Skip to main content

Explore the biology – ecology and environmental biology emphasis bachelor's degree program at UW-Eau Claire

The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire's biology – ecology and environmental biology emphasis bachelor's degree is an excellent major for those curious about nature, passionate about doing science in the great outdoors and eager to make the world a better place.

Through lab work, field experience and real-world projects, you'll explore new places, pursue novel ideas and solve global environmental problems. Access to an on-campus greenhouse, as well as Eau Claire's abundance of lakes, streams, forests and wildlife areas, offers new perspectives and ways of learning.

Research and exploring the unknown is highly encouraged in this program. Opportunities to collaborate with faculty and partnerships with major organizations give you the power and freedom to discover the next big thing.

You'll also make a difference. Your knowledge of environmental science can be applied to important societal concerns in the management of wildlife and fisheries, protection and restoration of habitats, environmental law and policy and environmental education. Whether you're preparing for a career in education, research, consulting or natural resource management, you'll gain the knowledge, skills and experience needed to succeed.

Boundary Waters research led by biology students is first of its kind

Significant research has been done on the presence of microplastics in oceans and rivers, but little has been done in freshwater lakes like those in the Boundary Waters…until now. The student-led study is likely the first of its kind confirming the presence of microplastics in the Boundary Waters — and is quickly gaining national attention.

“The more attention we can give to what our impact has on someplace like the Boundary Waters, the more we can help people understand that we need to step back and think about what we’re doing,” said ecology and environmental biology student Thomas Adams.

In an effort to better protect this once-pristine area, students plan to give talks in area schools, present their research at regional and national meetings and conferences and write papers to submit to professional science journals.

Why biology - ecology and environmental biology emphasis at UW-Eau Claire?

State-of-the-art facilities. As a UW-Eau Claire ecology and environmental biology major, you'll be able to work in spaces that inspire you. Our on-campus greenhouse — exclusively reserved for biology majors — provides a space for you to grow your own plants and conduct research. We're also just a quick walk away from Putnam Park State Natural Area. 

Exceptional collections. Explore hundreds of thousands of specimens right on campus. UW-Eau Claire is home to extensive collections of amphibians, reptiles, fish, insects, invertebrates, mammals and birds as well as saltwater aquaria and a herbarium.

Research collaboration and real-world experience. Limitless research opportunities await you at UW-Eau Claire. The biology department's faculty-student research program has given students the opportunity to work on projects across the state, the country and internationally. Many biology students have then used their research to conduct independent studies, co-author publications and present results at professional scientific meetings.

Supportive faculty and individualized learning. Courses are taught by passionate, enthusiastic professors who know and love their fields. Through creative projects and local field trips, they go out of their way to immerse you in the diverse world of ecology and environmental biology. Small class sizes help you form relationships and gain an even more personalized education.

Fascinating curriculum and learning opportunities. Explore unique and interesting topics like animal behavior, Wisconsin wildlife, eDNA, wildflowers, GIS and more. You'll also have opportunities to study abroad, participate in national student exchanges and secure an internship. Field course experiences may take you to places like Belize, Costa Rica, the Rocky Mountains, the Great Lakes or the Bahamas. 


acres of natural area right on campus


square feet of on-campus greenhouse space

99% employed

or continuing education after graduation

2020-2021 Graduate Report

Annika Kueng tagging new baby sting rays during internship

Under the sea: internship reaffirms passion for wildlife

Internships open doors to new jobs, new contacts and new places. They also let you see what your future may look like before you even graduate. For Annika Kueng, an internship led her to Florida where she would spend the next two summers tagging and releasing sharks and stingrays for population studies — even witnessing a ray unexpectedly give birth during their studies!  

“It was an amazing experience that went along with my passion for wildlife and solidified my ambition to pursue a career in ecological fields," she said.

High-impact practices like this await you at UW-Eau Claire. Like Annika, you could explore your passions while gaining experience that is bound to impress potential employers.

Quick facts

Biology - ecology and environmental biology emphasis program details
  • Program length: four years
  • Offered: in person
  • Campus: Eau Claire
  • This major does not require a minor.
  • Students majoring in this program may choose either a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BS) degree.
Student organizations
  • Biology Club
  • Conservationists
  • Molecular Movement 
  • Pre-Professional Health Club
  • Reef Team
  • Tri Beta Society

What can I do with a biology - ecology and environmental biology emphasis degree from UWEC?

Many UW-Eau Claire alumni are out in the field on a daily basis exploring and discovering the unknown.

Where are biology - ecology and environmental biology emphasis alumni now?

Ecology and environmental biology careers

UW-Eau Claire has brought me valuable, hands-on experience and knowledge to set me up for success in my career field. I studied abroad in Scotland and traveled all around Europe. I worked with cockroaches, butterflies, sharks, stingrays and a variety of Wisconsin vegetation. I did all of this while meeting some of the most amazing people along the way.

Natalie Paparone Ecology and Environmental Biology
Biology students in canoe collecting moss samples.

Wisconsin deep-water moss study inspires career path

With what has become a signature spirit of discovery and exploration, a team of biology students are venturing deep into uncharted waters seeking answers about Wisconsin lake life. The research team intends to publish the first extensive study about Wisconsin deep-water mosses, including why it can thrive in water that only gets about 1% of light and how it is able to live at depths where little else can.

And the study has been beneficial in more ways than one. In addition to finding answers, new questions and interesting data, the project has also provided students with real-world experience and a peek as to what a career in biology might look like. 

"This experience gave me hands-on practice in the scientific process in a way that I could not have received in a formal course,"  ecology and environmental biology student Annika Kueng said. "I found out that I actually enjoy fieldwork and it solidified my ambition to pursue ecological fields as a career."

Biology - ecology and environmental biology emphasis bachelor’s degree program curriculum

The bachelor’s degree program in ecology and environmental biology provides engaging, field-oriented learning that will provide you with the quantitative and qualitative skills necessary for scientific inquiry, conservation and ecological application. Our goal is to foster your curiosity and set you up with the knowledge necessary to find a career you will love.

What classes do biology - ecology and environmental biology emphasis majors take?

Your classes may cover topics like: 

Learn more about the comprehensive biology - ecology and environmental biology emphasis major in the UWEC course catalog.

Related programs at UW-Eau Claire

Thinking about a bachelor’s degree in biology? Here are other programs you may be interested in exploring.

Department information

Photo of student working in a biology lab


Phillips Science Hall 330
101 Roosevelt Avenue
Eau Claire, WI 54701
Visit the Biology department website

Request info

Looking to learn more about being a Blugold? Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you're most interested in.

Tour campus

See our beautiful campus for yourself! Schedule a campus tour and get an inside look at life at UWEC.

Contact admissions

Connect directly with an Admissions counselor and get all your questions answered.

Apply now

Ready to be a Blugold? Complete your application here.