Study Resource Conservation at the University of Montana

Connect science and practice to solve complex environmental problems and advance sustainability. The resource conservation concentration in the environmental science degree offers the flexibility to design your own emphasis or to focus more generally on natural resource management and conservation.

Each resource conservation student’s experience is uniquely tailored to their interests and needs. First, you’ll work with a professional advisor and a faculty mentor to design a program of study that’s right for you. This enables you to draw from many different courses in natural and social sciences, policy and management, and applied skills.

Because of its flexibility, the concentration in resource conservation is particularly well suited to students who want to tailor a curriculum to their specific interests and explore diverse experiential learning opportunities.


of Franke College graduates are employed or in graduate school


concentrations to help build your expertise


acres of land managed for faculty and student research and learning

Other degree concentrations for environmental science and sustainability at UM

Climate Science and Environmental Change

Ecosystem Science and Restoration

Environmental Policy and Planning

Sustainable Livelihoods and Communities

Water Resources

What can you do with an environmental science degree?

Prepare for diverse careers in natural resource conservation, environmental science and sustainability. Our resource conservation graduates go on to work as public land managers, environmental consultants, naturalists, sustainability coordinators and much more. Many pursue graduate study and law school.

The degree in environmental science also offers coursework to qualify for federal civil service jobs, opening exciting career opportunities with the Forest Service, Environmental Protection Agency, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management and other government agencies.

Environmental science jobs

The flexibility of the resource conservation concentration enables you to pursue a range of sustainability and conservation jobs, depending on your interests and focus. Examples include:

  • Public land manager
  • Environmental consultant
  • Community organizer
  • Environmental planner
  • Watershed coordinator
  • Sustainability coordinator

Environmental science salary

Find salaries for some of today’s top conservation and sustainability jobs you might pursue with an environmental science major:

  • Environmental consultant: $56,903
  • Community service manager: $67,150
  • Watershed manager: $68,220
  • Environmental scientist and specialist: $71,360
  • Urban and regional planner: $74,350

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Beyond the classroom: Experiential learning in the environmental science degree

Explore the shores of Flathead Lake, the forests of the Swan Valley and the slopes of the Mission Mountains. Meet with experts from tribes, rural communities and federal agencies who are innovators in natural resource conservation and sustainability. Gain first-hand experience in complex social and ecological systems, through immersive field courses, study abroad, internships and more. As an environmental science and sustainability major at UM, you’ll learn to understand the world through science in the amazing outdoor classroom of Western Montana.

Field experiences in the resource conservation program

If you’re looking to chart your own course and explore a wide range of experiential learning opportunities, the concentration in resource conservation is for you. Working closely with faculty mentors and professional advisors, our students pursue diverse academic minors, internships and field courses in the United States and abroad. Recent examples include:

  • Completing minors in wildland fire and working for the Forest Service during the summer.
  • Completing minors in Spanish and international development studies and participating in field courses in Zambia.
  • Participating in internships with The Nature Conservancy and completing the field-based, semester-long Landscape and Livelihood program in the Swan Valley.

Environmental science and sustainability internships

Gain real-world experience while building your professional network and connecting with potential resource conservation jobs. Our students work with faculty mentors to find internships and jobs in environmental science and sustainability. Find more resources to help with internships and job opportunities.

Study abroad opportunities for environmental science and sustainability majors

Study resource conservation and sustainability overseas. As an environmental science major, you’ll qualify for Franke Sustainability Fellowships, which fund international research and education focused on sustainability. Learn more about study abroad opportunities at the University of Montana.


Career development in the environmental science and sustainability bachelor’s degree program

When you earn your degree in environmental science and sustainability at UM, you can count on finding a job when you graduate: 97% of Franke College of Forestry and Conservation alumni are employed or in graduate school, with 85% in their working directly in their field of study.

Working with your faculty mentors, you’ll have numerous opportunities to build your professional network and connect with potential careers in your field through internships, summer jobs, undergraduate research experiences, student organizations and more.

Student organizations for environmental science majors

Connect with others who share your passion for science, sustainability and the natural world. Here are a few of the organizations you might be interested in learning more about with a focus in resource conservation:

  • UM Society for Ecological Restoration
  • American Fisheries Association
  • Climate Response Club
  • Fire Club
  • Student Recreation Association
  • Backcountry Hunters and Anglers
  • UM Whitewater Club
  • UM Ski Club

Environmental science and sustainability scholarships

Majors in environmental science and sustainability qualify for Franke College of Forestry and Conservation scholarships, which complement other scholarships and financial aid opportunities awarded at UM.

Explore classes for the resource conservation concentration of the environmental science and sustainability degree

The resource conservation concentration allows you to design your own emphasis or to focus more generally on natural resource management and conservation. You’ll complete the environmental science and sustainability core to gain an understanding of ecosystems and social systems, as well as practical skills including GIS and collaboration, and then work with your faculty advisor to select additional coursework based on your interests and professional goals.

View all classes for the resource conservation concentration of the environmental science and sustainability degree.