Drake University To Offer Degree In Zoo And Conservation Science

Des Moines, Iowa — Starting this fall, students at Drake University will be able to study under a new zoo and conservation science degree.

There’s been a similar curriculum concentration for Drake students to tack onto their majors since 2015 and the university recently approved expanding it to a full degree. Drake professor Michael Renner says the program will prepare students to take on entry-level jobs in zoos, especially when zoo directors claim most applicants for these roles are unqualified.

The program is partnering with Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines. Renner says students will spend time at the zoo through many of the degree’s classes. Renner says with the full degree, students will not only learn about animals, but also take a management course so they can grow their careers beyond entry level.

Renner says well-trained zoo workers make zoos better places for animals to receive conservation and care. Students can sign up for the major starting this fall.