Everyday topics, such as environmental toxicology, invasive species, land use, and wildlife restoration are some of the many facets of this discipline. Gaining an understanding of the environment through the study of ecology is essential, as is an understanding of those plants and animals that live in our natural world. The unifying concept of evolution, which explains biodiversity and adaptations, and animal behavior, are also key to understanding the complexity of life and how we can manage it. At St. Mary's, all of these courses are offered to give the student an integrated background in conservation biology.
More than ever before, our ever-changing world raises challenges about how we maintain, preserve, and best utilize the natural world. Conservation biology is the study of how wise decisions about the environment are based on scientific principles, and how these principles can be used to maintain our unity and harmony with nature.