Natural Resources Conservation



Conserving Earth’s biological diversity and safeguarding the benefits or “ecosystem services” that functioning ecosystems provide humans are two major objectives of natural resources conservation.  As human populations increase and natural resources and habitats become more limited, there is a critical need for trained conservation professionals in natural resources conservation.

This major provides students with the academic background and professional training to pursue careers in the rapidly growing field of natural resources and environmental conservation. Natural Resources Conservation is a multi-disciplinary field that integrates rigorous academic training in the natural, conservation, and social sciences with hands-on field skills; and field experiences from summer jobs, internships, and cooperative education positions with conservation organizations and the green industry.

Students learn about the ecology of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and how these systems can be managed to conserve biodiversity and protect ecosystem functions while providing sustainable benefits to society.

Natural Resource Conservation program mission, goals, and objectives:

When students graduate from UMass Amherst with a bachelor’s degree in Natural Resources Conservation they will be able to:

  • Acquire and analyze data describing the biological and social aspects of the environment.
  • Make management decisions about land and water that integrate relevant ecological, physical, and social information.
  • Appreciate the natural complexity of ecosystems, and the interdisciplinary nature of their conservation.
  • Understand the multiple values of ecosystems and the environment across the spectrum of circumstances, from urban to rural and from developed to wild. Communicate to the public that natural resource conservation is essential to long-term sustainability.
  • Behave professionally and ethically in the management of the environment for the benefit of society.

Visit the UMass Amherst Department of Environmental Conservation for more information.