Natural Resources/Conservation, General  Program Description


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dotIf you want to be part of the debate on how to preserve our natural resources, a resource management program is a great way to learn about both the theory and practice of saving the Earth.

This program may also have a name like conservation biology or land use management.

Programs are available across North America at the bachelor's, master's and PhD levels. Those wanting to go into research positions should consider going beyond the undergraduate level.

Tom Herman is a biology professor. "Our students often go on to obtain advanced degrees," he says. "They work in education, private industry...and federal government agencies. Some become technicians, some become teachers, some become researchers and some become administrators."

Most schools do not offer a specific degree in conservation or resource management. Instead, a program in environmental sciences or biology may offer a concentration or emphasis in a specific field of study such as conservation, land or resource management.

The State University of New York at Albany offers a two-year master's program in biodiversity, conservation and policy. Margaret Stewart is a professor in the program. "It is an interdisciplinary program between the biological sciences...and our public policy program in the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy," she says.

High school students should concentrate on biology, chemistry and geography classes.

Mark Anderson is the coordinator of the natural resources program at the University of Maine. "We look for a well-balanced high school record in mathematics, laboratory sciences, the social sciences and the humanities," he says.

"Other than the basic sciences, we expect courses in ecology and hopefully public policy or economics," says Stewart.

Students can get involved in environmental organizations such as Greenpeace or the Sierra Club. These organizations help a student develop an understanding of their environment as well as strengthening their communication and problem-solving skills.

Expect to do a lot of indoor lab work and outdoor field study. Hobbies like camping and hiking can develop your outdoor skills.


Occupational Outlook Handbook
For more information related to this field of study, see: Conservation Scientists and Foresters

Conservation International Foundation
An organization that tries to protect biodiversity around the world

Environmental Science and Technology
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Just the Facts

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