Conservation Biology

 Conservation Biology

The Conservation Biology major is a comprehensive four-year program with two tracks leading to a Bachelor of Science degree. The Wildlife and Fisheries Track provides students with the minimum requirements for certification as an associate wildlife biologist through the Wildlife Society, while the flexible Research Track allows educational experiences to be customized in direct support of specific career goals. Throughout both tracks, expert faculty immerse students in modern curricula focused on ecosystem dynamics, biodiversity, and field-based learning experiences. Students are continuously engaged through original, faculty-mentored research projects, targeted seminars, and one-on-one advising. As a result, students graduate exceptionally well prepared to achieve their career goals.



 Degree Programs

The curriculum is focused on modern concepts of landscape-scale ecosystem management and research. As a result, several classes explore ecosystems, but also integrate social, economic, and institutional components. Ultimately, students gain applicable skills at scales ranging from molecular to global in classes such as Molecular Genetics, Botany, Soils, Ecology, Geographic Information Systems, Land Use & Environmental Policy, Research Design & Analysis, and Conservation Biology. Students are continuously engaged through opportunities to conduct original faculty-mentored research projects, targeted seminars, and one-one-one advising. As a result, our students graduate exceptionally well prepared to achieve their career goals.

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The Conservation Biology Research Track is designed for students who wish to attend graduate school or pursue a career in research. This track offers more flexibility than the Wildlife and Fisheries Management Track. With this degree students can explore a diversity of courses in other fields (e.g. Chemistry and Geography) that will supplement their solid foundation in Conservation Biology.


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The Conservation Biology Wildlife and Fisheries Management Track is designed to provide students with a broad experience in Conservation Biology while also providing them flexibility to direct their studies towards their interests. The degree is designed to provide students with the requirements to apply for the Associated Wildlife Biologist Certification through the Wildlife Society. The degree is for students who are interesting in entering the Conservation Biology field after graduating, but it also provides a strong foundation for graduate school.
  •  Career Opportunities

    Agricultural Extension Agent 

    Habitat-Restoration Specialist 

    Conservation Scientist

    Law Enforcement

    Consultant -

    Biological/Environmental Naturalist


    Park Ranger

    Environmental Biologist/Technician

    Range Manager

    Fisheries Biologist/Technician

    Wildlife Officer

    Game Farm Manager

    Wildlife Biologist/Technician

  •  Special Features

    Providing student research opportunities is at the heart of LMU’s Conservation Biology Program. In order to facilitate faculty and student research, the Department of Biology maintains the Cumberland Mountain Research Center and the Powell River Aquatic Research Station which house several conservation-related research projects. Many are centered across the Appalachian region while some are international in scope having occured in places such as Belize, Costa Rica, Kenya, Peru, and Thailand. Additional field experiences are provided through class participation and collaborative associations with various government and private organizations. Through these centers students learn the critical thinking skills required to develop scientifically sound research designs and collect meaningful data. They go on to develop the skills to analyze, interpret, and ultimately disseminate this information. In some cases, students have even published manuscripts in the primary literature.

  •  Student Success

    Graduates have gone on to have very successful careers and become well respected leaders in their field. They have worked at various state and federal institutions, become environmental consultants, worked at zoos, and with many other organizations. Others have pursued additional certifications and gone on to teach high school, become veterinarians, and even practice law. The opportunities available to graduates are as varied as the interests of the student. Graduates have gained employment at the following places:

    Georgia Department of Environment

    Tennessee Natural Resources Conservation Service
    Kentucky Department of Game and Fish

    Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
    Kentucky State Parks

    United States Department of Agriculture

    National Park Service

    United States Corp of Engineers

Check out what our students, faculty and alumni are up to!     ai 

For more information about Conservation Biology , please contact:
Dr. Whitney Kistler | 423.869.6227 | [email protected]


Math and Science News

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Spring Commencement at LMU will be In-Person

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LMU Honors Scholars Present at TCHC Virtual Conference

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