Lake Superior State University
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Alum Success

Amanda is currently working to earn a Ph.D. from the University of Kansas. Where she is studying the behavior of fossil birds as interpreted through their footprints and other traces. Amanda recently traveled to South Korea to study Early Cretaceous bird tracks and has published two papers on fossil bird tracks, one in the journal Palaios and one in the Journal of Systematic Paleontology. Next, she will study Early Cretaceous fossil birds and bird tracks in China.

"My experience at Lake State, preparing an Undergraduate Thesis and seeing the project through definitely helped prepare me for graduate school. The interaction between the professors and the students at Lake State is far more similar to the interaction between a graduate student and their graduate advisor than the typical undergraduate student / undergraduate advisor rapport; it's much more personalized. It definitely helped prepare me for grad school."

Amanda Falk '07
Biology, minor in Chemistry

School of Biological Sciences

Programs > Conservation Biology

The Conservation Biology program prepares students for careers where they can make a contribution to mitigating wide-ranging challenges such as invasive species, altered landscapes, species extinctions, or the restoration of degraded aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Our selection of rigorous field based courses in watersheds, soils, forestry, ecology (general, fish, wildlife or plant), and organisms (mammalogy, ornithology, ichthyology, or entomology) offers an unparalleled set of foundational courses in the natural sciences. Combining this coursework with interdisciplinary courses in social dimensions, political science, sociology, business/economics, communication and GIS technology adds the breadth needed to integrate biological, economic, and policy issues in the formulation of sustainable solutions. Electives allow students to tailor the program to their interests and sustainable solutions. Electives allow students to tailor the program to their interests and career goals. Students may choose as a capstone experience a summer semester internship working in a professional capacity in conservation biology, or a senior thesis research project. Students will be prepared for careers or for graduate work in conservation biology or a broad range of related areas.

Career Options
  • Conservation Biologist/Scientist
  • Fish or Wildlife Biologist
  • Freshwater or Marine Biologist
  • Environmental Scientist
  • Field Biologist
  • Ecologist
  • Restoration Ecologist
  • Wildlife Refuge Manager
  • Endangered species/Non-game biologist
  • Naturalist or Interpreter
  • Environmental educator or outreach coordinator
Internships

Jon Throop"The Conservation Biology program has provided me
the basic skills, background knowledge and the application of natural resources management in various biological fields. Through the internship option of the program I'm able to work at the Grand Travers Regional Land Conservancy protecting the resoureces that brough me to LSSU in the first place."

-Jon Throop

More Information
Other Programs Offered in Biology
Undergraduate Research

Andrew TruaxAndrew Truax ('11) is completing his senior thesis assessing the distribution of aquatic invasive species (rusty crayfish, zebra mussels, and quagga mussels) in the St. Marys River. Along with his field work, he is conducting an economic survey of Chippewa County residents that will enable him to determine how willing the local community is to pay for management and prevention of aquatic invasive species in the river.

Conservation Biology in Action

Dr. Greg ZimmermanEach year the Chippewa/East Mackinac Conservation District awards the Earth Steward Award in recognition of a local person's or group's contribution to advancing conservation in the district. This year's (2011) award went to Dr. Gregory Zimmerman in recognition of his and his students work on researching the potential for using reed canary grass, an invasive species abundant in the EUP, as stock for pellet fuel. Zimmerman and his students have demonstrated that reed canary grass can be made into pellets that perform comparably to wood pellets when burned in a multi-fuel pellet stove (i.e., capable of handling high ash content fuels) and that sufficient stock of reed canary grass exists to be a feasible source of fuel. Follow-up research is underway to examine the economic cost/benefit of the production process.

 

Turning reed canary grass into fuel

Justin Wilson

The multi-phase project, led by biology department head Gregory Zimmerman Ph.D. with help from Justin Wilson, the project's student volunteer, is studying the potential of reed canary grass pellets as an environmentally friendly and economical heating fuel, as well as a possible economic stimulant for the Eastern Upper Peninsula. [ more ]

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