• Environmental planning intern
  • PES Conservation class Mann Valley Farm
  • Environmental planning intern 1
  • Prairie Restoration

Conservation and Environmental Planning

Conservation and Environmental Planning

The revised conservation and environmental planning major is a combination of the former conservation program and former community planning program. This new program is designed as a comprehensive field-based natural resources management program, teaching you both management of the natural world and the human or "built" environment as well as the complex interactions between the natural and built systems. The conservation and environmental planning program will also include a focus on ecological restoration to provide expertise in the growing field of restoring damaged or destroyed ecosystems.

All students will take a set of core and support courses and must select either the conservation option or the environmental planning option, depending on your interests and goals. Students may also select a restoration management emphasis which focuses on the process of restoring degraded, damaged or destroyed ecosystems. A conservation minor and environmental planning minor are also available.

The recently-founded Institute in the Plant and Earth Science department is a new way for current students in the program to gain real-world experiences through certifications and restoration projects on and around campus. Learn more.

Restoration Management Emphasis

Remediating the impacts of human activity and restoring performance and balance to natural systems have become defining themes in resource management. Increased career opportunities focused on these efforts have developed in response to these trends. The restoration management emphasis was created in order to prepare students to seize these new career opportunities and meet new challenges in the management of our natural resources and the restoration of natural systems.

The restoration management emphasis consists of 15 credits and can be taken by students of any major. View all required courses on the degree requirements page. Courses will prepare students for the full scope of natural ecosystem restoration, including forest, prairie, stream, lake, and wetland restoration, along with a course focused on civil engineering techniques.

Learning Outcomes

As a student in this program, you will learn to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of regional and global ecosystems and expertise in conservation management techniques
  • Safely and effectively utilize field equipment common to the natural resource management discipline
  • Understand the technical and regulatory dimensions for developing the human/built environment in ways that avoid, minimize or mitigate the impacts on natural systems
  • Become proficient at the skills involved in restoring and rehabilitating degraded ecosystems

Career Opportunities

As a graduate of the conservation and environmental planning program, you can expect job positions in the following areas:

  • Natural resource managers in public, private and non-profit sectors
  • Technicians and project managers in private consulting firms
  • Ecological restoration specialists
  • Community and environmental planners