Ecology and Conservation Biology - BS, Ecoinformatics Track
The Department of Ecology and Conservation Biology provides one of the most advanced educational opportunities available to prepare undergraduate students for leadership in the science and stewardship of terrestrial and aquatic ecological systems. The BS in ECCB degree will emphasize acquisition of fundamental ecological knowledge and its application to biodiversity conservation, environmental health, and the management of complex systems, such as interactions involving aspects of ecology from genes to ecosystems, landscape, hydrology, and climate. Four tracks (Ecology and Conservation Biology, Ecoinformatics, Forest Resources, and Vertebrate Zoology) are offered to provide flexibility in one’s chosen career path.
Ecoinformatics is an emerging field that prepares graduates to become experts in integrating digital and information technologies, such as GPS (global positioning system), satellite and UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) imagery, and advanced field sensors with ecological data analysis in complex ecosystems to detect, evaluate, and predict ecological patterns, disturbances, and processes. The Ecoinformatics track provides students with training in theories and applications of ecological data analysis, natural resources and ecological modeling, and spatial information sciences that will prepare them for handling complex and ever-increasing interdisciplinary ecological data and understanding of contemporary environmental challenges. Students who successfully complete this track will have the ability to use advanced technologies to collect data from genomic to landscape levels and beyond. The diversity of coursework provides opportunities for students to develop skills using analytical and computer-based methods to perform quantitative data analysis, spatial analysis, and ecological modeling. This track prepares students for careers with natural resource agencies and environmental consulting companies, or to pursue graduate degrees that require knowledge and the ability to transform data into ecological information useful for solving environmental problems and informing policy and decision-making.