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Program Overview

We all depend on the diversity of life for personal and societal survival. We need all forms of life for the beauty it holds, the food it gives, the life-saving drugs it provides, the clean water we use, or any number of other valid and important reasons. The services that healthy ecosystems perform, if only from our human perspective, are immense and irreplaceable.

Conservation Biology deals with identification, protection, maintenance, development, and restoration of the earth’s biological diversity (biodiversity), including genetic diversity within species, species richness in different regions, and the diversity of ecological communities. This focus differs substantially from traditional wildlife management and forestry-range programs in two fundamental ways: (1) it seeks to protect all life on earth; and (2) it seeks to preserve biological processes (ecological and evolutionary interactions) that generate and maintain biodiversity over the long-term. Our program offers a large number of natural history courses (botany, mammalogy, entomology, etc.) and includes courses relevant to policy, management, ethical, and socioeconomic factors.

Program Summary

Program Credits: 60.0 Credits

Status: Open Enrollment

Introductory Course: BIO 130


To learn more, schedule an appointment with Life Sciences Advisement at 801-422-3042.

Beyond The Classroom

Engaging in internships, mentored research, associations and clubs related to your program is an important step in linking your education with the real world. These experiences enhance your education and prepare you for both further schooling and your future career.

Occupations and Employers

Possible Occupations

With a Bachelors

  • Forester
  • Conservation Scientist
  • Park Naturalist
  • Natural Resource Management
  • Sustainability Management
  • Water Resources
  • Aviation Planning
  • Transportation Planning
  • Building/Zoning
  • Land Acquisition
  • Recreation Management
  • Park/Preserve Management

With a Masters

  • Marine Mammal Specialist
  • Wildlife Ecologist

Possible Occupations

With a Bachelors

  • Technology Development Cell Biologist
  • Microbiologist
  • Bioreagent Formulator
  • Clinical Data Specialist
  • Recreation Manager
  • Park/Preserve Manager

With a Masters

  • Marine Mammal Specialist
  • Wildlife Ecologist

Potential Employers

Meet Your Academic Advisor: Lisa Buzan

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Lisa grew up in Michigan and is proud to be from the state that gave us Motown music, Ford motor cars, Greenfield Village, Mackinac Island, and Kellogg’s corn flakes.

After coming to BYU, where she received a degree in Child Development and Family Relationships, she moved on and spent time living in California’s San Fernando Valley as well as Las Vegas before returning to BYU as an academic advisor.

Lisa once went skydiving and would do it again in a heartbeat! She also enjoys movies, plays, museums, historical sites, genealogy, and “cat naps” with her cat, Goodwin.

To schedule an appointment to meet with Lisa, contact the Life Sciences Advisement office at 801.422.3042 or by visiting 2060 LSB.

Office Hours: M-F 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM. Closed for devotionals and holidays.

Meet Your Academic Advisor: Nicole Cuthbert

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Nicole joined the administrative staff of Brigham Young University in 2016. She has been working as an academic advisor and administrator in the Department of Biology since 2018. Prior to her current position, she worked as an administrative secretary in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry. Before her career extended to BYU, Nicole was self-employed running her own event company.

Her volunteer experiences include serving as a court-appointed special advocate for neglected children with oversight from the Third District Court of Utah, mentoring and supporting patients as a Survivor Offering Assistance in Recovery at the University of Utah Burn Unit, and a committee member for the Riverton City Board of Adjustment. She has served in many capacities in the Church, leading both youth and adults, and playing key leadership roles in four pioneer treks.

Passionate about education, Nicole earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from BYU and a master’s degree in academic advising from Kansas State University. She has instilled this same yearning for learning in her children, with a son and daughter already graduated from BYU, one daughter currently studying at BYU, and another completing her degree through BYU-Idaho.

If you would like an advisement appointment with the Department of Biology’s Academic Advisor, Nicole Cuthbert, please sign up here.