Program Overview

Program Overview

Program Overview

The Animal Behavior, Ecology and Conservation major offers broad training in the nature of animals, their behavioral ecology, and mankind’s relationship to them. It is designed for students who wish to engage in a rigorous course of study on the behavioral biology of animals, and one in which they critically examine issues pertaining to animal welfare and wildlife conservation. A central theme underlying this program is the use of scientific knowledge about animal behavior for the benefit of animal welfare and wildlife conservation.

There is a common theme that unites the fields of animal welfare, animal rights, and wildlife conservation. These topics share a focus on the ways in which human beings interact with the other species with which we share the planet. Increasingly, people in all walks of life are struggling to clarify the ethical principles that should guide our actions in this regard, and it is clear that science can contribute greatly to this effort. It is science that informs us about the commonalities that allow us to make inferences about other animals’ capacity for emotion, cognition, and the experience of pain and suffering. It is also science that informs us about the plight of animal populations in the wild, information that grounds our decision-making processes about the means by which threats can be diminished.

This background serves as solid preparation for:

  1. Graduate studies in animal behavior and conservation biology
  2. Zoo-based employment
  3. Companion animal evaluation and welfare
  4. Animal training
  5. Animal advocacy (wildlife conservation)
  6. University animal welfare compliance