Learning Pathways - Conservation Science

Description

Students who wish to pursue careers in conservation, habitat restoration, wildlife and land management, environmental education, or field biology research should consider this pathway. Potential employers include local, state, and federal government agencies, environmental consulting firms, non-profit environmental organizations, and educational institutions.

For Environmental Studies majors, the B.S. degree program is the most appropriate choice for students interested in this pathway. (The Environmental Studies B.G.S. and B.A. degree program requirements don’t include introductory biology and chemistry, which are pre-requisites for the advanced classes in biology and ecology.) Students interested in this pathway should also take one or more courses in GIS (for example, EVRN 410: Geospatial Analysis).

There are many possibilities for additional elective courses that would be relevant to this pathway. The courses listed below are grouped by subject, and emphasize biological sciences. Some of them are cross-listed with EVRN numbers (not shown). Be aware that some of those listed below are not offered every year—so you must be prepared to be flexible in planning your schedule.

In addition to an undergraduate degree, work or volunteer experience is essential to compete effectively for jobs in these fields. An internship can be an excellent way to get that experience. Relevant work experience also can be used as a substitute for academic coursework in some job applications. For example, KU doesn’t offer courses specifically in wildlife management. In that case, internship experience (or taking a course from another university) would be essential.

Faculty

Robert Hagen, Environmental Studies - Lead Faculty Member, Conservation Science

Helen Alexander, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Kelly Kindscher, Environmental Studies
Town Peterson, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Ray Pierotti, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Jorge Soberón, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Resources

Suggested Courses

Typically Offered Every Year

BIOL 350 Principles of Genetics
Why are related individuals more similar than unrelated individuals and what is the basis for heritable traits? From Mendel's discoveries of the patterns of genetic inheritance, to the study of transmissible hereditary factors, genetics is central to understanding the biological sciences. Topics include molecular genetics and genetic engineering; Mendelian genetics and mapping; control of gene expression; cytogenetics; epigenetics and non-Mendelian genetics; and population and quantitative genetics. Examples are taken from a wide variety of organisms, including viruses, bacteria, plants, fungi, insects, and humans. Prerequisite: CHEM 135 or CHEM 175 or CHEM 195 with a grade of C- or higher and BIOL 150 or BIOL 151 with a grade of C- or higher and BIOL 152 or BIOL 153 with a grade of C- or higher; or consent of instructor. LEC.
Fall 2017
Type Time/Place and Instructor Credit Hours Class #
LEC Ward IV, Robert
Unckless, Robert
TR 01:00-02:15 PM WES 3140 - LAWRENCE
4 14809
DIS Ward IV, Robert
Unckless, Robert
M 02:00-02:50 PM HAW 2046 - LAWRENCE
4 16551
DIS Ward IV, Robert
Unckless, Robert
M 02:00-02:50 PM SUM 514 - LAWRENCE
4 16553
DIS Ward IV, Robert
Unckless, Robert
M 03:00-03:50 PM HAW 2025 - LAWRENCE
4 14810
DIS Ward IV, Robert
Unckless, Robert
M 03:00-03:50 PM HAW 2046 - LAWRENCE
4 14811
DIS Ward IV, Robert
Unckless, Robert
M 05:00-06:00 PM HAW 2046 - LAWRENCE
4 16544
DIS Ward IV, Robert
Unckless, Robert
R 03:30-04:20 PM HAW 2025 - LAWRENCE
4 16548
DIS Ward IV, Robert
Unckless, Robert
M 04:00-04:50 PM HAW 2046 - LAWRENCE
4 14813
DIS Ward IV, Robert
Unckless, Robert
M 04:00-04:50 PM HAW 2025 - LAWRENCE
4 14814
DIS Ward IV, Robert
Unckless, Robert
R 04:30-05:20 PM HAW 2025 - LAWRENCE
4 14815
DIS Ward IV, Robert
Unckless, Robert
R 04:30-05:20 PM HAW 2023 - LAWRENCE
4 14812
LEC Mattingly, Brendan
W 04:10-07:00 PM RC 110 - EDWARDS
4 14816
BIOL 408 Physiology of Organisms
A comprehensive and integrative approach to the study of organisms with an emphasis on physiological, ecological, structural, and behavioral adaptations to differing environments. Prerequisite: BIOL 152 or BIOL 153 and CHEM 130 or CHEM 190 or CHEM 170; or consent of the instructor. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2017 semester.

BIOL 409 Physiology of Organisms, Laboratory
The laboratory exposes the students to the structure and function of the major groups of animals and plants. Students use basic techniques of biological observation, such as microscopy and dissection, and experimental techniques to analyze plant and animal function. Prerequisite: Concurrent or prior enrollment in BIOL 408, or consent of the instructor. LAB.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2017 semester.

BIOL 412 Evolutionary Biology
Introduction to the patterns and processes of organic evolution. Considered are the history of evolutionary thought, molecular evolution, genetics and microevolution, selection and adaptation, and speciation and macroevolution. Emphasis will be placed on how scientists study and document change over time in natural populations, methods for testing hypotheses about events in evolutionary history, and how discovering evolutionary mechanisms at one level of organization can help to explicate general processes in the natural world. Prerequisite: BIOL 152 and BIOL 350, or consent of the instructor. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2017 semester.

BIOL 413 History and Diversity of Organisms
An integrated lecture and laboratory course presenting an overview of the variety and ancestry of life on earth. Using representatives from prokaryotes, protists, plants, fungi, and animals, principles of phylogenetic reconstruction are illustrated and evolutionary trends in the life history features, functional morphology, and structural complexity of extant and extinct organisms are presented. Two hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory per week. Prerequisite: BIOL 152 or BIOL 153, or consent of the instructor. LEC.
Fall 2017
Type Time/Place and Instructor Credit Hours Class #
LEC Haufler, Christopher
Glor, Richard
MW 09:00-09:50 AM HAW 2023 - LAWRENCE
R 05:50-07:50 PM EXAM SPEC - LAWRENCE
R 05:50-07:50 PM EXAM SPEC - LAWRENCE
R 05:50-07:50 PM EXAM SPEC - LAWRENCE
3 10479
LBN Haufler, Christopher
Glor, Richard
W 10:00-12:50 PM HAW 1009 - LAWRENCE
3 10480
LBN Haufler, Christopher
Glor, Richard
R 08:30-11:20 AM HAW 1009 - LAWRENCE
3 10481
LBN Haufler, Christopher
Glor, Richard
W 02:00-04:50 PM HAW 1009 - LAWRENCE
3 10482
LBN Haufler, Christopher
Glor, Richard
R 01:30-04:20 PM HAW 1009 - LAWRENCE
3 10483
BIOL 414 Principles of Ecology
Study of the principles underlying species population density changes, community structure and dynamics, biogeochemical cycles, and energy flow and nutrient cycling in ecosystems. Prerequisite: BIOL 152 or BIOL 153, or consent of the instructor. LEC.
Fall 2017
Type Time/Place and Instructor Credit Hours Class #
LEC Bever, James
Burgin, Amy
TR 11:00-12:15 PM HAW 1005 - LAWRENCE
3 10484
BIOL 428 Introduction to Systematics
Basic elements of systematic theory and practice; phylogenetic reconstruction using morphological and molecular data; interpretation of phylogenetic hypotheses; principles of nomenclature and classification; evolutionary processes and patterns of species diversity; discussion of the aims and needs of taxonomy; species and speciation; construction of keys; significance of biological collections. Prerequisite: BIOL 152 or BIOL 153. Not intended for students with advanced systematics background. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2017 semester.

BIOL 477 Ecology and Global Change
Humans influence both natural and managed ecosystems. This course studies the effects of climate change, land-use change, and reductions in biodiversity on ecosystems. Emphasis is placed on how biological and physical processes may be perturbed by human influences. Topics include the greenhouse effect, species extinctions, human disease expansion, and the effects of global change on agricultural productivity. A combination of lectures and discussion address issues from a scientific basis and link these ecological issues to our everyday lives and society as a whole. Prerequisite: BIOL 152, BIOL 153, or equivalent, or permission of instructor. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2017 semester.

BIOL 481 Parasitology Laboratory
Laboratory course in the study of protozoan and metazoan parasites of animal, including humans, emphasizing their diversity, classification, morphology, and identification. One three-hour laboratory each week. Prerequisite: Concurrent or prior enrollment in BIOL 480. LAB.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2017 semester.

BIOL 500 Biology of Insects
Lectures and demonstrations providing an introduction to the study of insects, including general classification, structure, phylogeny, identification, development, physiology, behavior, ecology, and relations to human affairs. Prerequisite: BIOL 152, 153, or equivalent, or permission of instructor. LEC.
Fall 2017
Type Time/Place and Instructor Credit Hours Class #
LEC Smith, Deborah
MWF 11:00-11:50 AM HAW 2025 - LAWRENCE
3 25660
BIOL 502 Laboratory in Insect Biology and Diversity
Laboratory and field studies of insects, emphasizing their diversity, classification, ecological relationships, morphology, and behavior. Course provides practical application of principles covered in BIOL 500. Prerequisite: Concurrent or prior enrollment in BIOL 500 or the equivalent. LAB.
Fall 2017
Type Time/Place and Instructor Credit Hours Class #
LAB Short, Andrew
W 01:30-04:30 PM HAW 1007 - LAWRENCE
2 25661
BIOL 509 Biology of Spiders
An introduction to the evolution, anatomy, physiology, behavior, and ecology of spiders and other arachnids. Special topics include the action of spider venoms; the composition and uses of silk; courtship and mating; predation; social behavior; and the role of spiders in natural and agricultural ecosystems. Concurrent enrollment in BIOL 511 is encouraged. Prerequisite: BIOL 152 , BIOL 153 or permission of instructor. LEC.
Fall 2017
Type Time/Place and Instructor Credit Hours Class #
LEC Smith, Deborah
TR 11:00-12:15 PM HAW 7007 - LAWRENCE
3 19928
BIOL 511 Biology of Spiders Laboratory
Topics will include comparative biology of arachnid orders (spiders, scorpions, harvestmen, mites, and others), external and internal anatomy of spiders, identification of common spider families and genera, and spider behavior. Students will be required to make a small collection (collect, preserve, and identify specimens). Prerequisite: BIOL 509; concurrent enrollment is preferred. LAB.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2017 semester.

BIOL 646 Mammalian Physiology
Lectures and demonstrations. An intermediate course in the functions, mechanisms and interactions of mammalian organ systems. Discussions span topics from molecular to whole animal functions. Required for pharmacy students and strongly recommended for students planning advanced work in any area of physiology. The student is assumed to have the knowledge and ability to utilize their math and science background. Prerequisite: Five hours of organic chemistry, a course of college physics. LEC.
Fall 2017
Type Time/Place and Instructor Credit Hours Class #
LEC Mafuvadze, Benford
R 03:30-07:00 PM RC 110 - EDWARDS
4 19930
BIOL 647 Mammalian Physiology Laboratory
Laboratory experiments in representative areas of mammalian physiology designed to complement BIOL 646. Not open to students with credit in BIOL 247. Prerequisite: Corequisite: BIOL 646. LAB.
Fall 2017
Type Time/Place and Instructor Credit Hours Class #
LAB Taylor, Deborah
M 01:00-03:50 PM HAW 3035 - LAWRENCE
2 15614
GEOG 335 Introduction to Soil Geography
This course focuses on the properties and processes of soils as they occur in their environment. The student is introduced to the nature of soil as it functions as a body; genesis of soils; properties of soil solids, especially colloids; soil chemical composition, properties, and reactions; interaction between solid, liquid, and gaseous components in soils; plant-soil-water relationships; biological interactions with soil; classification of soils; and the distribution of soils on the landscape. Not open to students who have taken EVRN 535 or GEOG 535. (Same as EVRN 335.) Prerequisite: GEOG 104 or GEOL 101 or consent of instructor; BIOL 100 and CHEM 130 or CHEM 190 recommended. LEC.
Fall 2017
Type Time/Place and Instructor Credit Hours Class #
LEC Hirmas, Daniel
TR 08:00-09:15 AM LIN 228 - LAWRENCE
4 24369
LBN
T 03:00-05:50 PM LIN 421 - LAWRENCE
4 24370
LBN
W 03:00-05:50 PM LIN 421 - LAWRENCE
4 24371

 

Typically Offered Every Two Years

BIOL 582 Principles of Biogeography
An introduction to the study of the distribution of life on earth. Covers geographical patterns of species diversity and the processes that give rise to those patterns: speciation, extinction, dispersal, vicariance, continental drift, ecological interactions, and phylogeny. Topics are presented within the framework of evolutionary history and include discussion of the biology of species on islands, terrestrial biomes, altitudinal zonation of species, latitudinal species gradients, historical factors governing species distributions, macroevolutionary trends in the fossil record, and application of modern molecular techniques for testing biogeographical hypotheses. Prerequisite: BIOL 152 or 153 and past or concurrent enrollment in BIOL 412, 413, 414, or 550; or permission of Instructor. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2017 semester.

BIOL 480 Biology and Diversity of Parasites
Introductory lecture course to the field of Parasitology. Provides basic knowledge about the morphology and biology of parasitic animals. Coverage includes a diversity of protozoan and metazoan groups parasitizing animals, including humans (e.g., malaria, amoebas, hookworms, tapeworms). Some emphasis is given to groups of parasites of particular medical and/or economic importance. Selected principles of parasitism are introduced. Prerequisite: BIOL 152 or BIOL 153, or permission of instructor. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2017 semester.

BIOL 583 Herpetology
A study of amphibians and reptiles. This lecture course will explore the taxonomic diversity of amphibians and reptiles, and current areas of active research in herpetology. Topics will be considered within a phylogenetic framework, and include discussion on systematics, biogeography, tetrapod origins, skeletal systems, growth, circulatory system, locomotion, thermal and water regulation, hibernation, ecology, sexual behavior, parental care, and mimicry. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2017 semester.

BIOL 592 Ichthyology
A study of fishes. Lecture topics include the structure and adaptations of fishes to the aquatic environment and a survey of major fish groups with emphasis on their evolution and biogeography. Laboratory topics include a survey of fish diversity using specimens and the use of keys to identify fishes, with emphasis on the Kansas fish fauna. This course meets with BIOL 792. Students taking this course at the 700 level will have additional work required of them. Prerequisite: BIOL 152 and/or BIOL 413. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2017 semester.

BIOL 630 Conservation and Wildlife Biology
Examination of the concepts and processes involved in conservation of plant and animal populations and communities. Topics to be covered include conservation of endangered species, problems with invasions of exotic species and habitat fragmentation, wildlife management, and design of nature reserves. Prerequisite: BIOL 414, BIOL 412 strongly recommended. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2017 semester.

BIOL 644 Comparative Animal Physiology
Lecture and discussion of the basic mechanism of organic maintenance and integration; a comparative treatment of the uniformities and diversity of animal function; emphasis on environmental adaptations and evolutionary relationships. Prerequisite: BIOL 152 or BIOL 153, and a course in organic chemistry, or consent of instructor. A college physics course is recommended but not required. LEC.
Fall 2017
Type Time/Place and Instructor Credit Hours Class #
LEC deBoer, Gerrit
MWF 01:00-01:50 PM HAW 2023 - LAWRENCE
3 23680

 

Typically Offered Less Than Every Two Years

BIOL 533 Biology of Fungi
A study of the major groups of fungi from slime molds to mushrooms. Emphasis on their activities in natural substrates, isolation techniques, parasitic and mutualistic relationships with other organisms, uses in research, industrial applications, production of mycotoxins and poisons, and physiological, genetic and reproductive behavior. Lectures, laboratory, and field trips. Prerequisite: BIOL 100, BIOL 101, BIOL 150, or BIOL 151 and BIOL 152 or BIOL 153. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2017 semester.

BIOL 540 General Invertebrate Zoology
Phylogeny, physiology, and embryology; evolutionary processes; characteristics of major ecological groupings. Laboratory will consider major taxonomic categories with emphasis on functional morphology and its evolutionary modifications. Prerequisite: BIOL 152 or BIOL 153. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2017 semester.

BIOL 593 Ornithology
A lecture and laboratory course on the biology, evolution, and diversity of birds. Prerequisite: BIOL 412 (or BIOL 413), or permission of instructor. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2017 semester.

BIOL 594 Forest Ecosystems
Students learn basic concepts of forest productivity, forest water relations, forest hydrology, nutrient cycling, through soils and vegetation, nutrient uptake, carbon cycling, decomposition, linkages to aquatic ecosystems, and agents of disturbance to these cycles. The class spends a significant part of the semester exploring forest soil profiles and the challenges they present to different forest ecosystems. We discuss the function of forested ecosystems in a global context and identify and understand smaller-scale processes that drive forest function. Prerequisite: CHEM 135 or CHEM 195 or CHEM 175, and BIOL 414. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2017 semester.

BIOL 602 Plant Ecology
Introduction to basic concepts, focused at community and species level. Architectural ecomorphology of plants and their physiological responses to physical factors: solar radiation, climate, and soils. Plant succession as an interaction among species differing in ecomorphology and life style. Classification and ordination of plant communities: practice and theory. Other topics include: species diversity and lognormal distribution as to abundance classes; species/area relations and theory of island biogeography; allelochemic defenses; genecology; paleoecology. Prerequisite: BIOL 414 or consent of instructor. Concurrent enrollment in parallel laboratory, BIOL 607, recommended. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2017 semester.

BIOL 661 Ecology of Rivers and Lakes
Study of the ecology and structure of creeks, rivers, ponds, lakes, and wetlands as well as some of the major human impacts. Prerequisite: One year of biology or permission of the instructor. BIOL 414 recommended. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2017 semester.


 

Study Abroad - Costa Rica/India (Typically offered in the summer)

BIOL 786 Fundamentals of Tropical Biology
The tropical environment and biota; ecologic relations, communities and evolution in the tropics. Primarily a field course, taught in Costa Rica; two sessions per year, February-March, July-August. FLD.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2017 semester.


PLEASE NOTE: If you are interested in enrolling in one of the courses listed above, remember to check the Schedule of Classes or contact the offering department (e.g., Geography & Atmospheric Science) to verify that the course will be offered during the semester in which you plan to enroll in the course.


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