About This Degree
Ecology is the scientific discipline concerned with the relationships between organisms and their past, present, and future environments.
The Ecology Center at USU has had a string of directors known nationally and worldwide as premier scientists in the field of ecology, and students graduating with a degree in ecology are able to make contacts with influential faculty that can help them as they pursue prestigious post-doctoral programs and faculty positions at universities around the world. Additionally, the Ecology Center hosts a seminar series that brings famous scientists from all over the world to speak at USU.
What You Will Learn
All ecology students are required to take coursework within various designated areas, and the remainder of coursework and research will be completed in one of the following departments:
- Biology: Students who study ecology in the Biology Department focus on theoretical ecology and how it applies to evolution and other disciplines within biology.
- Environment and Society: This department is concerned with human ecology and the relationships between humans and natural ecosystems.
- Plants, Soils, and Climate: Students in this department study the ecology of plants, soils, and climate and issues that tie them to ecology.
- Watershed Science: Ecology students in this department focus on the science and conservation of aquatic ecosystems.
- Wildland Resources: Students in this department are concerned with terrestrial ecology and ecosystems.
Climate Adaptation Science (Ecology MS & PhD):
The Climate Adaptation Science specialization provides students with experiences in actionable science through internship and research experiences. Program includes interdisciplinary research to identify adaptive responses to changing climate extremes and two-part internships with agency, NGO, and industry partners. In a first internship, students contribute to projects and learn the workplace cultures and science needs of the host. The internship experiences inform interdisciplinary climate adaptation research by student teams. In a second internship, students share science results and tools with the host organization and help put that science into action.
Career And Outcomes
Students who graduate with a master’s typically pursue PhD programs or work as research assistants for government agencies.
PhD graduates primarily seek post-doctoral positions with universities and then go on to faculty positions or work as researchers for government agencies.
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