This fall, Pacific Union College (PUC) is launching an exciting new Conservation Technology degree, the first undergraduate program of its kind to date.
Simply put, Conservation Technology is the application of technology to environmental management challenges, which is critical to a sustainable future for our planet. The new program will not only prepare students for lucrative careers in the emerging and rapidly growing field but also prepare them to solve some of the world’s biggest problems and to be dedicated stewards to God’s creation.
PUC’s program will give students hands-on experience learning about the different conservation technologies, as well as the opportunity to apply these technologies with experts in the field through living laboratories in PUC’s own 1100-acre forest. This can include wildlife camera traps, satellite remote sensing, geographic information system, eDNA, artificial intelligence, mobile applications, and much more.
“This program allows our students the opportunity to serve our local community and beyond,” said Aimee Wyrick, associate professor and chair of PUC’s Department of Biology. “Through this program, our students will develop strategies that have a positive impact on both our local and global communities. These students will help take the lead in helping people adjust to increasingly extreme weather conditions and their effects.”
Helping to lead the new program is Dr. Scott Butterfield, Clark Professor of Conservation Technology. Dr. Butterfield, an ecologist who works for The Nature Conservancy’s California Chapter, has more than 20 years of experience across the field of conservation and more than 40 peer-reviewed publications and reports.
“One of the most exciting parts of this new program is the fact that training in these technologies is broadly applicable across the job market, making PUC graduates in this discipline highly competitive for jobs immediately out of their four-year degree program,” said Dr. Butterfield.
Conservation Technology students can look forward to securing careers in environmental, conservation, and sustainability fields, working for non-profit, for-profit, academic, and government organizations and companies.
By Ashley Eisele