What You’ll Study

If you’re eager to make your mark on our world now, Conservation Biology is an exciting field to study. As fragile ecosystems and species inch closer to extinction, there’s a very real opportunity to achieve lasting impact. Our program involves study areas including:

  • Genetics
  • Evolutionary biology
  • Conservation and wildlife biology
  • Advanced conservation biology seminar
  • The natural science undergraduate research sequence

Class Projects

Class assignments partner students with local, state, federal, and non-profit environmental agencies for projects like:

  • Restoring local ecosystems of spruce-fir forest, wetlands, or monarch butterfly habitat
  • Developing conservation management plans for imperiled species on public and private lands
  • Creating public outreach materials to support conservation of a beloved natural area

Where Graduates Go

Our students have started conservation-based careers in state and federal agencies like the U.S. Fish & Wildlife and U.S. Forest Service or non-government conservation agencies like the Nature Conservancy and World Wildlife Fund. They’ve also started their own conservation organizations or gone on to top graduate school programs.

Explore Classes in This Program

ENS 310

Conservation and Wildlife Biology

Study the applied science of maintaining Earth’s biological diversity, including wildlife management of game, non-game, and endangered species. This course mixes in concepts from philosophy, economics, and other supporting fields.

BIO 402

Evolutionary Biology

You’ll get a comprehensive introduction to this vast and crucial field, which is the foundational principle of all biology. Coursework covers Darwinism, genetics, paleontology, the origin of life, and human evolution.

ENS 479

Advanced Conservation Biology Seminar

An in-depth look at foundational articles and cutting edge research on important topics in the field, like animal behavior, conservation genetics, biodiversity hotspots, population viability, and impacts of climate change.

Meet Our Faculty

I am more guide than teacher; I love guiding intelligent, passionate students as they help change the world not just after they graduate, but as part of their educational experience.

Liesl Peterson Erb, Ph.D.
Liesl Peterson Erb
Liesl Peterson Erb, Ph.D.
Amy Boyd

Warren Wilson is a place where we are engaged lovers of learning and of connecting what we learn to the world. It's also a community where we can be whole people with diverse interests, where I can not only be scientist but artist, musician, gardener, mother.

Amy Boyd, Ph.D.
Amy Boyd
Amy Boyd, Ph.D.
Alisa Hove

Warren Wilson College provides seemingly endless opportunities to work in collaborative settings with students who take an active role in their own learning.

Alisa Hove, Ph.D.
Alisa Hove
Alisa Hove, Ph.D.

I love teaching at Warren Wilson because the students challenge me to dig deeper and think harder. And I return the favor: we push and support each other in our learning.

Olya Milenkaya, Ph.D.
Olya Milenkaya, Ph.D.
Liesl Peterson Erb
NSURS Presentation
Capstone Experience

Natural Science Undergraduate Research Sequence

Students in the Conservation Biology emphasis take this three-semester sequence of courses, which gives you graduate-style research experience at the undergraduate level. You’ll work with a faculty advisor to design your own project, collect and analyze data, present your findings, and publish a thesis.