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Ecology / Conservation

cadaver lab

Studying Ecosystems and Global Issues

Missouri Southern offers a major in biology that prepares students for careers or further study in Ecology and Conservation biology. Ecology is the study of how animals, plants, and microbes interact in and with the natural world. Ecology may encompass several levels from autoecology, which is single-species ecology, to the study of complex interactions between several species such as predation or competition.

Ecology also involves the study of ecosystems and global issues such as the effects of pollution on the biosphere or the recent loss of biodiversity. The field of Conservation Biology is a more recent discipline that has emerged from the fields of ecology and field biology. Conservation Biology has been defined as the science of “scarcity and diversity,” (Soule 1986) and is concerned with global and regional patterns of both species diversity and species loss.

Students choosing this major take coursework in botany, zoology, ecology or aquatic ecology, and may take electives such as entomology, plant taxonomy, plant physiology or pathology, evolution, biomes, and geographic information systems. This program will prepare students for employment with state, federal, or non-profit organizations with careers in areas such as resource management, wildlife biology, field research, or fisheries research and management.

For information about careers and job opportunities with the Missouri Department of Conservation, go to: .

For more information about the Ecology and Conservation Biology programs at Missouri Southern, contact one of the academic advisors for this area of study: Professor Robert Heth, Dr. Jim Jackson, or Dr. Karen Plucinski.