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CATALOG • 2009-2010


Biodiversity and Conservation Biology – Major

For information, contact Dr. Amy Faivre.

The biodiversity and conservation biology major is a field-based major that provides the student with an understanding of the origin and maintenance of biological diversity (biodiversity), the factors that are causing a decline in biodiversity and ways to stop this decline. Students will also gain an understanding of multicultural and global political perspectives. Science must be integrated into policy so that conservation plans can be put into practice and it is necessary to understand the cultural context to implement conservation management strategies. Upon graduation, students will be able to pursue graduate study in conservation biology, ecology, evolutionary biology, and environmental policy, or careers in environmental and conservation governmental and nongovernmental agencies and organizations, conservation education, policy and advocacy jobs, environmental consulting firms, law and publishing firms, and zoos and aquariums.


The core components of the major include:

Research: to provide experience in developing and conducting research in biodiversity and conservation biology.  All freshmen conduct research with a faculty mentor in the spring semester. Sophomores, juniors and seniors can elect to conduct research with one of the Biology faculty, which may culminate in a Senior Thesis (please refer to the Biology Major for additional information on the Thesis Option).

Traditional classroom/laboratory and fieldwork: to teach and to develop fundamental concepts and research skills.

Field studies (short and semester long courses): to provide opportunities to study concepts/issues in a
global context and to further develop research skills for use in the field and laboratory. Students may choose courses that will allow them to explore habitats not available on campus.

Interdisciplinary approach: conservation biology is fundamentally an interdisciplinary discipline. It combines
elements of ecology, evolution, genetics, and public policy.  Students are also required to take at least one anthropology course and political science course.

Internships/collaborations: these are encouraged to provide students with marketable experience, to help them make connections to the wider conservation and academic communities, and to cultivate funding opportunities.

Biological Sciences Grade Requirements

A minimum cumulative grade-point average of 2.000 and a minimum average in the major of 2.000 are required for the major in Biodiversity and Conservation Biology. A grade of C- or better is needed for all courses that fulfill the departmental requirements. Courses transferred in for all majors must be taken less than ten years ago. Students may not declare multiple majors in any combination of: Biology, Biodiversity and Conservation Biology, Genetic Engineering, or Neuroscience. Students must earn a grade of C- or better in prerequisite courses before proceeding to subsequent courses.


Requirements for the Biodiversity and Conservation Biology Major

BIO121 Principles of Biology I 4 credits
BIO122 Principles of Biology II 4 credits
(Students with Advanced Placement credit for BIO121 and/or 122
are required to take the BIO121 and 122 Labs.)

BIO235 Ecology, Evolution and Genetics 4 credits
BIO236 Cell and Molecular Biology 4 credits
Students who have previously taken BIO 231 or 234 should consult their advisors or the department website
to determine the courses needed to complete the major.
BIO248 Biostatistics 3 credits
BIO300 Evolution 4 credits
BIO307 Biodiversity and Conservation Biology 4 credits
BIO312 GIS and Spatial Modeling 4 credits
BIO315 Case Studies in Biodiversity and Conservation Biology 3 credits
BIO350 Junior Colloquium 2 credits
BIO355 Science, Ethics, and Society 2 credits
CHE 111 Chemical Principles 4 credits
CHE 112 Chemical Equilibrium& Analysis 4 credits
CHE 205 Organic Chemistry I 4 credits
CHE 320 Environmental Chemistry 4 credits
PHY 101 Introductory College Physics I 4 credits
PHY 102 Introductory College Physics II 4 credits
MAT 141 Calculus I 3 credits
ANT 100 Cultural Anthropology 3 credits
PSC One appropriate Political Science course (PSC)
in consultation with your advisor 3 credits


Plus ONE course from each of the following categories:
Biodiversity and Systematics
BIO 207 Botany 4 credits
BIO 227 Microbiology 4 credits
Hawk Mountain courses (at least 2 courses, totaling at least 3 credits)* 3-4 credits

Ecology, Genetics and Evolution
BIO328 Marine Ecology & Conservation (can be taken without lab)* 3 or 4 credits
BIO224 Animal Behavior 3 credits

Field Experience

BIO 328 Marine Ecology & Conservation (must take with lab)* 4 credits
BIO 301 Ecology & Natural History of the American Southwest 4 credits
School for Field Studies (see below) Variable
Hawk Mountain courses (at least 2 courses, totaling at least 3 credits) 3-4 credits
*can count towards only one required category.

Transfer students must take the following courses at Cedar Crest:
BIO307 Biodiversity and Conservation Biology 4 credits
BIO312 GIS and Spatial Modeling 4 credits
BIO315 Case Studies in Biodiversity and Conservation Biology 3 credits
BIO350 Junior Colloquium 2 credits
BIO355 Science, Ethics, and Society 2 credits
School for Field Studies
Cedar Crest College is an affiliate member of the School for Field Studies (SFS).Through this affiliation, Cedar Crest students are able to conduct hands-on, community-focused environmental field work in SFS programs around the world, including sites in Australia, Turks &Caicos Islands (British West Indies),Costa Rica, Baja (Mexico), and Kenya.
These are month-long and semester-long programs and are in addition to the field opportunities provided directly by Cedar Crest College.

The benefits of the affiliation with SFS to Cedar Crest students include
• receiving credit for the program directly from Cedar Crest (i.e., not transfer credit)
• waiver of the $150 registration fee
• preferential consideration for SFS financial aid
• access to specially designated spaces held for Affiliates until March 15th and October 15th for the following
Fall and Spring semesters, respectively.

For more information about the programs at SFS, visit www.fieldstudies.