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Biology, BS - Area 3: Wildlife and Natural Resource Conservation

Wildlife and Natural Resource Conservation BS

The University of Central Missouri is on the forefront of protecting animals and plants from extinction, over-population, disease and other threats to environmental health. As an undergraduate student in UCM’s Bachelor of Science in Biology, with an emphasis on Wildlife and Natural Resource Conservation, you’ll be well-prepared for graduate studies and to work in an array of wildlife conservation degree jobs. 

Wildlife majors learn — and work — indoors and outdoors

Biology faculty at the University of Central Missouri teach field-based skills in monitoring and managing wildlife populations and their environments. They use an active learning format that emphasizes teamwork, communication, research and hands-on field studies and analysis. At UCM, you’ll experience a rarity among colleges with fish and wildlife majors — our on-campus Pertle Springs Nature Preserve, a 300-acre outdoor classroom. Here, you’ll apply current techniques used by field biologists, such as experimental and computational methods, sampling and biological research to explore the real world of animals and plants.

A UCM Wildlife and Natural Resource Conservation degree offers exciting opportunities to fuel your career pathway with passion.

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Jennifer Mittelhauser, M.S.
W.C. Morris Science Building 230 C
Warrensburg, MO
Tel: 660-543-8877

College of Health, Science and Technology

Department of Biological and Clinical Sciences

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Co-curricular research opportunities

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Close faculty interaction, small classes

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Hengshui University exchange program

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On-campus nature preserve for fieldwork

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Faculty published in well-known journals

What you will study

The University of Central Missouri’s Wildlife and Natural Resource Conservation degree program will help you master the field-based skills conservation biologists rely on to monitor and manage wildlife populations and their environments. The Wildlife program coursework focuses on native Missouri animals and plants and the methods used to monitor and conserve vital natural and wildlife resources. 

Hands-on learning is at our core

UCM Biology majors in the Wildlife program conduct critical research and participate in co-curricular research opportunities early in their college experience. Regular outdoor labs at the UCM Pertle Springs Nature Preserve and at off-campus locations give you the first-hand training that agencies look for when hiring graduates of colleges with fish and wildlife degrees. 

Active learning experiences are the core of the UCM Biology program curriculum for Wildlife and Natural Resource Conservation. You gain skills and knowledge needed for wildlife conservation degree jobs through courses such as: 

  • Wildlife Management
  • Wildlife Diseases
  • Field Techniques in Biology

Coursework for UCM’s Conservation degree program also includes several elective classes in particular areas of interest and specialization in biology. In the Wildlife program, you can study dendrology, ichthyology, ornithology, herpetology, limnology and geographic information systems, among others.


Excellence in Biology

  • Among colleges with fish and wildlife majors, we offer a Wildlife program that includes a minimum of nine lab-based courses to graduate. We believe the active learning that takes place in face-to-face labs and field study projects is crucial to a complete understanding of wildlife and the regional environments where they exist.
  • Best Value College: Biological & Biomedical Sciences (College Factual, 2022)


Unique learning opportunities in wildlife and natural resource conservation

The hands-on experiences, networking opportunities and skill building the UCM Biology faculty offer will help you gain the essential knowledge you’ll need to be successful in finding wildlife conservation degree jobs you’ll love.

  • Outdoor classroom: Participate in real-world fieldwork at our 300-acre Pertle Springs Nature Preserve. You’ll track animals using GPS and high-tech drones, collect aquatic samples and analyze data to develop valuable job skills.    
  • Internships and career building: Strong faculty relationships with the Missouri Department of Conservation, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and other government agencies offer internships and job opportunities for undergraduate students in UCM’s Wildlife program. 
  • Faculty-sponsored research: Build skills in grant writing, research and presentations while working alongside faculty and graduate assistants. University-sponsored experiences — such as Honors College Scholars, Undergraduate Research Projects and McNair Scholarships — may lead to research careers and graduate school placements.
  • Professional-level lab experiences: Make exciting discoveries with faculty and other Biology majors in the Wildlife program. You’ll learn industry-standard procedures and techniques in a close-knit classroom environment. 
  • Study abroad: UCM’s agreement with Hengshui University in China offers opportunities to participate in a student exchange program. You could also design a marine ecology research study and then implement it in the Belize Barrier Reef.


What can you do with a bachelor’s degree in Wildlife and Natural Resource Conservation from UCM?

Many of our program graduates work for government agencies based in our state and beyond. Others who intern with the Missouri Department of Conservation, the USGS, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and other agencies receive offers for wildlife conservation degree jobs following graduation.

Conservation degrees open diverse career pathways

Knowledge, skills and experience gained from UCM’s Wildlife program can lead to: 

  • Obtaining a wildlife biologist job
  • Teaching at high schools or at colleges with fish and wildlife conservation majors
  • Conducting research
  • Continuing your studies to earn a master’s or doctoral degree
  • Working in a private land management role 

Explore the interactive tool below to learn more about career pathways and potential salaries with a Wildlife and Natural Resource Conservation degree from the University of Central Missouri.




Financial assistance options for your Wildlife and Natural Resource Conservation degree

As a Biology major in the University of Central Missouri’s Wildlife program, you may be eligible to apply for general and private scholarships, awards and other ways to help finance your education.

Numerous scholarships are also available specifically for UCM Biology majors, including those earning Wildlife and Natural Resource Conservation degrees. For example, you may qualify for one or more of the following:

  • Carlos Kays Biology and Earth Science Scholarship
  • Julie A. Harpster Memorial Scholarship
  • Dr. John Beishe Biology Scholarship
  • Steven H. Mills and Stephen W. Wilson Research Award

You can learn more about program-specific scholarships at the UCM Scholarship Finder.


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Take your degree further.

Enhance your Wildlife and Natural Resource Conservation degree by continuing your studies in a master’s program at UCM. You could further specialize your education to meet your career goals while increasing your earning potential.

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Make yourself more marketable.

Enhance your Wildlife program studies with coursework in environmental justice, legal protections or technology systems used to conduct research or analysis.

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Explore programs related to wildlife and natural resource conservation.

If you’re interested in learning more about how plants and animals live — from the inside out — you may want to consider these fields related to wildlife biology.


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