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Outdoor Conservation

of surveyed alumni within 9 months of graduation
Of students to faculty
Receive scholarships or grants

Explore numerous facets of the natural world

Embark on a career focused on the care and preservation of natural resources and ecosystems.

The core courses build on the fundamental principles of biology, evolution of living organisms, ecology, criminal justice and statistics.

With the help of dedicated faculty mentors, outdoor conservation majors study the impact of globalization on environmental and conservation strategies and gain technical expertise in geographic information systems (GIS) analysis, radio telemetry, remote sensing, environmental chemical analysis, and field sampling techniques.

To support your area(s) of interest as an outdoor conservation major, you’ll focus on one of three tracks:

  1. Natural Resources (science intensive, Bachelor of Science)
  2. Law Enforcement (science and criminal justice focus, Bachelor of Arts)
  3. General Studies (liberal arts focus, Bachelor of Arts)


Fundamentals of the world around us.

Under the three different program tracks, students develop the intellectual expertise and technical skills needed to succeed in careers in park management, natural resource conservation, and numerous other outdoor careers in governmental and private organizations.

Experience takes you outside the classroom. Our degree in outdoor conservation helps you develop valuable skills through hands-on, in-the-field research and internships with Mount Mercy partners like Indian Creek Nature Center and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Other past opportunities include research on sand dune prairie succession, restoration of hill prairie, and radio-tracking of ornate box turtles.

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Without the help and guidance from all of Mount Mercy staff, I would not be where I am today. I can't thank them enough. Every day I feel good about what I do because I know the impact I am making on the ecosystem that surrounds us.

Scott County Waste Commission

What are the next steps?

Mount Mercy offers competitive tuition and generous scholarships.

We also encourage all students to apply for federal, state, and other kinds of financial assistance.

Learn more about:

We make it easy by accepting applications year-round! No deadline, no fee, no pressure.

  1. Create your application
  2. Apply under standard admissions criteria or go "test optional"
  3. Request official transcripts from all institutions previously attended. Mail to:

* Mount Mercy University Admissions
  1330 Elmhurst Drive NE
  Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52402

* If you are applying for an accelerated program, please mail to "Accelerated Programs"

For more detailed instructions on how to apply, see our Admissions page.

Careers in outdoor conservation

Entering the field with hands-on experience.

Mount Mercy graduates who majored in outdoor conservation are prepared for a variety of careers with international, federal, state and county organizations, as well as nonprofits and private companies.

Popular choices for outdoor conservation majors include parks, natural resources, education, eco-tourism and conservation-based organizations.

Our alumni have found jobs as naturalists, outdoor educators, park rangers, conservation officers and ecologists working for employers like:

  • U.S. Soil Conservation Service
  • Scott County Waste Management, Iowa
  • Muscatine County Conservation, Iowa
  • Cedar County Conservation, Iowa
  • Iowa Department of Natural Resources