Ecology and Conservation

Be Earth’s champion

A concentration in Ecology and Conservation will equip you to be an active, real-world champion of the environment—an expert who applies problem-solving techniques to the ecological issues confronting a variety of natural and managed ecosystems. You’ll explore ecology, climate-change impacts, ecosystem restoration, endangered species, GIS, soil, and the management of fisheries, forests, wildlife, lakes, watersheds, streams, and wetlands. 

Develop skills in GIS, modeling, and critical thinking, ready to apply sound ecological principles to analyze and address environmental problems. Learn how to integrate ecological science with sound public policy to protect and enhance the planet’s biological resources. The rigorous, hands-on nature of our program will prepare you for a rewarding career with environmental agencies, nonprofit organizations, consulting firms, or industry positions from local to international levels.

How to apply




Add in-depth knowledge and detail

The ecology and conservation concertation focuses on problem-solving techniques applied to current ecological issues. We want to ensure all MSES students are highly prepared and motivated to enter today's job market, so along with the core competencies, students pursing a concentration in Ecology and Conversation will take two courses (6 credit hours) in the Field and Identification core and four courses (12 credit hours) in the Ecology and Conservation core:

  • Fisheries & Wildlife Management (E 460)*
  • Fisheries & Wildlife Management Laboratory (E 461)*
  • Forest Ecology and Management (E 528)
  • Wetlands Ecology and Management (E 540)
  • Stream Ecology (E 546)
  • Plants and Plant Communities (E 555)
  • Limnology (E 556)
  • Vascular Plants (BIOL-B 300)*
  • Biology of Birds (BIOL-L 376)*

*For undergraduate level courses or courses outside of O’Neill you will need to work with an advisor.

  • Environmental Toxicology (E 520)
  • Restoration Ecology (E 534)
  • Lake and Watershed Management (E 545)
  • BMP Design for Healthy Urban Watersheds (E 555)
  • Urban Ecology (E 555)
  • Conservation Biology (E 557)
  • Climate-Change Impacts on Natural Resources (E 591 / R 591)
  • Community Ecology (BIOL-L 579)*
  • Methods in Analytical Geochemistry (GEOL-G 544)*

*For courses outside of O’Neill you will need to work with an advisor.

Combining your MSES degree with the MPA can offer you unique advantages in pursuing a particular career, integrating science and policy for better leadership. Our faculty will work to accommodate your specialized professional interests and help you design a program that is best or you.


The above are examples of your course options. For a complete listing, see the official Indiana University Graduate Bulletin and work with your advisor as you make your schedule.

Gain real-world experience while still in school

You can join the O’Neill Environmental Management & Sustainable Development Association, one of many professional student organizations that offer networking and current information on events in the industry.

Get involved

Learn from faculty with expertise and experience in ecology and conservation


Janet Duey Professor of Rural Land Policy; Director, Wetlands Laboratory

(812) 856-1837

Senior Lecturer, Director of the Indiana Clean Lakes Program, Certified Lake Professional

(812) 855-6905

Professor; Director, Environmental Master's Programs

(812) 855-3836

Paul Cummings, MSES’05

“My focus in Applied Ecology shapes my thinking about the impacts of my wind and solar farms on the environment, both actual impacts and the more nebulous regulatory impacts. Other courses, such as Environmental Engineering, prepared me for the hard science aspects like electrical and civil engineering.”

Cummings is a project manager for EDP Renewables North America in Indianapolis.

50 years at O'Neill