Welcome to the undergraduate programs in the Department of Environmental Conservation (ECo) within the College of Natural Sciences (CNS) at the University of Massachusetts.
Four-Year Degree Programs (leading to a B.S. degree)
The programs are explained briefly below with links given to pages that describe the details of the course requirements and career opportunities for each major. Each program also offers a minor.Many students who are interested in conservation and natural resources are at first confused about the variety of majors and concentrations that are available at UMass Amherst. There are three undergraduate majors within the department: Building and Construction Technology, Environmental Science, and Natural Resources Conservation. Both the Environmental Science and Natural Resources Conservation programs offer students specialized concentrations within the major.
The Building and Construction Technology major provides students with a technical and scientific understanding that promotes the development of sustainable human habitat. Students explore the mechanical, physical and ecological properties of building materials and wood products used in building construction as these materials are processed, distributed, and put into service. Students also develop critical management and marketing skills preparing them for leadership roles in the building materials industry. The major provides thoughtful preparation for careers in the Building Materials, Construction, and Wood-Products Industry. Upper-level students develop a professional focus with electives in areas like engineering, economics, project management, and business administration.
Learn more about Building and Construction Technology
The environmental science major provides an understanding of the biological and physical sciences and their application to environmental problems. Our majors follow a rigorous interdisciplinary approach that prepares them to respond to urgent environmental challenges. Students learn the basic theories and techniques needed to monitor environmental quality, to interpret the impact of human actions on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and to develop strategies for ecosystem restoration. Our majors also learn how to apply scientific data to develop policies and regulations for protecting the environment.
Learn more about Environmental Science
The Natural Resources Conservation major provides students rigorous academic training in the natural, conservation, and social sciences with hands-on field skills and field experiences from summer jobs, internships, and cooperative education positions with conservation organizations and the green industry. Students learn about the ecology of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and how these systems can be managed to conserve biodiversity and protect ecosystem functions while providing sustainable benefits to society.
Students in the Natural Resources Conservation major focus in one of the following six concentrations:
- Environmental Conservation
- Fisheries Ecology & Conservation
- Forest Ecology & Conservation
- Urban Forestry & Arboriculture
- Water Resources
- Wildlife Ecology & Conservation
Learn more about Natural Resources Conservation
Two-year Degree Program (leading to an A.S. degree in the Stockbridge School)
This is one of the six majors in the Stockbridge School. The specialized courses and faculty advisors for this major are part of NRC. Students learn the principles and practices of tree planting, tree removal, control of insects and diseases, and other aspects of the arborist’s profession–and they get first-hand experience with all of these practices. Arborists are employed by cities and towns, commercial tree care services, utility companies, public parks, and golf courses. This program has been approved by arborist associations at the state and national levels.
Learn more about Arboriculture and Community Forest Management
Conservation Law Enforcement Course
A special program in Conservation Law Enforcement Officer Training is given each year in NRC. This is a year-long course of the UMass Division of Continuing Education, provides six undergraduate credits, meets mainly on weekends. This course can be taken by students in any major, and qualifies graduates for seasonal law enforcement positions in national, state, and local parks.
Learn more or sign up at Umass Continuing and Professional Education
Last updated September 11, 2012 by Alexander Schreyer