Conservation Biology

Requirements for Ecology students who wish to pursue the option in conservation biology


The Conservation Biology option is concerned with problems of maintaining the rapidly disappearing diversity of organisms and their habitats, and the global reservoir of genetic diversity that these organisms represent. In large part, conservation biology is a multi-disciplinary, mission-oriented science that attempts to integrate new and current knowledge to help solve many environmental problems facing society today. These problems may include loss of critical habitat for species of concern, restoration of ecosystems, preservation of biodiversity, and a multitude of other problems associated with the modern world.

Future issues in conservation biology can only be met by the proper training of academic scientists and practitioners in this growing field.

Penn State has a tradition of producing leaders and scientists in the field of conservation biology. In order to centralize and formalize the student's training in this area, the Conservation Biology Option for the MS and PhD in Ecology has been instituted. Graduation with this option will document the student's preparation and competence to contribute to this increasingly important area of science.

Requirements for the MS or PhD Degree in Ecology with Conservation Biology Option

Students working toward the Conservation Biology Option will select two required courses from the following list:

ANTH 559 Human Ecology (3)
BIOL 428 Population Genetics (3)
GEOG 414 Principles and Applications in Landscape Ecology (3)
WFS 430 Conservation Biology (3) 

In addition, two courses (at least 6 credits) are required from this list of Conservation Biology courses:

ANTH 560 Ecology, Evolution, and Human Behavior (3)
BIO 414 Taxonomy of Seed Plants (3)
BIO 422 Advanced Genetics (3)
BIO 427 Evolution (3)
BIO 448 Ecology of Plant Reproduction (3)
ENT 432 Insect Biodiversity and Evolution (4)
ENT 457 Principles of Integrated Pest Management (3)
FOR 508 Forest Ecology (3)
FOR 530 Conservation Genetics (3)
GEOG 411 Forest Geography (3)
GEOG 587 Conservation GIS (3)
WFS 462 Amphibians and Reptiles (3)