Conservation Ecology - Bachelor in Conservation Ecology

Co-directors of the Program:

Professor, Michelle Nishiguchi, Department Head, Biology
Professor, Kathryn Stoner, Department Head, Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Ecology

Professors Boeing, Boecklen, Caldwell, Cowley, Desmond, Hanley, Houde, Milligan, Nishiguchi, Roemer, G. Smith, Wright; Associate Professors Bailey, Cain, Mabry; Assistant Professors Ferrenberg, James

New Mexico State University offers an interdisciplinary, undergraduate program in Conservation Ecology. The goal of this program is to train biologists for the current and future challenges that we face in the conservation and wise use of our Earth’s natural resources. An overriding principle of the program is to provide a solid foundation in basic science coupled with a practical approach towards sustainability and stewardship. The curriculum encompasses several disciplines and includes a wide variety of courses from the Biology; Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Ecology; Geography; and Range Science departments.

The educational experience will provide students with an overview of global biodiversity and an understanding of the ecological and evolutionary processes that have created and sustained it. Courses in population and community ecology coupled with population viability analysis and risk assessment will give students the necessary background to understand the theory and development of these fields as well as the tools to tackle real-world problems. Courses in basic genetics, evolution, and conservation genetics will expose students to the importance of conserving genetic variation in order to maintain adaptive potential within populations, thereby sustaining the evolutionary process. Students will also receive background on wildlife law and environmental policy, information vital for assisting governing bodies in making decisions regarding the protection and wise use of our natural resources. Skills obtained in the application of geographic information systems, molecular genetics, and professional communication can also be acquired through various electives. In sum, we seek to provide undergraduate students with an education that will allow them the opportunity to contribute to the conservation of all life on Earth.

The requirements are listed below. In addition, each required course must be passed with a grade of C- or better.

Core Curriculum 1
A ST 311Statistical Applications3
CHEM 111GGeneral Chemistry I4
CHEM 112GGeneral Chemistry II4
CHEM 211Organic Chemistry4
ENGL 111GRhetoric and Composition4
ENGL 218GTechnical and Scientific Communication3
or ENGL 318G Advanced Technical and Professional Communication
Select one from the following:3
Effective Leadership and Communication in Agricultural Organizations3
Public Speaking3
Principles of Human Communication3
Principles of Human Communication Honors3
Select one from the following:3
Introduction to Economics3
Principles of Macroeconomics3
Principles of Microeconomics3
Select one from the following:6-12
College Algebra
and Calculus for the Biological and Management Sciences
Trigonometry and Precalculus
and Calculus and Analytic Geometry I
and Calculus and Analytic Geometry II
PHYS 211GGeneral Physics I3
or PHYS 221G General Physics for Life Sciences I
PHYS 211GLGeneral Physics I Laboratory1
or PHYS 221GL Laboratory to General Physics for Life Science I
PHYS 212GGeneral Physics II3
or PHYS 222G General Physics for Life Sciences II
PHYS 212GLGeneral Physics II Laboratory1
or PHYS 222GL Laboratory to General Physics for Life Sciences II
Viewing a Wider World
Select one Viewing a Wider World course 23
Major Requirements
BIOL 111GNatural History of Life3
BIOL 111GLNatural History of Life Laboratory1
BIOL 211GCellular and Organismal Biology3
BIOL 211GLCellular and Organismal Biology Laboratory1
BIOL 301Principles of Ecology3
or FWCE 301 Wildlife Ecology
BIOL 305Principles of Genetics3
or AGRO 305 Principles of Genetics
BIOL 312Plant Taxonomy3
or RGSC 316 Rangeland Plants
BIOL 313Structure and Function of Plants3
BIOL 322Zoology3
BIOL 462Conservation Biology3
BIOL 467Evolution3
BIOL 488Principles of Conservation Genetics3
FWCE 110GIntroduction to Natural Resources Management4
FWCE 255Principles of Fish and Wildlife Management3
FWCE 330Natural History of the Vertebrates4
FWCE 402Seminar in Natural Resource Management1
FWCE 409Introduction to Population Ecology3
FWCE 447Wildlife Law and Policy3
FWCE 464Management of Aquatic and Terrestrial Ecosystems4
Select 3-4 credits from the following:3-4
Anatomy and Physiology of Farm Animals4
Plant Physiology3
Animal Physiology3
Physiology of Humans
and Laboratory of Human Physiology
Environmental Biology of Fishes4
Requirements in Diversity of Life
Select 6-8 credits from the following:6-8
Ecology of Plants3
Invertebrate Zoology4
Animal Behavior3
Economic Entomology3
Additional Courses
Select additional electives to bring total to 120 credits including 48 upper division credits.12
Other Related Courses
Survey of Biochemistry4
Disease Vector Biology3
Genomics Technology3
Bioinformatics and NCBI Database3
Biology of Emerging Infectious Diseases3
Genetic Aspects of Population Biology3
Cartography and Geographic Information Systems4
Fundamentals of Geographic Information Science and Technology (GIS & T)4
Introductory Geology4
Soil Chemistry3
U.S.-Mexico Border Politics3
Watershed Management3
Rangeland Restoration Ecology3
Vegetation Measurements for Rangeland Assessment4
Second Language Requirement: (not required)
Total Credits120-129

Includes University and College Requirements 67-68 credits


One VWW course will be satisfied using the 9-hour rule: students with Biology as home department use FWCE courses and students with Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Ecology as home department use BIOL courses.

Second Language Requirement

For the Bachelor in Conservation Ecology with a major in Conservation Ecology there is no second language requirement for the degree.