Program Vision and Mission

The vision of the University of Minnesota Conservation Sciences Graduate Program is: a world in which biological diversity and the processes that generate and maintain it are preserved, managed and restored. This vision will be achieved by individuals with research-based knowledge who will promote conservation-based decision making.

The Conservation Sciences Graduate Program at the University of Minnesota provides world class graduate training and research opportunities. We prepare leaders to develop effective solutions to conservation and management challenges through understanding coupled biological and human systems.

Our students will gain foundational knowledge in conservation biology; specifically (1) organismal and population biology, (2) ecosystem and landscape ecology, (3) participatory decision-making, policy, and other social processes, (4) ecosystem services, and (5) analysis and interpretation of complex data.

Additionally, our students will gain the skills to make informed decisions using the best available information. Because this information is often from disparate sources and has high uncertainty, students will learn to evaluate multiple sides of issues, and understand how to link science to resource management and policy development.

Finally, our students will make cutting edge contributions to the field of Conservation Sciences as they conduct research on social, economic and biological questions. They will be exposed to exceptional faculty advisors, teachers and colleagues, and other current leaders in the field as they prepare to become the future leaders of the discipline.

The Conservation Sciences Program is committed to the following:

  1. Recruiting the most highly qualified and motivated graduate students;
  2. Providing a curriculum designed to give students a comprehensive foundation in biological and social aspects of conservation;
  3. Providing a forum for new ideas and information in conservation sciences through seminars and discussion groups;
  4. Providing a program with strong international emphasis;
  5. Providing a selection of research training opportunities directed by a faculty distinguished in contemporary conservation sciences research;
  6. Providing practical training in conservation sciences through internships with national and international agencies;
  7. Providing students the opportunity to specialize in such areas as fisheries, aquatic biology, and law.
  8. Facilitating cooperation among university and agency programs and groups relevant to conservationsciences (e.g. the Center for International Food and Agricultural Policy; Forestry for Sustainable Development; Center for Natural Resource Policy and Management; Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs; Minnesota Zoo; The Nature Conservancy; Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; USGS Biological Resources Division).