Skip to main content

Conservation and Restoration Ecology Degree

Students Working in the Field

This degree combines the study of conserving and maintaining ecological systems while recovering these systems and enriching the lives of their inhabitants. Conservation and restoration ecology students learn a broad interdisciplinary approach to natural resources analysis and management. They also have opportunities to learn how to contribute in positive and innovative ways to the understanding and the sustainable management of the earth's natural resources.

Student Working in the Field

Current students are encouraged to visit the Wildland Resources Department homepage for current news and information or the Wildland Resources Department's Undergraduate Programs homepage for additional information.

Academic Advisor

Shelly Kotynek

Shelly Kotynek
NR 120

  • Semester-by-semester planning
  • Connecting with clubs
  • Changing your major
  • Academic success resources

Faculty Advisors

Dr. Eugene Schupp
BNR 373

  • Career planning
  • Graduate school planning
  • Undergraduate research opportunities
  • Selecting degree program electives


Conservation and Restoration Ecology are complementary approaches to managing healthy, functioning natural systems, through both working to protect natural systems from degradation (Conservation) and striving to recover systems that have been degraded (Restoration).

The core of the major teaches students to use ecological principles to conserve and restore terrestrial systems (forests and rangelands) that are threatened or have been damaged or eliminated through overuse, neglect or disaster.

Students who ….

  • Enjoy working outdoors.
  • Are interested in conserving and restoring healthy natural ecological systems.
  • Want a degree that has a broad natural resources sciences foundation that has the flexibility to design a unique degree that fits the student's unique goals.
  • Want excellent preparation for graduate school.
  • Solid foundation in biological sciences, soil science, chemistry, and math.
  • Ecology of wildland plants and animals.
  • Techniques to monitor, assess, preserve, and restore these ecosystems.
  • Policy and other human dimensions of natural resource management.
  • With guidance from an advisor, Conservation and Restoration Ecology majors develop an individualized plan for their Program Electives that prepares them for their unique, personal career goals.
  • Working for an environmental consulting company on permitting of and restoration following energy development in Wyoming.
  • Bureau of Land Management Botanist.
    Restoring fire damaged rangelands for Bureau of Land Management or USDA Forest Service.
  • Working for private land reclamation companies.
  • Aquatic invasive species biologist for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.
  • Working for a non-governmental organization involved in community-based conservation.
  • Studying black bear – human conflicts in Colorado.
  • Member of congressional natural resources staff.

Club membership is not specific to any major in the Quinney College of Natural Resources and all students are encouraged to get involved.  Visit the Student Organizations website to see how to get involved in what interests you.