The Student Experience:
Contemporary careers in conservation require problem solving skills
that transcend the boundaries of traditional, single discipline
orientations. The challenge for pre-professional training in
conservation then is to provide essential skill development and
fundamental content information while maintaining enough flexibility to
accommodate a variety of needs, talents, and goals. The Conservation
Science program at Muskingum College addresses these challenges through
the context of a close working relationship between students and
program advisors. Together they develop an academic plan that best
suites the student's unique needs and ambitions while ensuring critical
and analytic skill development and appropriate content learning.
At the heart of the academic
plan is the
The conservation science major requires
approximately 65 credit hours. Core courses provide a grounding
in the natural and social sciences (approximately 42 hours).
Additional courses are drawn from electives in the natural and
social sciences, as well as the humanities and technical skill
areas (e.g., computer science).
In addition to the classroom curriculum, the conservation
science major requires students to gain experience in a number
of critical areas; particularly research and conservation education
in order to more fully develop skills required in this demanding
field. Research and science education experience are both enhanced
through participation in a three semester sequence that centers
on the development and execution of the senior research project.
In addition, students are strongly encouraged (and assisted)
in efforts to gain additional experience through external internships.
Such experiences allow students unparalleled opportunities to
explore their individual interests and hone their personal goals.
Internships may be conducted locally, however there are many
opportunities for national or international experiences.
Finally, in order to provide a
more comprehensive experience for conservation training, Muskingum
College has developed partnerships with several local and regional
institutions including Muskingum Area Technical College and the
Center for the Preservation of Wild Animals (the Wilds).
These collaborations provide many important benefits including
additional opportunities for course work, research training,
In the broadest sense, the program's mission is to help students
identify personal and professional goals as well provide the
critical intellectual tools needed to work towards those ends.
The program's rigorous interdisciplinary curriculum is designed
to provide students with a skills in analysis and communication
that should prepare them for exciting careers in a broad number
of areas including the natural and social sciences, government
service, work with non-profit organizations, law and global commerce.
Students are actively encouraged to engage in consideration
and discussion of their career interests with their advisors
from the earliest phases of their participation. Insights resulting
from such reflection can place students in much stronger position
to participate in the design and evolution of their academic
plan as well as provide a rewarding sense of personal growth.
Clearly, individuals amenable to introspection and self-challenge
are most likely to experience the fullest benefits of this unique