Newswise — The University of Texas at El Paso’s College of Science opened the spring 2020 semester with its newest undergraduate degree offering – a Bachelor of Science in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB). The new degree is the campus’ latest effort in an ongoing mission of providing competitive academic and research opportunities at one of the most reasonable prices for a U.S. top tier university.
The new EEB program, which is housed in the Department of Biological Sciences, will benefit students preparing for careers or advanced degrees in such fields as ecology, evolutionary biology, systematics, zoology, plant science, conservation biology, or wildlife management. The 24 semester hours of required coursework offer students opportunities in topics such as introduction to research, desert ecology and population genetics. Sixteen courses are part of the formal degree plan, while many other electives can be applied.
The program will be led by Elizabeth Walsh, Ph.D., professor of biological sciences and director of the EEB program. Walsh said 13 biology faculty members are involved in the program and new faculty hires are anticipated to support the new degree.
Walsh said the program was created to meet the demand for more trained professionals in ecology and evolutionary biology that can fill jobs as science teachers, educators, and in government positions at agencies such as the National Park Service, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In addition, one of the fastest-growing job sectors is related to environmental changes associated with human impacts on natural resources.
The degree is a gateway to advanced degrees such as master’s and doctoral programs in EEB, biology, conservation biology, and others, Walsh said.
UTEP offers a total of 72 bachelor’s, 72 master’s and 22 doctoral degrees.