Major Areas of Study: CONSERVATION SCIENCE
The interdisciplinary study of Conservation Science at Muskingum University provides students with a solid background in the physical, biological, and ecological sciences while also emphasizing the analysis of economic, political, social, and ethical issues as a contextual basis for problem solving and decision making.
Recent internships for Conservation Science students include:
- The Nation Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program. Students accepted in this prestigious program typically spend the summer engaged in research under the mentorship of experienced research scientists. Under the guidance of their advisor, students develop a research proposal and then work to address their research questions over an 8-9 week period. In many cases, such research is later presented at a professional meeting and/or published in a scientific journal.
- Audubon Center for Research of Endangered Species (ACRES), New Orleans, LA. This internship provides experience in captive animal husbandry particularly with regard to at-risk species.
- The Wilds, Cumberland, Ohio. Students have participated in this program for a number of years which involves work with the Animal Management Department as well as participation in programs overseen by the Department of Animal Health (Wildlife Veterinary Science).
- National Capital Region National Parks (Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington D.C.). This internship offered a student experience in managing wind energy in western Maryland in addition to working with bat biologists from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science.
Students in our program are required to complete a 3-semester research experience and training program. During the first semester students read primary scientific literature and develop an in-depth research proposal (very similar to what would be expected in graduate school). During the second semester (or summer between their junior and senior years) students conduct the research project, analyze their data and begin to write their final paper which will take the form of a scientific journal paper. During the final semester students complete their thesis writing and present their work both on campus and at a professional scientific meeting.
Along the way students are encouraged to participate in ongoing research projects with faculty (such as the wide array of field and conservation research projects at the Wilds) or apply to some of the many programs that offer research experience to undergraduate students (such as the Research Experience for Undergraduates offered by the National Science Foundation).
Students in Conservation Science can seek application to Beta Beta Beta (the national honor society for biology students). Muskingum’s chapter is very active, typically providing forums for the reporting of student research, an array of social activities, and opportunities for community service.
Typically, 1-2 students per term are employed in some capacity by the Conservation Science program. Most recently those students have been engaged in field work at The Wilds.
Each year science faculty take all seniors and most juniors to the Ohio Academy of Sciences meeting. Seniors present the results of their capstone research (generally in a poster format) while juniors gain their first experience with professional meetings.
In addition, the Science Division holds three on-campus events each year (2 poster and one oral presentation-based program) designed to showcase the results of student research.
Career Possibilities for Conservation Science Majors
- Environmental Education Specialist
- Wildlife Biologist
- Research Technician
Recent Conservation Science graduates have enrolled in the following Graduate Schools:
- Columbia University
- Miami University
- San Francisco State University
- University of New Hampshire
- University of Georgia
- West Virginia University