At the beginning of the 21st century, as global environmental change proceeds at an unprecedented pace, the practice of conservation is adapting to a complex set of new challenges. The conservation community has increasingly recognized that responding effectively to these challenges will require that the next generation of practitioners and scholars not only develop expertise in specific fields but also have the conceptual tools to work across disciplines. The University of Georgia’s Integrative Conservation (ICON) Ph.D. program is designed to meet that need by ensuring you gain disciplinary depth and learn to collaborate across disciplines and fields of practice to seek integrative solutions to complex conservation challenges.

The ICON program includes four disciplinary focuses; each one ensures that you receive rigorous theoretical and methodological training in a traditional discipline, while also working integratively at the intersections of multiple disciplines.

Through mechanisms such as internships and collaborative research you will work with conservation practitioners as partners and colleagues. These experiences, along with training modules led by communications experts, will ensure that you learn to communicate effectively and strategically with those from other backgrounds and disciplines as well as with lay audiences.

Integrative Conservation Ph.D. Program requirements

  1. Required ICON coursework:
    • Integrative Conservation I – Theoretical foundations of an integrative approach (ICON 8001)
    • Integrative Conservation II – Application of integrative principles and perspectives through case studies (ICON 8002)
    • Field Planning and Preparation (ICON 8110)
    • Perspectives on Conservation Ecology and Sustainable Development (ECOL/ICON 8400)
    • Minimum of two (2) additional graduate-level courses decided by the student and her/his committee. Click here to view suggested electives.
    • Internship with a conservation organization, government agency, or other group or agency identified as appropriate (ICON 8111/8111E)
  2. Degree requirements for home department
  3. Participation in integrative activities:
  4. Dissertation incorporating integrative perspective and strategic communication

Learn more

Learn how to apply
Learn about current ICON students
Learn about faculty members affiliated with the ICON Program
Watch the ICON promo video

For more information

Please contact Dr. Sonia Hernandez, ICON Program Graduate Coordinator (iconphd@uga.edu).