Conservation and Environmental Planning

Our Program

Conservation is concerned with the management of Earth’s natural resources for sustained utilization, and since these resources are varied and complex, students interested in the field of conservation have many opportunities for developing their professional careers.

Students can take a broad academic approach and pursue careers in the more holistic types of occupations such as:

  • A county conservationist
  • Interpretive naturalist for a private or public nature center
  • Conservation warden, enforcing environmental regulations

Another approach would be to specialize in a specific area of conservation, which would enable the student to develop careers in areas such as:

  • Soil conservation
  • Watershed management
  • Wildlife or fisheries management
  • Forestry
  • Solid waste management
  • Ecosystem restoration
  • Park management

The field of conservation provides many opportunities for students to develop careers that will match their particular interests and abilities.

Flexible Options

The conservation major is designed to meet the academic needs of students interested in a career dealing with the management of our natural environment. The major has the flexibility to accommodate interests in general natural resource management, soil and water conservation, environmental education, forest or wildlife management, environmental regulations or law enforcement, and the like, depending on the students course selection of directed and general electives.

Hands-On Learning

Hands-on learning is an important part of a student's education at River Falls. There are a variety of campus organizations that a conservation student may want to participate, including:

  • Earth Consciousness Organization (ECO)
  • Resource Management Club
  • Student Alliance for Local and Sustainable Agriculture (SALSA)


Global. Innovative. Excellent.

The Conservation major is a broad spectrum curriculum designed to provide the student with an extensive physical, biological and social science knowledge base. Flexibility built into this curriculum through the use of numerous minors and elective courses allows students to tailor the program to most effectively meet their career objectives.

  • ESM 109 Introduction to Forestry 2 cr.
  • ESM 151 Introduction to Land Use Theory and Practice 3 cr.
  • ESM 220 Environmental Sustainability: Theory, Issues, and Management 3 cr.
  • ESM 270 Internship I 2-4 cr.
  • ESM 303 Environmental Policies and Administration 3 cr.
  • ESM 333 Remote Sensing of Natural Resources 3 cr.
  • ESM 343 Woodlot Management 3 cr.
  • ESM 360 Applied Hydrology and Water Quality 4 cr.
  • ESM 363 GIS Application in Resource Management 3 cr.
  • ESM 485 Seminar in Resource Management 1 cr.
  • SOIL 120 Introduction to Soil Science 3 cr.
  • SOIL 440 Soil and Water Conservation 4 cr.
  • AGEC 450 Introduction to Natural Resource Economics 3 cr.
  • BIOL 344 Wildlife Biology 4 cr.
  • BIOL 360 Ecology 3 cr.
  • BIOL 210 General Botany 3 cr. or
  • BIOL 230 General Zoology