ecological or environmental research; environmental law and policy work.

Special Opportunities & Additional Information

  • Internships are available at biological field stations and with state and federal natural resource agencies.
  • Joint majors with other fields (e.g., journalism, education, or zoology) are practical and encouraged.
  • This major provides broad training in biological and related disciplines relevant to conservation and places less emphasis on the physical sciences than conventional biology degrees.
  • Student Organization: The Wisconsin Society of Conservation Biology-Student Chapter allows students to meet others in the major, connect with mentors who are active professionals in the field, and attend field trips, service events and speakers together. Contact the Conservation Biology advisor for more info.
Selected Required Courses
  • Intro Biology: Biology 151-152; or Botany 130 and Zoology 101-102
  • Calculus: Recommended if graduate work is contemplated
  • Chemistry: Chem 103 or 108 (Chem 103-104 recommended if graduate work is contemplated)
  • Organic Chemistry: Recommended if graduate work is contemplated
  • Physics: Recommended if graduate work is contemplated
  • Statistics: Stats 301 or 371