Studies & Degrees in Ecology
Choose where you would like to study Ecology:ArgentinaAustraliaAzerbaijanBelgiumBermudaBosnia and HerzegovinaBulgariaCanadaCape VerdeChileChinaColombiaCzech RepublicFinlandFranceHaitiIndiaLithuaniaMadagascarMexicoNew ZealandPeruPortugalRussiaSloveniaSouth KoreaSpainSwedenSwitzerlandThe United KingdomThe United StatesUkraine
Ecology Study Programs
Ecology in the area of study that looks at populations of plants and animals and the interactions within and between those populations Of all the biological sciences, is perhaps the one that operates on the largest scale, observing trends over large areas of space and time, and in some cases encompassing the entire world as an object of study. In this sense, is the opposite of cell biology and biochemistry, which examine life at the smallest scale. Topics within ecology include evolutionary biology and competition, animal social behaviors, plant and animal reproduction, and environmental studies.
Like many of its related disciplines–of which the most famous is environmental science–ecology combines pure science with current political controversies, activism, and advocacy. The ecology often feel passionately about the need to preserve natural ecosystems and protect the earth. In this way, their study of ecological science is informed and complemented by a desire for passionate engagement with nature.
- Genuine passion for nature, especially plants and animals
- Love of working in the outdoors
- Desire to help promote conservation and respect for the natural world
- Physical fitness (for some careers)
Any course of study in ecology will necessarily include a significant amount of coursework in biology, but beyond that the study options in this area are fairly broad. Some programs will focus more keenly on the scientific aspects of ecology–preparing students for a career in research and teaching–while other programs are more geared toward getting the students out into the field as conservation experts, park rangers, and policymakers. In addition, ecology is often seen as one branch of the interdisciplinary field of environmental studies, which may affect the required coursework.
At the graduate school level, it is often possible or even necessary to specialize in a particular subfield of ecology. Typically, this means either focusing on a specific kind of biome (such as forests, deserts, or shallow seas) or on a theme, such as evolution or the impact of human beings on ecological systems. Finally, there are some ecology programs that are geared toward specific career paths–ecology and conservation, for example, would be a perfect area of study for someone interested in becoming a ranger or tour guide in a national park.
Ecology majors can go on to pursue careers in a wide variety of different lines of work. In broad terms, these can be separated into scientific and nonscientific categories. The 1st category is for people who want to become professional biologists specializing in ecology and biological phenomena at the scale of populations. These careers will require many years of schooling beyond the college level, and the on-the-job experience is usually composed of some combination of research and teaching.
Nonscientific careers in ecology, on the other hand, do not involve original research and can usually be pursued without an advanced degree. Some of the most popular options in this category include Park Ranger, private naturalist, and nature writer/photographer.