Landscape ecology is an innovative and rewarding field that offers a variety of opportunities for those who pursue it.

Landscape ecology studies the composition, structure, and function of landscapes. It examines landscape patterns, the interaction of elements within those patterns, and how they both change over time. The field is an important part of conservation and natural resource management. Studies within landscape ecology help scientists understand how landscapes grow, ways in which they can thrive, the protection they need, and approaches that can be used to manage and maintain their biodiversity.

The principles of landscape ecology can be applied to a number of paths that professionals can follow throughout their career. Some of the paths include conservation, natural resource management, habitat restoration, land management, forestry, state and federal biology, environmental impact assessment, independent research, and urban planning.

The field is relatively new. One of the main theories of landscape ecology originated in a book published in 1967 by Robert MacArthur and Edward O. Wilson titled The Theory of Island Biogeography, which explored the biodiversity of islands and the impact that human encroachment had on them. Wilson’s study of the ants in a sub region of Oceania was used as a basis for MacArthur’s idea that area and distance of an island have a direct impact on the abundancy of a species.

Landscape ecology later developed and became more well known in Europe before reaching the United States in the 1980s.

As the specialty of landscape ecology continues to grow, there will be an increased demand for professionals who have education and experience in the subject. The outlook for the profession is bright and is quickly becoming a popular choice among students.

Unity College offers an online graduate course in landscape ecology which guides and prepares students prepares for a career in the field. Attention will be focused on perspectives and practices of landscapes and how they pertain to the governance and stewardship of people and culture. Students will learn how landscape structure is identified, about abiotic and biotic drivers of landscape patterns, and how the structure of populations and communities react and acknowledge to changes in landscape. The course can be taken alone or during the pursuit of a master’s degree.

To learn more about landscape ecology and the course offered at Unity College, visit or call 1-833-UnityGo.