A master’s in conservation technology from Florida Tech prepares students to start a career immersed in biological or ecological conservation practices, or to continue with further graduate study in a PhD program.
This interdisciplinary field examines genetics, geographic information systems and ecological modeling so students develop the expertise they need to create solutions for today’s most challenging conservation issues—such as climate change analysis, water quality and diseases among oceanic plants and animals. Conservation scientists and ecologists also manage, improve, and protect the country’s natural resources.
Graduates possess quantitative and computer skills that are in demand from a wide variety of industries including environmental consulting and insurance companies, non-governmental organizations and local, state and federal agencies.
Students working towards a master’s in conservation technology get a strong foundation in biology with additional grounding in conservation science and ecological principles. What makes Florida Tech’s program different is its emphasis on technology. Graduates develop expertise in many areas of conservation and ecology, but also train for leadership positions in management or conservation planning, rather than focusing only on fieldwork.
The master’s in conservation technology program facilitates students being eligible for the professional status of an Associate Wildlife Biologist (awarded by the Wildlife Society) and an Associate Professional Ecologist (awarded by the Ecological Society of America).
At Florida Tech, students experience an intimate, focused environment where professors mentor students throughout their program, class sizes are small, and there is an opportunity to work with faculty on leading research projects. The diverse campus environment provides students the chance to gain an international perspective on conservation technology and learn how it is handled in countries around the world.
Florida Tech has internationally renowned faculty who are involved in industry research and are often sought-after consultants who are widely published and respected. Students learn from these world-class scientists in an environment that encourages individual thinking and exploration to empower them as future leaders. Graduate students develop a strong working relationship for study, research and assistantship opportunities, giving Florida Tech an edge over other conservation technology master’s degree programs.
The university has over 50 years of excellence in science and engineering education. The conservation technology master’s degree program prepares students for a career using the latest body of knowledge in the industry, while providing excellent research facilities for conducting state-of-the-art research.
Florida Tech’s conservation technology master’s degree program is not just something you study—it’s something students go out into the field and do. Central Florida’s proximity to the Indian River Lagoon, Atlantic Ocean, and Florida wetlands provide a wealth of natural laboratories that other universities simply can’t offer. Florida Tech’s central Florida location allows students to take part in year-round one-of-a-kind field studies. In fact, 51% of Brevard County’s land is protected, making it one of the “greenest” in the United States.
Master’s in conservation technology students have access to the F. W. Olin Life Sciences Building, a 70,000-square-foot teaching and research laboratory that includes an aquaculture facility; state-of-the-art instrumentation, including NMR spectrometers and an electron microscope; rooms for photochemistry, glassblowing, and computational chemistry; glass aquaria, a marine laboratory, a climate change institute, and the offices and research labs of several of the marine biology faculty.
The 29,000-square-foot Harris Center for Science and Engineering serves the research needs of the aquaculture and fish biology programs. Small-scale culture of algae, shellfish and fish species is conducted here. It includes eight teaching labs, 12 modern research labs, a computer facility, an electron microscope suite, and a 2,500-square-foot indoor aquaculture facility with recirculating systems ranging from small glass aquaria to 720-gallon tanks harboring a wide variety of aquatic species.
The Vero Beach Marine Laboratory is a four-acre off-campus facility on the Atlantic Ocean where large-scale aquaculture is conducted.
Florida Tech’s central Florida location allows students to take part in year-round one-of-a-kind field studies. Five miles from campus is the most diverse estuary in the country, the Indian River Lagoon, providing students with advanced conservation technology research opportunities. Additionally, other natural laboratories that provide students with locations for research include forests (with over 700 tagged trees), lakes, and the wetlands across Florida.
Past conservation technology research topics have included coral disease and bleaching, marine mammals, bird population genetics, and the impact of tropical forest use by indigenous people.
Students can also earn credit for participation in summer expeditions to Puerto Rico, the Galapagos, the Peruvian Andes, the Amazon, Tanzania or Zanzibar. This complete immersion, from reading about science to experiencing it, gives students doing conservation technology research a completely new and life-changing perspective on the impact conservation technologists can have around the world.
Florida Tech has educated NASA scientists, CEOs of Fortune 500 companies and highly decorated military generals. Graduates with a master's in conservation technology from Florida Tech are well prepared for leadership positions in leading conservation management and planning firms, research organizations, environmental consulting and insurance agencies, non-governmental organizations and local, state and federal agencies.
Graduates with a master's in conservation technology work in commercial enterprises and government agencies, often doing scientific research and analysis related to conservation, biology or ecology. Careers are also available at research-based non-governmental organizations, zoos and aquariums, state and federal agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency, Army Corps of Engineers and St. Johns Water Management District.
The Occupational Outlook Handbook, published by the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Standards (BLS), provides information about specific jobs including median annual pay, working conditions and job outlook, among other things.
According to the Labor Bureau, job growth for conservation scientists is projected to grow three percent through 2022, while employment of wildlife biologists projected to grow is projected to grow five percent. During the same time period environmental scientists and specialists can expect 15 percent job growth.
According to the Labor Bureau, careers related to conservation and ecology include: