Ecology & Evolution
College or University: University of California, Santa Cruz
Type of degree: M.A.
Brief overview of program: The ecology and evolution major provides students with interdisciplinary skills necessary for understanding and solving complex problems in behavior, ecology, evolution, and physiology. While some of these disciplines focus on molecular or chemical mechanisms, they all address questions on larger spatial and temporal scales that can be applied to important environmental problems, including genetic and ecological aspects for conservation biology and biodiversity.
Website: Click here for program website
For the students that enter the workforce, what are the most common occupations that they pursue with this degree or certificate? Students with bachelor’s degrees in ecology and evolutionary biology find employment opportunities in a variety of fields. In conjunction with a graduate degree in teaching, students often use their biology background to teach science at the K–12 level, and there are increasing opportunities for a career in science writing.
Positions for both research biologists and technicians with local, state, and federal governmental agencies are also commonly pursued. Examples of employment opportunities for biologists with California’s state agencies include: the Environmental Protection Agency; Departments of Conservation, Fish and Game; and the California Coastal Commission (these and other applicable state agencies are listed at resources.ca.gov.) Examples of federal agencies include: National Marine Fisheries Service; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; United States Geological Service’s Biological Resources Division; Environmental Protection Agency, National Marine Sanctuaries, National Park Service, and others. Museums and zoos (conservation research centers) are increasingly hiring biologists to study and conserve biodiversity. The number of local, regional, national, and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), especially those oriented toward conservation of biodiversity, continues to grow rapidly. These organizations hire students as interns and permanent technical staff.
Elsewhere in the private sector, students find employment with environmental consulting and biotechnology firms. Academic research institutions also hire students for technical research positions. All of the above provide students opportunities to explore career trajectories as they consider continuing their education in graduate programs. A degree in ecology and evolutionary biology also serves as an excellent stepping-stone to further training in professional schools, including veterinary science, medicine, and dentistry. The strong reputation of the ecology and evolutionary biology program at UC Santa Cruz underpins the strong record of successful placement of its graduates in employment and graduate programs.
Program Point of Contact: Susan Thuringer
Institution address: University of California, Santa Cruz 1156 High Street
Santa Cruz,CA 95064