Why Study Conservation and Environmental Planning?

Major/​Minor | Environmental Sciences/​Science | CAFES

As a conservation and environmental planning major, you’ll focus on the scientific, field-based management of our natural resources, including wildlife, water, soil, air and human developments and the interaction of these systems. UW-River Falls offers two options for conservation and environmental planning majors:

  • The conservation option provides a field-based approach to managing our natural resources. You’ll be prepared for careers in wildlife management, habitat restoration or interpretive services.
  • The environmental planning option will prepare you to pursue a career in planning, development or public policy, with an emphasis on minimizing or mitigating the environmental impacts of the built environment.


Of Students Received Financial Aid in 2022-2023


Scholarship Dollars Awarded in 2022-2023


Students in Honors Programs

Conservation and Environmental Planning student Lorrie McKee
My favorite major-related experience at UWRF was my internship. I was given the opportunity to work for the city of Big Lake, Minn., as the planning intern and code enforcement officer. It was exciting to put the material that I had learned in the classroom into the professional world. As I applied what I had learned, I felt I was able to get so much more out of my internship and I was able to see the actual processes that were in place. In return, I was able to make real changes in Big Lake that are still intact today.
Lorrie McKee

Conservation and Environmental Planning

cafes@uwrf.edu // 715-425-3535

Your Degree:


Area of Study:

Environmental Sciences/​Science

Conservation students participate in a prescribed campus field burn

Skills and Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate knowledge of regional and global ecosystems and gain expertise in conservation management techniques.
  • Safely and effectively utilize field equipment used in the natural resource management field.
  • 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.

Types of Courses

  • Community Decision Making
  • Environmental Policies and Administration
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Foundations of Ecological Restoration
  • Hydrology and Water Quality
  • Land Use Theory and Practice
  • Prairie Restoration and Fire Ecology
  • Remote Sensing of Natural Resources
  • Site and Landscape Planning
Conservation students work on a project in class
Conservation students participate in snapping turtle research in the Kinnickinnic River

Potential Careers

Conservation and environmental planning students find work in a variety of roles including:

  • Community Planner
  • Conservation or Game Warden
  • Developer
  • Ecological Restoration Specialist
  • Environmental Planner
  • Natural Resource Manager
  • Park Ranger

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