Catalog Archive

CATALOG • 2010-2011

Biodiversity & 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, social science, and public policy.  Students are required to take at least one anthropology course and either political science course or an economic geography 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.

Program Requirements for the Biodiversity & Conservation Biology Major

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.

Course Requirements for the Biodiversity & Conservation Biology Major

BIO 121 Principles of Biology I 4 credits1
BIO 122 Principles of Biology II 4 credits1
BIO 235 Ecology, Evolution and Genetics 4 credits2
BIO 236 Cell and Molecular Biology 4 credits2
BIO 248 Biostatistics 3 credits
BIO 300 Evolution 4 credits
BIO 307 Biodiversity and Conservation Biology 4 credits
BIO 312 GIS and Spatial Modeling 4 credits
BIO 315 Case Studies in Biodiversity and Conservation Biology 3 credits
BIO 350 Junior Colloquium 2 credits
BIO 355 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]  or ECO 222 Economic Geography 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 credits3

Ecology, Genetics, and Evolution
BIO 328 Marine Ecology & Conservation (can be taken without lab) 3 or 4 credits3
BIO 224 Animal Behavior 3 credits
BIO 313 Adv Mendelian & Population Genetics
Field Experience 
BIO 328 Marine Ecology & Conservation (must take with lab) 4 credits3
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 credits3

1 Students with Advanced Placement credit for BIO121 and/or 122 are required to take the BIO121 and 122 Labs.) 
2Students who have previously taken BIO 231 or 234 should consult their advisor or the department website to determine the courses needed to complete the major.
3can 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

Liberal Arts Curriculum Requirements fulfilled in the Major

Students fulfill the the Technology, Oral Presentation, and Information Literacy requirement through successful completion of the following required courses: BIO122, BIO235, BIO236, BIO350, and BIO355. Students also fulfill the Natural Sciences (BIO121 and BIO122), Mathematics and Logic (MAT141 and BIO248), Writing 2 (BIO307), and Global Studies (BIO307) requirements and partially fulfill the Social Sciences (ANT100) requirement upon successful completion of the major.

Last Updated: 7/8/10