Studies & Degrees in Environmental Biology

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Environmental biology is defined as the study on how plants and animals live and interact with their environments and their relationships with each other and with the other species. It is part of environmental science that integrates such physical and biological sciences as physics, chemistry, soil science, biology, geography and geology to the study of environment. Environment biology also includes biodiversity which deals with the entire range of plants and animals in an area, conservation biology, and ecology, which examines the interrelationships between organisms and their environments.

As a course of study, environmental biology is offered under a department in many institutions of higher learning. The Columbia School of General Studies of the Columbia University in New York City has an environmental biology program offered under its Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology, which is a consortium of New York City-based science and research institutions including the University, New York Botanical Garden, American Museum of Natural History, Wildlife Trust, and the Wildlife Conservation Society. The principal mission of the consortium is to educate new scientists and practitioners in the theory and practice of evolution, ecology and population biology, with the study also covering the evolutionary, ecological and genetic relationships among the living things on earth. The courses offered under the program include Plant and Animal Systematics, Evolutionary and Population Genetics, Demography and Population Biology, Behavior and Community Ecology, Epidemiology, Ethno-botany, Ethno-biology, Public Health and Environment Policy. The St. Mary’s University of Minnesota’s environmental biology program is suited for students who desire to enter the areas of aquatic biology, water quality management, fisheries biology, environmental toxicology, wildlife ecology, conservation biology and environmental planning. The program also prepares its graduates for careers as environment consultants, fisheries biologists, field biologists, water resources technician planners, wildlife biologists, and/or high school teachers.

The Ultrecht University in the Netherlands, which is one of the largest institutions of higher learning in Europe, offers a master’s degree program on environmental biology based on the following subject areas: (a) Introduction to Bioinformatics for Molecular Biologists, (b) Plants in their Environments, (c) Ecology and Natural Resources Management, (d) Molecular Plant Physiology and Biotechnology. (e) Extreme Climate Transitions, (f) Oceans and Climate Change, (g) Project Management Proposal, and (h) Quantifying and Interpreting Environmental Change. The University foresees career opportunities for its graduates in the government or private nature protection and restoration agencies, plant breeding and biotechnology companies, and zoos. The University of California has a newly established Center for Environmental Biology and a school of biological science that facilitate research, education and outreach in biological science, and help in the development of innovative solutions to the problems of environment.