Invasive species. Habitat loss and restoration. Threatened and endangered species. Wildlife management. These are just a few of the diverse and fascinating topics you’ll explore in Applied Ecology. The common theme: Applying basic ecological principles to understanding environmental problems.
SPEA is a global leader in integrating ecological science with sound public policy. Students concentrating in Applied Ecology benefit from a world-class faculty who actively develop ways of improving and our planet’s biological resources—globally, locally, publicly and privately. Our Applied Ecology concentration will prepare you for challenging careers in resource management and protection, and the hands-on nature of the degree program insures a high demand for our graduates.
Careers in Applied Ecology
Alumni of SPEA’s Applied Ecology concentration have landed in a wide variety of engaging careers. Recent graduates are now working in federal agencies, such as EPA, the Interior Department, the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. State Department, and the Government Accounting Office.
Others have found success in state and local agencies, international organizations, foreign governments, non-governmental organizations (such as Ducks Unlimited and the Nature Conservancy), and a wide range of science and engineering consulting firms.
This diverse list of employers is a testament to the flexibility that the MSES program offers students in pursuit of their individual career objectives.
Applied Ecology Curriculum
Students begin to develop needed technical tools with the MSES core competencies (18 credit hours).
The Applied Ecology concentration also includes specific advanced courses and 12 credit hours of electives that allow a student to tailor their individual program towards their interests. Below is a list of possible elective courses. Students also may enroll in courses in Geology, Geography, and other departments after consultation with a faculty advisor.
- Wetlands: Biology and Regulation (E 440)
- Limnology (E 455)
- Fisheries and Wildlife Management (E 460)
- Fisheries and Wildlife Management Laboratory (E 461)
- Environmental Toxicology (E 520)
- Urban Forest Management (E 522)
- Habitat Analysis - Aquatic (E 523)
- Habitat Analysis - Terrestrial (E 524)
- Forest Ecology and Management (E 528)
- Restoration Ecology (E 534)
- Subsurface Microbiology and Bioremediation (E 544)
- Lake and Watershed Management (E 545)
- Stream Ecology (E 546)
- Avian Conservation (E 555)
- Plants and Plant Communities (E 555)
- Urban Ecology (E 555)
- Conservation Biology (E 557)
Students pursuing the thesis options will sign up for Research in Environmental Science (E625) to fulfill some portion of their concentration electives.
Students pursuing the non-thesis option generally complete an appropriate internship during the summer between their first and second year in the program. The coursework in each concentration culminates in a project-oriented course (capstone) that integrates knowledge gained throughout the program and applies it to issues related to the student’s concentration.
Dual concentrations with Applied Ecology and other concentrations offered by SPEA—such as Water Resources or Environmental Policy and Natural Resource Management—offer unique advantages for those wanting to make a difference in particular areas of environmental science. Our faculty work to accommodate these specialized professional interests in the design of student programs.