This is an archived article. For the latest news, go to the Advance Homepage
For more archives, go to the Advance Archive/Search Page.

  December 10, 2001

Biodiversity Degree Approved

The Board of Trustees has approved a new joint bachelor/master of science degree in biodiversity and conservation biology, formalizing a program that has been offered for a decade.

The program, which now must be approved by the Board of Governors for Higher Education, is offered by the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and its Center for Conservation and Biodiversity. It uses an existing bachelor's program and links it to a new master's program, Chancellor John Petersen told the trustees.

"As we confront burgeoning threats to biodiversity, there is an urgent need for individuals who possess both a solid foundation in the principles of conservation science and knowledge of the related social, political, and economic issues," says the application for the program. "Major advisory bodies such as the National Science Foundation and the United Nations have called for increased graduate training in these areas. In addition, most jobs in these fields require or prefer individuals with advanced degrees.

"Presently, no institutions in Connecticut, and only five institutions in New England and New York State, offer M.S. programs in biodiversity or conservation biology and none offer a combined BS/MS degree."

The program will be phased in, initially accepting upper-level undergraduates majoring in ecology and evolutionary biology. The first complete cohort to enter the five-year program is expected to graduate in May 2007. The program, which includes an off-campus internship and a research experience, is expected to accommodate 10 to 20 students, using existing resources in the Departments of Natural Resources Management and Engineering and Agricultural and Resource Economics, as well as Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

Karen A. Grava