Union University
Union University Dept of Biology
A hawk that was part of the conservation efforts

Conservation Biology

"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands." - Psalm 19:1 (NIV)

The foundation of the Conservation Biology major at Union University is that we are God’s stewards of His creation. Conservation Biology is a science that examines the natural world around us, looking at the big picture of the inner workings of the environment and our impact on it. It is built on the assumption that humans can affect the environment positively and negatively. Conservation Biology majors learn about our natural world and the plants and animals that surround us by getting out into the fields, forests, and streams. They learn about the policies and laws that drive natural resources management in the United States and about conservation practices that can enhance wildlife and plant communities.

Conservation Biology majors at Union University should expect to have the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors, where several classes will take you into the field for hands-on experiences. One exciting aspect of being a Conservation Biology major at Union University is the opportunity to work with the raptor rehabilitation program housed on campus. Injured hawks, owls, falcons, and eagles are nursed back to full health, with the hopeful anticipation of releasing them back into the wild.

The field of conservation biology is becoming increasingly specialized, and continuing your education into graduate school is becoming expected. Your education at Union University will prepare you for graduate studies. Conservation biology majors at Union University complete a three-course sequence teaching the fundamentals of research. Students have the opportunity to engage in field research on a variety of topics, including assessments of wild turkey populations, examining population genetics of small mammals, using radio-telemetry to examine the survival of box turtles, and much more.

Career opportunities for Conservation Biologists

  • State and federal natural resources management agencies (e.g., Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation)
  • Industries where monitoring of environmental impacts must be performed or that directly manage natural resources (e.g., forest management for a paper manufacturing company)
  • Conservation organizations

Major in Conservation Biology - 49-50 hours

Prerequisites or Corequisites: CHE 111, 112; PHY 213, MAT 116, 211, 208

  1. BIO 112, 200, 213, 214, 215, 235 - 23 hours
  2. BIO 302, 315, 318, 335, 336, 337 - 19 hours
  3. BIO 425, 426, 427, 498 - 4 hours
  4. BIO Elective - 3 or 4 hours

Featured coursework

  • BIO 200 Wildlife Biology
  • BIO 235 Natural Resources Policy
  • BIO 315 Genetics
  • BIO 318 Ecology
  • BIO 335 Conservation Biology
  • BIO 336 Ecology and Conservation of the Vertebrates
  • BIO 337 Taxonomy of the Vascular Plants
  • BIO 425, 426, 427 Three-Semester Research Project

In order to completely satisfy requirements towards becoming a Certified Wildlife Biologist, students must also take courses in Wildlife Law Enforcement and Wildlife Management. While these are not yet offered, the Union Biology Department is actively working toward providing these classes.