Lincoln Memorial University

Conservation Biology

To inquire about this program:
Dr. Whitney Kistler | 423.869.6227 | [email protected]
LMU offers one of the nation's only bachelor's degree programs in conservation biology. The major is a comprehensive four-year program with two tracks leading to a Bachelor of Science degree. In addition, the wildlife and fisheries track prepares the student for certification as an associate wildlife biologist or an associate fisheries professional. The flexible research track allows educational experiences to be customized in direct support of specific career goals. Throughout both tracks, expert faculty immerse students in a modern curriculum focused on ecosystem dynamics, biodiversity, and field-based learning experiences.

Degree Offered

Bachelor of Science, Conservation Biology (BS)

Special Features

Providing student research opportunities is at the heart of LMU’s Conservation Biology Program. In order to facilitate faculty and student research, the Department of Biology maintains the Cumberland Mountain Research Center and the Powell River Aquatic Research Station which house several conservation-related research projects. Many are centered across the Appalachian region while some are international in scope having occured in places such as Belize, Costa Rica, Kenya, Peru, and Thailand. Additional field experiences are provided through class participation and collaborative associations with various government and private organizations.

Through these centers students learn the critical thinking skills required to develop scientifically sound research designs and collect meaningful data. They go on to develop the skills to analyze, interpret, and ultimately disseminate this information. In some cases, students have even published manuscripts in the primary literature.

Four Year Plans

Use the following links to download representative four-year plans for each Conservation Biology track.

Conservation Biology, Research Track

Conservation, Wildlife and Fisheries Track

Course Information

The curriculum is focused on modern concepts of landscape-scale ecosystem management and research. As a result, several classes explore ecosystems, but also integrate social, economic, and institutional components. Ultimately, students gain applicable skills at scales ranging from molecular to global in classes such as Molecular Genetics, Botany, Soils, Ecology, Geographic Information Systems, Land Use & Environmental Policy, Research Design & Analysis, and Conservation Biology. Students are continuously engaged through opportunities to conduct original faculty-mentored research projects, targeted seminars, and one-one-one advising. As a result, our students graduate exceptionally well prepared to achieve their career goals.

Conservation Biology Minor

A minor in conservation biology is offered. The minor is designed to enhance the education of a student majoring in another discipline.

Course Title Credits
BIOL 370 Ecology 4
CBIO 200 Conservation Biology 3
CBIO 400 Conservation Biology: Application and Analysis 3
Select two Biodiversity Courses from the following:
BIOL 330 Field Botany 4
BIOL 340 Invertebrate Zoology 4
CBIO 330 Ichthyology 4
CBIO 340 Herpetology 4
CBIO 350 Ornithology 4
CBIO 360 Mammology 4

Internship Opportunities

Internships provide students with priceless real-word experiences allowing them to field-test and ultimately put into practice the concepts and skills they have learned in the classroom. Employers often preferentially hire graduates who have participated in internship programs because they know that these students have actually practiced their craft in the real world. Our students have had great success in obtaining internships at a number of places including the Cave Research Foundation, Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, Discover Life in America, Pine Mountain State Park, Tennessee Aquarium, Tennessee River Gorge Trust, Tennessee Valley Authority, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, and a variety of other state federal, and international institutions.

Career Opportunities

Possible career opportunities available to LMU graduates with this major include:

Agricultural Extension Agent  Habitat-Restoration Specialist 
Conservation Scientist Law Enforcement
Consultant - Biological/Environmental Naturalist
Ecologist Park Ranger
Environmental Biologist/Technician Range Manager
Fisheries Biologist/Technician Wildlife Officer
Game Farm Manager Wildlife Biologist/Technician


There are too many opportunities to list here. Speak with an academic advisor for additional opportunities.

Graduate and Professional Schools

Graduates have gone on to enroll in graduate and professional programs in the following schools:

Austin Peay State University  Tennessee Technological University
Central Michigan University Texas A&M University
Clemson University University of Arkansas
College of New England University of Kentucky
East Tennessee State University University of North Carolina
Eastern Kentucky University University of Tennessee
Frostburg State University University of Wisconsin
Middle Tennessee State University Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


Alumni Success

Graduates have gone on to have very successful careers and become well respected leaders in their field. They have worked at various state and federal institutions, become environmental consultants, worked at zoos, and with many other organizations. Others have pursued additional certifications and gone on to teach high school, become veterinarians, and even practice law. The opportunities available to graduates are as varied as the interests of the student. Graduates have gained employment at the following places.

Georgia Department of Environment Tennessee Natural Resources Conservation Service
Kentucky Department of Game and Fish Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
Kentucky State Parks United States Department of Agriculture
National Park Service United States Corp of Engineers

Departmental Clubs/Organizations

Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society


Students enrolled in this program are eligible to be considered for the following scholarships:

Charles and Mary Covey Endowed Scholarship
Dr. John Copeland and George Mears Wildlife and Fisheries Society Scholarship 
Dr. Owen S. Genevieve M. Hendren Science Scholarship
Fred A. Jones Memorial Scholarship


423.869.3611 | 800.325.0900
6965 Cumberland Gap Parkway
Harrogate, TN 37752