The second-level Degree Course in Ecology and Ethology for the Preservation of Nature is the juxtaposition of the progress Ecology has achieved in recent years, of the study of animal behavior and of the preservation of nature. These three disciplines have now become full-fledged sciences, not limiting themselves to describe the phenomena they observed, but are rather able to offer evaluations, propose experimental methods and predictive mathematical models in order to give answers to theoretical and application-related problems, such as those connected with climate, social and economic changes. This second-level Degree Course provides its graduates with the critical cultural and methodological cornerstones to analyze ecological issues (be they connected to individuals, populations, communities or ecosystems) and the relationship between man and nature, considering natural populations, animals and plants, as well as urban ecosystems.
This second-level Degree Course is focused on all the students being passionate about animals, nature and plants and wish to understand the causes behind natural mechanisms better, including some animal behaviors. All the knowledge this second-level degree course provides are based on scientific rigour and on the statistical verification of clearly defined hypotheses and objectives, being supported by the production of experimental numbers and data . Students can learn the techniques and the methodologies they need through innovative teaching tools, such as field and laboratory exercises, as well as preparing research projects and divulgative exercises.
Furthermore, this second-level Degree Course provides a solid multidisciplinary knowledge in the field of applied ecology and ethology, particularly concerning the management and the safeguard of biodiversity, while upkeeping the several important ecosystem-based services, up to sustainable use of natural resources. By the same token, this second-level Degree Course provides its students with the tools they need to assess and foresee the effects of climate changes on the biological components of ecosystems.
Furthermore, graduates of the second-level Degree Course in Ecology and Ethology for the Preservation of Nature are offered the possibility to turn their passion for nature into a profession featuring a significant technical and scientific content, itself capable of letting its graduates to compete within the international milieu, as it is for example the case with Ph.D.s within the field of ecology and nature.
The path for this second-level Degree Course offers, during its first year, basic subjects, themselves, common to both curricula, be it focused on ecology and on ethology, completed by practical exercises such as the following: statistical analysis, geobotany, geology, paleo-climatology, ecology and ethology. During the second year of this Degree Course, further focus is given to those subjects being more characteristic and specialised within their curricula. The traineeship and the dissertation are a feature of the second year of this second-level Degree Course and they play a crucial role within the overall path. The students of this second-level Degree Course are guided towards building their own research project. The work students carry out to prepare seminars spurs them to study, to reflect and to continuosly think about their research project. This is another innovative feature for this Course.