Bachelor of Science in Environmental & Conservation Sciences

A pair of researchers kneeling in a meadow analyzing the tall grass. They're wearing light coats.

Why Study Environmental & Conservation Sciences?

Leave a lasting mark on the environment with the BSc in Environmental & Conservation Sciences program. Our four-year degree in the Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences offers opportunities to study and develop real-world solutions for environmental issues, such as land conservation, water conservation, biodiversity and adaptation to climate change. Learn the foundations of the history of environmental thought and indigenous perspectives on the environment, then dive into detail on the importance of plants, animals, soils and water in specialized courses.


Hands-on Learning

Take your studies on location, where you will apply your knowledge and skills in class trips and a project-based capstone course, led by experienced field instructors. You will also participate in a field school to study a variety of subjects firsthand and help solve current and future landscape management issues. You will prepare yourself for a career in environmental and conservation sciences by applying the academic knowledge you’ve gained in class in practical and experiential environments, and by networking with other students in your field.


Conservation Biology

Two researchers in a lab measuring plant growth. One has a ruler and is measuring the plant, the other has a clipboard.

Focus on subjects including endangered species conservation, ecological restoration and the management of natural ecosystems. 


Program Requirements
Environmental Economics & Policy

Over-the-shoulder image of a researcher making notes in a binder. Researcher is wearing a safety vest and appears to be in a grassy field.

Learn the economic, social, political and legal issues associated with environmental issues to prepare for a career of developing and assessing environmental economics and policy.  

Program Requirements
Human Dimensions of Environmental Management

A group of researchers in a forest. They are wearing reflective safety vests and hard hats. It is a bright sunny summer of fall day.

Study how to use collective action, institutions, policy and management approaches to influence environmental and natural resource issues. 

Program Requirements
Land Reclamation

A few groups of researchers in a forest. They're wearing reflective safety clothing and hard hats.

Learn how to assess and minimize the impacts of development and resource activities, and to restore impacted ecosystems. 

Program Requirements
Northern Systems

An artistic image of a field of snow. The image is crisply focused at the bottom and the trees and builidings in the distance are intentionally out of focus.

Dedicate your career to protecting Canada's northern systems by studying content in northern environmental, economic and social contexts. 

Program Requirements
Wildlife & Rangeland Resources Management

A close-up image of a person holding a plant. The roots are exposed. Another person is pointing to the leaves of the plant. The people are wearing reflective safety vests.

Prepare for a career managing wildlife and rangeland resources by focussing on subjects like the soil-plant-animal relationship on both private and public lands. 

Program Requirements


"I made new friends, learned new skills, and got to apply my classroom education out in the Boreal Forest. In my experience, you will find your favourite experiences in the places you least expect.”


- Kevin attended Spring Field School in Lac La Biche while studying a Bachelor of Science in Environmental and Conservation Sciences majoring in Human Dimensions of Environmental Management


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Featured Courses

Build your knowledge base to protect Canada's northern systems while earning credit towards your degree by spending a semester at Yukon University. By learning and training in Whitehorse, students gain socially and ecologically relevant experience.
This course introduces students to environmental sciences by exploring the relationship between humans and their environment; especially the issues and science on the biosphere, atmosphere and its species. Emphasis is on understanding our natural environment, our human impacts and approaches to sustaining, managing and restoring our natural resources using real-world issues such as climate change and biodiversity conservation.




An introduction to the intersections of environmental and conservation sciences and Indigenous peoples, knowledges, practices and beliefs. Study Indigenous knowledge in the management of forests, rangelands, fisheries, wildlife and water resources, and the reclamation of valued landscapes.
Learn the theoretical foundation for conservation science – such as elements of population, community and landscape ecology – and apply them to real-world challenges. Students will gain the scientific tools to evaluate and develop conservation strategies for maintaining diversity in human-altered systems.



Feature Careers

Biologists conduct research to learn about living organisms and natural or cultivated ecosystems and to manage natural resources. They develop new practices and products in such diverse fields as environmental conservation, medicine, pharmacology, forestry, agriculture, forensics, nanotechnology, biosynthesis, plant breeding and pest control. Average Salary: $91,023.00

Soil Scientists study the composition, distribution, development and behaviour of soils. They look at the interaction of soils with organisms, animals, plants and the atmosphere. They manage soil resources for agricultural production, and endeavor to protect water resources and the environment. Average Salary: $104,806

Source: Government of Alberta, Occupations in Alberta


Careers in Environmental & Conservation Sciences

  • Land Reclamation Specialist
  • Environmental Consultant
  • Wildlife/Conservation Biologist
  • Soil Scientist
  • Sustainability Coordinator/Specialist
  • Park Warden
  • Land Use Planner
  • Environmental Impact Assessor
  • Environmental Education Programmer
  • Sustainability Specialist
  • Biologist

Check out the U of A’s Environmental Science Career Guide for more options. Graduates with a BSc in Environmental and Conservation Sciences may also be able to work towards qualification as a registered professional forester through the Master of Forestry program.


Study Here

The Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences (ALES) at the University of Alberta provides solutions to global challenges in the areas of agriculture, nutrition, the environment and human ecology. Spread across four departments, ALES faculty members and staff apply their broad scientific expertise in world-class facilities to improve lives at local and international levels. Students have access to one of the largest faculty scholarship programs at the institution, and can get involved with the thriving student community for a memorable and life-changing university experience.