The Masters of Conservation Biology has been designed to provide you with a comprehensive educational experience in conservation science. Our program will provide you with unsurpassed field experiences in some of the most unique ecosystems in the world, in addition to training in data analysis, environmental policy and conservation decision making. Browse the courses below and have a glance at your academic year.
CONS7022 - This course is focused on the increased levels of dispersal of organisms that are associated with the movements of people and goods. You will think broadly about how weed management actions contribute to overall conservation and restoration goals both locally and regionally and go through a process of structured decision making in order to inform management decisions. As part of this course you will take a one week field trip to outback central Queensland where you will be monitoring the long-term effects of invasive weeds in achieving conservation goals related to a marsupial species classified as endangered in Australia.
CONS7023 - This course is focused on finding, identifying and assessing the abundance and location of animals. These are critical skills for wildlife conservation and management and for ecological survey work. In this course you will learn about identifying species, indirect and direct methods for species detection, survey design and limitations, the use of different types of radiotelemetry for determining movements, home range areas and habitat use of animals, techniques for estimating the abundance of different types of fauna, and how all of these methods are used in ecological impact assessment. The field trip will occur in Taunton National Park in central Queensland.
CONS6009 - This course considers important conservation questions about invasion biology, conservation physiology, the processes for identifying threatened species and ecosystems, spatial conservation planning building on your earlier GIS studies, and genetic considerations in biodiversity and wildlife management.
CONS7029 - The interdisciplinary study of conservation science underpins the sustainable development and transparency of several major industries. These include industries such as tourism, forestry, fisheries, agriculture and mining. Making use of the broad and well-established network of related industry contacts associated with the conservation scientists in the School of Biological Sciences at UQ, you will be given the opportunity to make direct contact, and engage with conservation practitioners in this course.
"The industry course was interesting and gave me direction for which career path I would like to take. The Government module was surprisingly inspiring. I never considered myself going into government after graduation but the guest lecturer who taught the class was fantastic and motivational. The Non-Government Organisation guest lecturer taught me what is possible and gave me hope for the future of conservation, as well as showing me jobs where I can “work” on an exotic island. This is where I would like to see my career heading in the future."
Natalie Faulds (Master of Conservation student - 2013/14)
Building key skills for successful conservation careers - by 2013/14 student Amy Quintin
CONS7021 - The capstone experience of the Master of Conservation Biology focuses on the real decisions that face managers and policy-makers. In this final course you will explore how conservation planners identify efficient systems of conservation sites that include a suite of biodiversity targets at a minimal cost.
"This course really opened my eyes to the realities of large scale conservation decision making. If you were to ask me (and most other environmentally conscious people) if we should be making an effort to save a tiny population of endangered grasshoppers, I would probably say yes. But when you stop to consider that nations, NGOs, and other conservation benefactors only have a finite number of resources to devote to endangered species, how important is that grasshopper population? These are the questions that Professor Hugh Possingham forced us to consider, and there are no easy solutions. Hugh was one of the best lecturers we had, and I feel that I gained an enormous amount of insight and valuable critical thinking skills from this course.”
Kayla Blincow (Master of Conservation Biology student – 2013/14)
CONS7029 - The major aim of this first course is to present some real-life conservation challenges that include cases of industry, tourism, conservation and local communities working together. As part of the experience you will be collecting data that will be used to learn how geographical information systems (GIS) techniques can be used to address conservation issues.
Inaugural ‘Conservation in Context’ students assessed the impact of sandmining on Stradbroke Island.
CONS7008 - One of the most important skills a conservation professional need is the ability to collect and interpret data. As part of this course you will develop highly important skills in statistical analysis using the R program. These skills will be reinforced and utilized throughout many of the remaining courses in the program.
PHIL7221 - To be an effective advocate for conservation issues in the wider community, it is important to understand the philosophical rationale underlying conservation efforts. Many decisions which will have an impact on the environment are based not solely on factual evidence but also to a large extent, on ethics, values, or preferences. Experts in the management of natural resources are often called upon to justify their recommendations to decision makers trying to balance economic interests, community concerns, obligations to future generations, and the natural environment.
GEOM7005 - provides students with a foundation in the science and technology of geographical information systems (GIS). GIS science focuses on ways to describe and explain geographical patterns and processes. GIS technology focuses on data modelling, databases and map visualisation. The course provides GIS application skills in fields such as ecology, environmental, marine and earth sciences and physical geography, and provides laboratory sessions for students to apply GIS for practical problem solving in these fields.
ENVM7505 - Globally, the international community is struggling to reach meaningful agreements to promote conservation and sustainable development. Conservation policy continues to evolve at national and international levels in ways that guide the actions of governments, civil society and the private sector.
Students will choose either ENVM7124 or ENVM7505 to study as part of the Master of Conservation Biology program.
CONS7024 - This course examines conservation issues and practices in marine environments, with a particular emphasis on coral reefs. This course provides is designed to give you a true appreciation of the conservation issues that affect marine habitats. You will get to investigate this further during a trip to the Heron Island Research Station as part of a 7-day field trip to the Great Barrier Reef.
“The CONS7024 Marine Conservation course completely opened my eyes up to a whole new world. Having experience only in terrestrial ecology and having a fear of deep open water and sharks made it daunting at first. However, at Heron Island I was able to challenge these fears and by doing so gain an appreciation for coral reefs and marine life. The complex beauty of these systems became apparent to me and seeing these creatures up close in their habitat was a really rewarding experience.”
Lisa Bond (Master of Conservation Biology student – 2013/14)
"A well-organized, fun, and very helpful class! And also this is the most exciting course that I've had: sharks, stingrays, pipefishes, sea turtles, butterflyfishes, etc. Everything is simply awesome! If you don't know which course to choose, don't hesitate, take it! This will give you a valuable experience that you'll never forget in your life!"
Tyler Xu (Master of Conservation Biology student – 2013/14)
CONS7025 - Your next field experience will be in the rainforests of South East Queensland. Rainforests are a globally important ecosystem because of the unique and extensive biodiversity held within them, their roles in emerging global carbon markets and their central role in the local and national economics of many of the world’s poorest countries. Rainforests are a major conservation issue as they are a highly endangered ecosystem throughout the tropics.
“This class definitely keeps you busy, but it’s worth it to perform fieldwork while wandering through giant bunya pines and nothofagus trees reminiscent of Gondwana. Rainforests are complex systems, and understanding them is just as complex, but who said it can’t also be fun? Embrace this subtropical adventure!”
José Fernando Pontón (Master of Conservation Biology student – 2013/14)