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The Conservation Biology & Ecology concentration (ConBio/Eco) in the School of Life Sciences is a degree program for students who are interested in studying and protecting the environment, including plants, animals, and other organisms that share our community of life, as well as the soil, water, and air that sustains living things. ASU is committed to a more sustainable world, and the BS program in Biology with a concentration in ConBio/Eco helps us to meet this global challenge. Faculty and students in the ConBio/Eco program are engaged in cutting-edge research across a wide range of disciplines including desert ecology, urban ecology, environmental ethics, animal behavior and evolution, invertebrate and vertebrate biology, marine biology and conservation, human dimensions of nature conservation, biogeochemistry, ecological economics, and ecosystem services, among others. Any Barrett student who is considering majoring or minoring in Conservation Biology & Ecology should contact the lead FHA.
An honors thesis in Conservation Biology & Ecology can take a range of forms. Most projects include some sort of data collection from either field-based or lab-based observations or experiments. Other projects include data collection and synthesis from social surveys or interviews, or from published literature or datasets. The honors program in Conservation Biology & Ecology follows the general Barrett requirements for who can serve on a committee.
The first thing you'll want to do is meet with the academic advisors for the Conservation Biology & Ecology concentration in the School of Life Sciences. Their job is to help you meet the concentration requirements and help you find opportunities to develop your skills and talents for success.
Most students benefit from conducting independent research with a professor or researcher in the School of Life Sciences. In many cases, the students' independent research can serve as the foundation for the honors thesis. In exceptional cases, students are able to first author or co-author a conference presentation or research paper. Also, if you participate in research, your research professor will able to write a detailed letter of recommendation for you. The School of Life Sciences offers many undergraduate research opportunities. Also, students are encouraged to enroll in the School of Life Sciences Undergraduate Research Program (SOLUR).
Freshman and sophomore years:
Contact and meet with professors whose research or courses interest you. Develop a CV from your resume, and include your CV in your introductory email.
Join a professor's research group as a volunteer or paid research assistant. Explore your financial aid package for federal work study opportunities. If you have work study as a part of your financial aid, tell the prospective research professor this information in case they have funding for a work study student.
Work with your professor to define a possible thesis topic, and develop a formal research proposal (with your professors' input and help). Begin your data collection. Typically, honors students enroll in 3 credits of BIO/HPS/MIC/MBB 492 (Honors Thesis Research) and in 3 credits of BIO/HPS/MIC/MBB 493 (Honors Thesis) in their junior or senior year.
Analyze data and present your findings in your written thesis document. Defend your thesis orally to your committee.