Conservation Biology Major
The Conservation Biology Major is a science-based major designed to provide students broad training in biological, ecological, and related disciplines most relevant to conservation. The program emphasizes basic knowledge of natural history, whole organism biology, ecological interactions, and conservation biology. The major is characterized by flexibility with a broad range of opportunities allowing students to tailor the program to their interests. This major appeals to independent students capable of assembling a curriculum that takes maximum advantage of both diversity and specialization of course options, as well as the breadth available through an L&S major . Our program has a unique appeal to students passionate about conservation biology, from the social scientist to the theoretical ecologist, and empowers students to act as informed citizens of the natural world. Many students get involved in the Wisconsin Chapter of the Society for Conservation Biology State or Student Chapters!
Aldo Leopold, former UW professor considered the father of wildlife management, and Norman Fassett, former UW professor of Botany, first initiated this major in the 1940s to prepare individuals for careers as game wardens, ranger naturalists, and museum workers. These opportunities continue and have expanded to include work in environmental education; forest, game and park management; endangered species research and recovery efforts; and work with private conservation organizations. The major is recommended for those seeking a liberal education in the intrinsic values of natural resources and those preparing for graduate study in the rapidly developing field of conservation biology (e.g., our graduate programs in Environmental Conservation, Fresh Water & Marine Sciences or Professional GIS Programs).