Protect Ecosystems with Environmental Policy
If you care deeply about the natural world, you can make a positive contribution to habitat protection efforts by pursuing a career in environmental policy and research.
The multidisciplinary MS in Biodiversity, Conservation, and Policy program at the University at Albany explores the intersections of policy, politics, planning, and conservation biology. Through integrated coursework, you’ll deepen your understanding of the conservation decision-making process as both a scientist and policy analyst.
Many students in this program complete internships with state agencies to gain experience working on ecosystem and biodiversity preservation projects that inform their master’s thesis research.
Program of Study
Master's Research Requirement
Your research requirement can be met through independent study, contributions to faculty research, internship projects, or any combination of work in these categories.
Common research projects include field and lab studies of organisms of interest in conservation, data analysis for environmental conservation organizations, and assessment of New York State conservation policy and activities.
Sample internship placements:
- Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission
- New York State Coastal Management Program
- New York State Museum
- New York State Natural Heritage Program
- NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historical Preservation
- NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
- The Nature Conservancy
- UAlbany Office of Sustainability
- U.S. Geological Service
- Other land conservancies and regional conservation organizations
For more information contact Andrei Lapenas at 518-442-4191 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Required Biology Courses
- Biodiversity and Conservation Biology: Theoretical Issues
- Biodiversity and Conservation Biology: Policy Issues
- Responsible Conduct and Skill in Research
- Responsible Conduct and Skills in Scientific Communication
- Topics in Biodiversity, Conservation, and Planning
Policy and Planning Skills Courses
One of the following policy courses:
- Politics and Policy
- Field Seminar in Public Policy
- Environmental Politics and Policy
One of the following tool-based courses:
- Introduction to Remote Sensing of the Environment (Graduate)
- Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
Three Support Courses
One biology elective and two additional courses in areas of interest. Graduate-level statistics is recommended.
Master's Thesis in Biodiversity, Conservation, and Policy
Earning this degree prepares you to work in a variety of roles related to biological sciences, land use planning, invasive species management, wildlife and habitat preservation, environmental assessment, and natural resource protection policy development, analysis, and administration.
Sample job titles:
- Climate Change Researcher
- Conservation Specialist
- Environmental Policy Analyst
- Erosion Control Manager
- Habitat Management Coordinator
- Land Restoration Specialist
- Natural Resource Manager
- Soil and Water Conservationist
- Wildlife Protection Policy Enforcer
UAlbany biodiversity, conservation, and policy alumni go on to work in conservation science, land and water management, wildlife protection, and policy analysis for a wide range of employers such as:
- State conservation and resource management agencies
- Branches of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
- United Nations environmental programs
- Environmental policy research groups
- Nonprofit wildlife preservation organizations
Some master's graduates also go on to complete doctoral programs in related fields.