If 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
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
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
Environmental Science and Technology
Get the latest news