Two students working in the field

Conservation Biology

About Our Program

Nature is your classroom in our conservation biology program. As protecting the world’s natural resources and wildlife becomes increasingly important, you’ll learn how to conduct research and effectively communicate with a wide range of audiences to influence positive environmental change. 

While other aspects of conservation may focus on cleaning up superfund sites, policy directives on climate change, and other environmental factors that impact humans, conservation biology focuses on conserving nature by protecting species, their habitats, and their ecosystems.

Whether you’re examining moss in the Adirondack Park, collecting samples on local bodies of water, or studying mammals on the shorelines of Cape Cod, you’ll work side-by-side with faculty who are just as passionate about conservation biology as you are.

Learning Experiences to Prepare for Your Career

With an emphasis on learn-by-doing field experiences, you’ll develop the skills needed to preserve and protect the world’s biological diversity.

Living Lab

So many conservation biology classes make good use of our 110-acre Living Lab, whether it’s observing amphibians in our wetlands to shearing sheep for an eco-fiber course.     

Research

Dig deeper into conservation topics or pressing issues through research, either during the semester or as part of a paid summer fellowship. You may even get to conduct research using wild game cameras like Kate Andy ‘20 and Donovan Spaulding ‘19. With the help of local residents, they identified animals captured on film as they traveled through the North Country. 

Senior Year Research Capstone 

Showcase your research with a senior year capstone presentation. Kayla Edmunds ’21 and Cole Weigartz ’21 examined the conflict between green energy infrastructure and wildlife conservation by surveying members of the North Country community. They used the data they collected to propose potential solutions to environmental impact.

Nature Up North

This community-based organization housed at St. Lawrence connects people to the North Country environment through citizen scientist projects and outdoor adventures -- and it offers internship and volunteer opportunities for conservation biology majors like you. 

Sustainability Program 

Environmentally conscious students of any major can apply for this unique year-long program where you’ll live and work on our organic farm.

 

Internships

Learn by doing in a real-world environment. Our majors intern with a wide range of organizations, including: 

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Laikipia Wildlife Forum
  • Genesee County Park and Forest
  • Westerly Land Trust
  • Wildlife Conservation Society
  • Local Ocean Conservation
  • DEW Haven Zoo and Animal Rescue

Volunteering

You can also gain experience while making a difference through service work. Conservation biology majors have volunteered at wildlife sanctuaries, local farms, and in our Nature Up North program.

Global Perspectives

Choose from more than 30 semester-long programs offered in more than 20 international locations, including Kenya, New Zealand, Australia, and Denmark.

The Adirondack Semester

Live off-the-grid in a remote yurt village: forage food, cook meals, enjoy the wilderness and take classes like nature writing and environmental ethics.  

Short-Term Trips & Field Experiences

In addition to semester- and year-long programs, you’ll also have the chance to participate in short-term travel study trips with faculty members.

Among the 150+ clubs and organizations at St. Lawrence, you’ll find many that involve the outdoors, wildlife and environmental advocacy, including: 

  • Outing Club
  • Environmental Action Organization 
  • Northern Mushroom Club
  • SLU Ducks Unlimited
  • CLAW - Connecting Laurentians Around Wilderness
  • The Finer Things Cheese and Turophile Society
  • Seed to Table
  • St. Lawrence River Alliance
  • Hunting and Fishing Club
  • The Greenhouse
  • Club Alpine Ski Team
  • Model U.N. 
  • Campus Kitchen
  • Divestment Club
  • Geology Club
  • Euphrates Institute
  • SLU Legal

Why St. Lawrence for Conservation Biology

96%

of St. Lawrence graduates majoring in a science field are employed or continuing their education within a year

99%

of students participate in experiential learning

Three people walking on a mountain

Adirondacks

Nearly 9,400 square miles of lakes, rivers, trees, and mountains in our natural research lab-- the Adirondack Park.

#2

oldest collegiate outdoor club in the nation

Students working at the Living Lab

Living Lab

Our 110-acre living lab includes fields, forests, wetlands and a garden

94/99

St. Lawrence’s Green College Rating by The Princeton Review

20 miles

miles from the Adirondack Park and St. Lawrence River

Graduates from the conservation biology program have pursued careers in:

  • Land Conservation
  • Parks and Recreation
  • Education
  • Americorps
  • Wildlife Conservation
  • Government
  • Energy Efficiency

Students and a professor outside in front of trees

1:1

Our tree-to-student ratio

More Program Information

Program Requirements & Courses

Explore conservation biology major requirements, as well as electives.

Complimentary and Related Programs

If you’re interested in conservation biology, you might also like these programs.

Faculty member teaching class on a dock

Into the Environment

Local family farms. The North Country’s wilderness. Urban centers. Majoring in environmental studies at St. Lawrence means you’ll venture out of the classroom often.

Students walking in front of the Wachtmeister Field Station

Wachtmeister Field Station

Take the wetlands to the workbench in our research station built with sustainability in mind.

Laurentians by a body of water

Nature Up North

This community-based organization housed at St. Lawrence connects people to the North Country environment through citizen scientist projects and outdoor adventures -- and it offers internship and volunteer opportunities for conservation biology majors like you.

Get More Information

We’re excited to learn more about you, tell you more about our interdisciplinary academic programs, show you around our beautiful campus, and help you navigate your college search.

Apply to St. Lawrence

We’re looking for curious students who are eager to make a difference. We take a holistic approach to reviewing applications and consider all aspects of your application and what we learn about you.