Ecological systems underpin human well-being in many ways from art and culture to food security. Conservation professionals work to ensure that ecosystems will continue to provide these values for future generations. However, we are facing an increasingly complex set of challenges as human populations and resource development increase and the global climate changes. Meeting these challenges requires an integration of human and ecological values across a broad range of ecosystems at increasingly larger spatial and temporal scales.
Students pursuing a BSc in Conservation Science and Practice focus on understanding and addressing the contemporary challenges facing the sustainable use and conservation of our environment. Navigating these challenges requires a strong scientific foundation, including the necessary appreciation for both the natural and human dimensions of conservation and management. This degree equips you with the knowledge to enter a solutions-based career that actively contributes to solving today’s conservation and management problems. Our goal is to provide you with the philosophical foundation, scientific theory, and technical skills to address the challenge of maintaining the functioning of ecosystems across developed, developing and still wild landscapes.
Beginning in the 2019 academic year* UNBC will offer a new degree, the BSc in Conservation Science and Practice that will allow you to pursue one of two majors:
This degree focuses the research and teaching strengths of the faculty at UNBC on a cutting-edge program designed to confront many of the challenges in the 21st century facing the conservation and maintenance of biodiversity and ecosystem services. Courses for both majors were selected or designed to provide students with the interdisciplinary and multi-value perspective necessary to conduct or practice conservation science. The degree is focused on the natural sciences but draws on methods, theory, and practice from the social sciences. This recognizes that humans are part of socio-ecological systems; thus, the human dimensions of conservation are integral components of the curriculum.
What is Conservation Science?
Conservation scientists recognize the importance of integrating ecological and human systems. Even where humans are absent from particular landscapes or regions their activities will have some influence on the ecological functioning of those places. Thus, conservation science involves the study of both natural and social sciences and their inherent linkages. The practice of conservation can take many forms, from pure research focused on the biology of endangered species to community-based activities that help people develop sustainable economies. Regardless of the focus of the work, conservation scientists agree that humans and their activities need to be the leading consideration in any effort to conserve or recover biodiversity.
* The BSc in Conservation Science and Practice (CSP) has been approved by the University of Northern British Columbia and is being reviewed by the BC Ministry of Advanced Education. Admissions for Fall 2018 can be made currently by applying to the existing BSc Natural Resources Management (NRM) - Outdoor Recreation and Conservation major. Students will be transferred to the new degree program once it receives approval.