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Ecology and Conservation Biology (B.S.Ecol.-Cons.Biol.)

Improving global environmental conditions requires researchers and other citizens who can understand ecological principles, who can analyze and interpret ecological conditions, and who can predict the consequences of alternative natural resource management decisions. Understanding the importance of social values and policy for ecology and management of rare, threatened, and endangered species and their habitat is necessary to reverse the order of their decline. In the ecology and conservation biology program, students learn to apply biological, ecological, social, and political understanding to solve problems related to long-term conservation of biological diversity and to sustainable management of ecosystems.

This degree combines the biological, ecological, and social sciences to provide (1) an interdisciplinary understanding of the composition, structure, and processes of ecosystems, and (2) the skills necessary to provide long-term planning for the conservation and sustainable management of populations, species, and ecosystems.

Students will examine topics from molecular to landscape scales and integrate the social and biophysical worlds. Graduates will be equipped to address the issues and problems of sustainable resource use, conservation of rare, threatened, or endangered biota, management of ecosystems, and long-term conservation of biological diversity. This program is flexible enough to adapt to the interests of individual students, while remaining firmly grounded in ecological principles applicable to species, populations, communities, landscapes, and ecosystems. It is distinctly different from the emphasis on management in the other forestry, wildlife, fisheries, range, and conservation social sciences programs, or the more general environmental science programs. Graduates of the program often continue advanced studies at national and international universities. This natural resources "liberal science" degree can also serve as pre-professional training for law school, or for professional positions in federal, state, and private environmental organizations including local and regional planning groups and consulting firms.

The program requires 120 credits, and students must choose either the natural resources ecology or conservation biology option. Students pursuing a B.S. in Ecology & Conservation Biology must receive a grade of 'C' or better in each of the following 4 indicator courses to register in upper division courses in NRS/FISH/FOR/REM/WLF and to graduate with a B.S. in either option: BIOL 114, BIOL 213, STAT 251, FOR 221 or REM 221. Before students are allowed to begin their senior thesis or project (485 or 497), they must attend two evening thesis / project sessions and one senior poster presentation.

Required course work includes the university requirements (see regulation J-3) and:

BIOL 114Organisms and Environments

4 cr

BIOL 115Cells & the Evolution of Life

3 cr

BIOL 115LCells and the Evolution of Life Laboratory

1 cr

BIOL 213Principles of Biological Structure and Function

4 cr

COMM 101Fundamntls Public Speaking

2 cr

ENGL 317Technical Writing

3 cr

FOR 235/NRS 235Society and Natural Resources

3 cr

FOR 375Introduction to Spatial Analysis for Natural Resource Management

3 cr

NR 101Exploring Natural Resources

2 cr

NR 200Seminar

1-16 cr

NR 300Ecology and Conservation Biology Thesis Seminar

1 cr

NRS 383Natural Resource and Ecosystem Service Economics

3 cr

STAT 251Statistical Methods

3 cr

One of the following (4 cr):

CHEM 101Introduction to Chemistry I

4 cr

CHEM 111Principles of Chemistry I

4 cr

One of the following (3-4 cr):

ECON 202Principles of Microeconomics

3 cr

ECON 272Foundations of Economic Analysis

4 cr

One of the following (3-4 cr):

BIOL 314Ecology and Population Biology

4 cr

FOR 221/REM 221Ecology

3 cr

One of the following (4 cr):

MATH 160Survey of Calculus

4 cr

MATH 170Analytic Geometry and Calculus I

4 cr

One of the following (3-4 cr):

FOR 320Dendrology

4 cr

REM 341Systematic Botany

3 cr

Choose one of the following (1 cr):

FISH 473ECB Senior Presentation

1 cr

FOR 473ECB Senior Presentation

1 cr

NRS 473ECB Senior Presentation

1 cr

REM 473ECB Senior Presentation

1 cr

RMAT 473ECB Senior Presentation

WLF 473ECB Senior Presentation

1 cr

Choose one of the following (3 cr):

FISH 485/NRS 485/FOR 485/REM 485/WLF 485Ecology and Conservation Biology Senior Project

1-3 cr - Max 3 cr

FISH 497Senior Thesis

1-3 cr - Max 6 cr

FOR 497Senior Thesis

2-4 cr - Max 4 cr

NR 497Senior Thesis

1-3 cr - Max 3 cr

REM 497Senior Research and Thesis

1-16 cr

WLF 497Senior Thesis

1-3 cr - Max 6 cr


And one of the following options:

A. Natural Resources Ecology Option

The natural resources ecology option combines ecological theory, field experience, and quantitative tools to gain an interdisciplinary understanding of the structure and function of ecosystems. This field covers ecological topics from local, regional, and landscape scales while integrating the social and biophysical worlds.

To graduate in this option, students must achieve a "C" or better in the following six core courses: NR 200, FOR 330, REM 429, SOIL 205/SOIL 206, and WLF 448.

FOR 330Forest Soil and Canopy Processes

4 cr

REM 429Landscape Ecology

3 cr

SOIL 205The Soil Ecosystem

3 cr

SOIL 206The Soil Ecosystem Lab

1 cr

WLF 448Fish and Wildlife Population Ecology

4 cr

One of the following (3 cr):

PHYS 100Fundamentals of Physics

3 cr

AND

PHYS 100LFundamentals of Physics Lab

1 cr

 

PHYS 111General Physics I

3 cr

AND

PHYS 111LGeneral Physics I Lab

1 cr

Quantitative Resource Analysis Restricted Electives

One course from the following:

FOR 472/REM 472Remote Sensing of the Environment

4 cr

GEOG 385GIS Primer

3 cr

NRS 310Social Science Methods

4 cr

REM 410Principles of Vegetation Measurement

2 cr

REM 411Wildland Habitat Ecology and Assessment

2 cr

STAT 431Statistical Analysis

3 cr

STAT 422Survey Sampling Methods

3 cr

REM 410, REM 411: Both REM 410 and REM 411 must be completed to satisfy Quantitative Resource Analysis Restricted Elective requirement.

Resource Management Restricted Electives

One course from the following:

FISH 418Fisheries Management

4 cr

FOR 424Silviculture Principles and Practices

4 cr

FOR 462Watershed Science and Management

3 cr

NRS 385Conservation Management and Planning I

4 cr

NRS 490Wilderness and Protected Area Management

3 cr

NRS 496Monitoring Impacts in Protected Areas and Wilderness

3 cr

REM 456Integrated Rangeland Management

3 cr

WLF 492Wildlife Management

4 cr

Ecology Restricted Electives (10 cr):

(At least 2 credits from FISH 315, FISH 415, FISH 430, REM 460, and/or WLF 315)
BIOL 421Advanced Evolution/Population Dynamics

3 cr

BIOL 478Animal Behavior

3 cr

ENT 469Introduction to Forest Insects

2 cr

FISH 314Fish Ecology

3 cr

FISH 315Fish Ecology Lab

1 cr

FISH 415Limnology

4 cr

FISH 430Riparian Ecology and Management

3 cr

FOR 326Fire Ecology and Management

3 cr

FOR 468Forest and Plant Pathology

2 cr

GEOG 410Biogeography

3 cr

PLSC 410Invasive Plant Biology

3 cr

REM 440Wildland Restoration Ecology

3 cr

REM 450Global Environmental Change

3 cr

REM 459Rangeland Ecology

2 cr

REM 460Integrating GIS and Field Studies in Rangelands

2 cr

WLF 314Ecology of Terrestrial Vertebrates

3 cr

WLF 315Techniques Laboratory

2 cr

WLF 440Conservation Biology

3 cr

Social/Political Restricted Electives

One course from the following:

COMM 410Conflict Management

3 cr

FOR 484Forest Policy and Administration

2 cr

GEOG 420Land, Resources, and Environment

3 cr

HIST 424American Environmental History

3 cr

NRS 387Environmental Communication Skills

3 cr

NRS 462/POLS 462Natural Resource Policy

3 cr

NRS 486Public Involvement in Natural Resource Management

3 cr

NRS 493/LAS 493International Land Preservation and Conservation Systems

3 cr

PHIL 452Environmental Philosophy

3 cr

POLS 364/NRS 364Politics of the Environment

3 cr

Courses to total 120 credits for this degree

B. Conservation Biology Option

The conservation biology option is centered around a multidisciplinary curriculum that provides students with training to work in jobs aimed at conserving the earth’s biodiversity. This option provides a broad-based education that covers biological diversity from the genetic level to the landscape level, and provides additional training in social sciences and management. In the words of Hunter (1996), "Conservation biology is cross-disciplinary, reaching far beyond biology into subjects such as philosophy, economics, and sociology; disciplines that are concerned with the social environment in which we practice conservation--as well as into subjects such as law and education that determine the ways we implement conservation."

To graduate in this option, students must achieve a "C" or better in the following seven core courses: BIOL 421, NR 200, REM 429, PHIL 452, WLF 440, and WLF 448.

BIOL 421Advanced Evolution/Population Dynamics

3 cr

PHIL 452Environmental Philosophy

3 cr

REM 429Landscape Ecology

3 cr

WLF 440Conservation Biology

3 cr

WLF 448Fish and Wildlife Population Ecology

4 cr

One of the following (3 cr):

BIOL 310Genetics

3 cr

GENE 314General Genetics

3 cr

One of the following (3 cr):

NRS 493/LAS 493International Land Preservation and Conservation Systems

3 cr

REM 450Global Environmental Change

3 cr

Quantitative Resource Analysis Restricted Electives

One course from the following:

FOR 472/REM 472Remote Sensing of the Environment

4 cr

GEOG 385GIS Primer

3 cr

NRS 310Social Science Methods

4 cr

REM 410Principles of Vegetation Measurement

2 cr

REM 411Wildland Habitat Ecology and Assessment

2 cr

STAT 422Survey Sampling Methods

3 cr

STAT 431Statistical Analysis

3 cr

REM 410, REM 411: Both REM 410 and REM 411 must be completed to satisfy Quantitative Resource Analysis Restricted Elective requirement.

Resource Management Restricted Electives

One course from the following:

FISH 418Fisheries Management

4 cr

FOR 424Silviculture Principles and Practices

4 cr

FOR 462Watershed Science and Management

3 cr

NRS 385Conservation Management and Planning I

4 cr

NRS 490Wilderness and Protected Area Management

3 cr

NRS 496Monitoring Impacts in Protected Areas and Wilderness

3 cr

REM 456Integrated Rangeland Management

3 cr

WLF 492Wildlife Management

4 cr

Ecology Restricted Electives (6 cr):

(At least 2 credits from FISH 315, FISH 415, FISH 430, REM 460, and/or WLF 315)
BIOL 478Animal Behavior

3 cr

ENT 469Introduction to Forest Insects

2 cr

FISH 314Fish Ecology

3 cr

FISH 315Fish Ecology Lab

1 cr

FISH 415Limnology

4 cr

FISH 430Riparian Ecology and Management

3 cr

FOR 330Forest Soil and Canopy Processes

4 cr

FOR 326Fire Ecology and Management

3 cr

FOR 468Forest and Plant Pathology

2 cr

GEOG 410Biogeography

3 cr

PLSC 410Invasive Plant Biology

3 cr

REM 440Wildland Restoration Ecology

3 cr

REM 459Rangeland Ecology

2 cr

REM 460Integrating GIS and Field Studies in Rangelands

2 cr

WLF 314Ecology of Terrestrial Vertebrates

3 cr

WLF 315Techniques Laboratory

2 cr

Organismal Biology Restricted Elective

One course from the following:

BIOL 483Mammalogy

3 cr

BIOL 489Herpetology

4 cr

FISH 481Ichthyology

4 cr

WLF 482Ornithology

4 cr

Social/Political Restricted Electives

One course from the following:

COMM 410Conflict Management

3 cr

FOR 484Forest Policy and Administration

2 cr

GEOG 420Land, Resources, and Environment

3 cr

HIST 424American Environmental History

3 cr

NRS 387Environmental Communication Skills

3 cr

NRS 462/POLS 462Natural Resource Policy

3 cr

NRS 486Public Involvement in Natural Resource Management

3 cr

POLS 364/NRS 364Politics of the Environment

3 cr

Courses to total 120 credits for this degree