Animal Conservation, Biodiversity and Human Interactions: Bachelor of Animal Ecology

With USC’s Animal Ecology program, you get to study animals and discover how they relate to each other and their environment.

Do you want to learn about how animals are impacted by the environment and human interaction and what we can do to protect their future? In this program, you get to develop your analytical and research skills to better understand how to conserve and manage animals. USC’s Bachelor of Animal Ecology program will build your knowledge of animal conservation, biodiversity and animal behaviour.

What will you learn during this degree?

In this program, hands-on experience starts in your first year with fieldwork to North Stradbroke Island and your local region. During the program, you’ll work with leading researchers on field trips and in the laboratory, thus delivering work-ready graduates who are able to blend concepts gleaned from the global literature with personal experience of a diversity of regional habitats and fauna.

In your final year you can also further develop your research skills in a specialised area by undertaking a guided research project in Animal Ecology, working as an intern animal ecologist as part of your studies, or taking advantage of opportunities to travel abroad.

As an animal ecologist, your career paths include natural resource and environmental protection agencies, private environmental consultancies and research institutes. Many animal ecologists also pursue opportunities outside the science and health sectors in business, finance, education and sales.

What are some of the career opportunities after finishing your studies at USC?

Career opportunities will be available across a range of areas both in Australia and internationally, including:

  • animal ecology specialists in private environmental consulting researchers
  • research assistants and managers in Government and non-governmental agencies
  • rangers and managers in wildlife management and conservation organisations
  • practitioners in environmental monitoring and management
  • collectors and curators in museums
  • environmental educators
  • specialist ecotourism guides; and
  • researchers and lecturers at universities

Find out more about the Bachelor of Animal Ecology program by reading the testimonials from our international students:

Bekira Rabinowitz from Canisius College in the US studying a Diploma in General Studies at USC Sunshine Coast

6Hello! My name is Bekira Rabinowitz and I’m a senior at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York studying Animal Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation. Even before I started my college journey, I knew I wanted to study abroad in Australia. This semester I was finally able to live that dream at the University of the Sunshine Coast!

One of the main reasons I was drawn to Australia was their wonderful, endemic wildlife! I have always had a passion for animals and would love to work with them after I finish my degree. I have worked and travelled from different zoos and animal sanctuaries all across the United States and familiarized myself with animals from all over the world. Now, I was given the chance to see some of these animals in their natural habitat and I was not disappointed!

I live in Chicago and we were in the middle of winter before I left for my journey down under. I had a bit of trouble adjusting from snow to summer, but the adjustment period was faster than I expected! On my first day arriving in Australia, I heard the call of the kooky kookaburra welcoming me into my new home for the next five months. I was overwhelmed with the beautiful palm trees and bottlebrushes, as well as the water dragons everywhere! I instantly felt relaxed as the ocean breeze rushed past.

I felt even more comfortable when I arrived at my accommodation and was invited to the pool on my first day. Everyone was so welcoming and friendly and I met some of my best friends on that first day! I quickly became familiar with the campus and surrounding areas. Almost every single time I was on campus, I was greeted by the fuzzy faces of eastern grey kangaroos and their joeys, the colourful parade of the rainbow lorikeets, and so many other beautiful birds! It was overwhelming how many magnificent creatures I could see in my own backyard.

I was ecstatic at the prospect of seeing even more Australian animals, so I set my sights on the Australia Zoo! It was so easy to get around the Sunshine Coast with the help of my go card and the helpful locals. The zoo went above and beyond my expectations with their extensive animal collection as well as staff that was abundantly passionate about what they do. I got to see dingoes, saltwater crocodiles, and Tasmanian devils, but the real connection came when I was able to meet some Australian animals! I got to meet koalas, echidnas, cockatoos, red and grey kangaroos, wallabies, and even some pythons! It was by far one of the best experiences I’ve had.

Even though the semester was not what I had expected, in terms of the world pandemic, I was still able to enjoy my semester and learn so much! I was able to appreciate all that the Sunshine Coast had to offer and I know someday I’ll be back. This whole experience assured me that I am on the right path in life and for that I am extremely grateful. If you are wondering about taking the leap and journeying across the world, do it! It will be an unforgettable time!

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Niklaus Hess from Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HSLU) in Switzerland studying at USC Sunshine Coast

PortraitHi there, I’m Nik from Switzerland. I study Business Engineering | Innovation at Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HSLU). Here at the USC, I did the Diploma in Business within one semester as part of my bachelor’s degree in Switzerland.

 

The USC is a partner university of the HSLU in Switzerland. Due to the popularity of the USC, students must come as a “freemover”, despite the partnership. Although, in my case, I could profit from a 15% partnership discount. I regret no dollar I paid because it was worth it in any case. Fortunately, the international office of my university in Switzerland gave me great support regarding the application process which made it quite easy for me to apply. Nevertheless, you should plan more than enough time to organize your exchange semester. The earlier you begin, the easier will the process be.

 

The campus of the USC in Sippy Downs is stunning: Trees, plants and colourful birds everywhere, several coffee shops and kangaroos jumping around the place. Also, the buildings and classrooms were very stimulating. For me, studying at USC campus was like studying with a lifestyle. The biggest difference from USC to the HSLU is the examination system. At HSLU, you have no exams during the semester, but big final exams at the end. So, you can relax during semester if you want, however, in most cases you then will have a quite stressful exam preparation period. Here at the USC, you normally have two or three tasks throughout the semester and sometimes a final exam at the end. Thus, if you invest in learning already in the beginning of the semester, you will probably have no stress at the final exam.

 

USC has an own student association which organize many events and trips, especially during the first few weeks. For international students, it is the best opportunity to connect with the other internationals. For example, I attended a day-trip to the rainforest, a market, and a famous beach. So, you could visit the Sunshine Coast and connect with other students at the same time which was fabulous. If you plan to come to USC for an exchange semester, you absolutely must arrive before the orientation week, because in this week there are a lot of social events and parties, so this is also one of the best ways to meet and do cool things with other students.

 

Due to the virus, this time was very special for me, but in a positive sense. Because of the restrictions, I had a lot of time for being with myself and thinking about life and the future. I spent every early morning at the beach for enjoying the sunrise, sipping coffee, walking along the Pacific Ocean, reading inspiring books, thinking about new ideas and so on. This gave me some very valuable personal insights which literally have been changing my life right now. Doesn’t matter if there is a virus or not – spending time in Australia is priceless, as long as you make the best out of it!

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Chelsea Keister from Shippensburg University in the US studying abroad at USC Sunshine Coast

AU zoo roosMy name is Chelsea Keister and I am studying Biology at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania (USA). I made the decision to take a semester away from home to go down under at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC), and it was the best decision of my life. My university at home offered me a variety of options to choose from when I decided I wanted to study abroad, and right away I knew that Australia was where I wanted to spend my semester. From there, I enrolled directly to USC and my home university helped me with that process whenever I needed it.

I found that my courses here at USC were a lot more relaxed than the courses I had at home. For my science courses at home, I can expect to have four exams throughout the semester along with lab work and other smaller assignments and quizzes. Here, however, most of my courses consisted of one project and a final exam which gave me so much more time to explore.

Before I came to Australia, I made a list of all the places I wanted to see in Australia as well as the other countries I wanted to visit while I was here. Unfortunately, I was unable to do everything I wanted to do because of the corona virus, but that just forced me to dive deeper into the Sunshine Coast and discover all of the amazing things the area had to offer. My favourite things about the Sunshine Coast include:

  1. kangaroosNoosa National Park: This was my absolute favourite place on the Sunshine Coast, and one of my favourite places I have ever been to. The views here are phenomenal and there is so much wildlife to see every single time you go here—I even saw a wild koala! I was lucky enough to skydive over Noosa, and it’s even prettier from the sky which I didn’t think was possible.
  2. The Australia Zoo: I heard so many amazing things about the Australia Zoo before coming here, but my expectations were blown out of the water. Every day I spent at the zoo was a good day, whether I did an animal encounter with a rhino, cheetah or giraffe, watched a croc show at the Crocoseum, or just hung out with the kangaroos at Roo Heaven it was always the best time.
  3. Glass House Mountains: I climbed Mount Ngungun and while it was a pretty tiring hike, the view from the top made it all worth it.
  4. Tim Tams: I don’t think anyone who hasn’t tried one will truly understand how good they are. I am obsessed.
  5. The wildlife: The Sunshine Coast has so many amazing different species of wildlife. I spent so much time taking pictures of all the different animals and I will cherish them forever.

While my time here in Australia is finishing up, I am planning last minute trips to the Whitsundays and Sydney, but the Sunshine Coast will forever hold a special place in my heart.  My experience studying at USC is unforgettable and I am so blessed that I was able to experience this beautiful country.

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Takumi Matsukura from Japan (GCS Group Australia) studying a Bachelor of Animal Ecology at USC Sunshine Coast

7e42e2abab224a1daa83c220d1c3b4fd.jpgHi, my name is Takumi from Japan. My agency is GCS Group Australia, and I am full time student studying a Bachelor of Animal Ecology at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC).  I chose this University because, of its affordable price (compared to other countries) and it allows me to study animal ecology in beautiful Australia. It has been awesome spending time here in Australia so far and because Osaka, where I am from, is a huge city in Japan in comparison. The experiences I have had here have been the opposite to what I grew up with. I just finished my first semester at this university, and it was sometimes challenging for me to get through everything. Imagine that you study new things with your non-native language, which can obviously be difficult, but however be very fun at the same time if you are studying something that you like.

Anyway, there are good news people!

2There are many resources available for all students who are studying at USC to help support them during their studies. You can get help when you are struggling with your course work. There are many resources available such as, how to write report or essay. I have couple friends who is studying abroad and they all say that they don’t get any support from their university! USC provides a good environment for students who need academic support with things, such as grammar or how to write your assignments.

Living here requires a lot of energy. If you are city boy or girl, you are going to have a surprising life here. Most of the time, my friends and I usually go to somewhere that we can all relate to nature such as the beach, trekking, fishing or by experiencing the D9926BA3F2024E96BBED335023FB0280Australian culture by visiting music festivals, markets and stuff like that. Almost all these activities we do are outside which is a big difference from Japan. Because, in Japan we have literally everything inside of buildings. Everywhere is so beautiful in Australia! You must be creative, go outside, find your mates, explore everywhere and find wherever you love to belong!

For people who are thinking of coming to USC;

There is a beautiful and diverse environment at USC. There were challenges, but I was able to get though the first semester because of the support from my friends and the University. Do not think too much, just come to Australia if you want experience what we are experiencing right now!

If you have any questions or want to chat, you can contact me on Instagram via: Takumi Uto @murkyz_takumi

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Ali Hannah from Rider University in the US studying abroad at USC Sunshine Coast

ACS_0143Hello Hello! My name is Ali Hannah and I am from New Jersey, and no, I do not sound like our infamous reality TV-star, Snooki! I attend Rider University back home and there I am studying Marketing. I have been at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) since early July and I will be staying here until late November of 2019!

While at USC, I have been fortunate to explore a lot of the east coast. The location of USC is perfect because it is pretty much in the middle of the east coast, you can head down to Sydney for a weekend or go up to Cairns very easily with just a short flight.

On the Sunshine Coast, my favourite places to explore are the Glasshouse Mountains and Noosa. The Glasshouse mountains are STUNNING! They are a set of mountains that tell a story – or well so the Glasshouse Aboriginal Legend says… but that is a story for another day. Noosa is unarguably the prettiest beach on the Sunshine Coast. It is made up of coastline and trails that lead to the ever-so-popular fairy pools (definitely a must-see)! If you have the chance to explore the north shore of Noosa, put riding horses on the beach on the to-do list! Noosa Horses is a great company to do it with.

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South of the Sunshine Coast, I have been to Brisbane, Byron Bay and Sydney. Brisbane is an amazing city, it isn’t too populated, but populated enough to feel urban. Brisbane is much cleaner than cities I’m used to (Philadelphia and NYC). The crime rate is lower than what I am used to too so I felt comfortable exploring. A cool thing about Brisbane is that you can rent e-scooters all around the city and they are a ton of fun! Byron bay is another great town. It is very laid back and relaxed. I also got to see Byron Bay from exciting heights while skydiving! (I would 2000% recommend!!) Sydney is another fantastic city. Sydney’s Opera House is on everyone’s bucket list as a must see! It was very beautiful. Aside from that, the city itself has great views, restaurants, and places to explore. Bondi Beach is only a short drive away and this beach was my favorite part of my trip to Sydney! Not only are the lifeguards REAL from the popular show “Bondi Rescue”, the beach itself is even prettier in person. There is a walk along the coast that will take you to more secluded beaches as you go.

Over my semester break, I travelled up to Cairns which is located in Northern Queensland and is very tropical! While in Cairns, I went to the lagoon (pool) which Cairns is known for. It is the only place to publicly swim because there are crocodiles in the water… yeah… scary! Crocodiles in the ocean is definitely something I was not used to as a resident of New Jersey! I also went to explore the Daintree Rainforest which was very pretty and historical as it is the oldest rain forest in the world – but again, you have to watch out for the crocs! Another item to cross off the bucket list was snorkelling at the Great Barrier Reef! The reef was so beautiful and that was one of my favourite days of my whole experience in Australia. The sky rail in Cairns is also a must-do while you are there. It takes you to new heights and a new perspective to explore the rainforest. It will take you by some unbelievable scenery.

I hope anyone who wants to come here can get the opportunity to. You will not regret it!!

– Ali Hannah @ali_hannah2

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Tina Haagensen from Norway studying Animal Ecology at USC Sunshine Coast and studying overseas for one semester at the University of Wyoming in the USA

Visiting the meerkats at Australia ZooAnimal Ecology at USC Sunshine Coast

In 2016 I decided to leave Norway and come to USC and Australia to study a Bachelor of Animal Ecology. I have always been interested in animals and nature and thought this degree would be a good fit. Now, 3 years later and about to graduate, I do not regret my decision. My teachers have been amazing, I have learned and experienced so much through my courses. The degree focuses on animals, their environment and conservation, and equips you with valuable skills and qualities. Whale watching, bird counting, running spiders and geckos, swimming with turtles and rays are only some of the things I have done through studying Animal Ecology. Field trips have taken me to places like Fraser Island and Heron Island, and I have been introduced to a lot of cool research. Because of this, I decided to stay at USC another year to do my Honours degree. I am exited to see where it takes me!

Holding a swamp rat at a field trip on North Stradbroke IslandUSC is a growing university and you meet people from all over the world. I now have friends from Germany, USA, Puerto Rico, Australia and many other places. Australia is also a huge country with lots of places to see. Sydney and New Zealand have been two of my favourites. Make sure to explore the country when you can but enjoy the beautiful Sunshine Coast too. Eat breakfast out with your friends, enjoy the wildlife and kangaroos on campus, go to the beach, eat loooots of ice cream, hike all the mountains and enjoy all the experiences you get when studying at USC!

Semester Overseas at the University of Wyoming, USA

Volunteering at Best Friends Animal Society with other UW students during Spring BreakIn Semester 1, 2018 I travelled across the pond to the United States of America. Doing a whole degree at USC gives you the opportunity to go overseas for a semester. The University of Wyoming is in Laramie, a small college town up in the mountains 7 220 ft (2200 m) above sea level. It is the exact opposite of the Sunshine Coast. We had winter and snow with negative degrees all semester until May started, but I loved it. The snow is so peaceful, and it was nice to put on lots of clothes and snuggle up with some blankets and a good movie in the evenings.

Zion National Park - Spring BreakEveryone is very welcoming and helpful, and it doesn’t take long before you feel like you’re a part of the UW family. You get the American college experience living in dorms, going to sport games and feeling that school pride. I also have to add that the gym had three floors, a bunch of group classes and was free for all students! It was love at first sight!

During my time in USA and UW I also visited New York, Boston and Philadelphia, went skiing in Breckenridge, Colorado, volunteered at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah during Spring Break, explored Wyoming and South Dakota with other internationals, and last but not least I got to experience the beautiful Yellowstone National Park!

If you are considering doing a semester overseas or a whole degree at USC, do it! It is an amazing experience and you will learn so much about yourself and other cultures. Keep your eyes and mind open and go for it!

– Tina Haagensen

 

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