Morgan Rubanow

"The program’s ability to include both marine and terrestrial terrains proved to be highly valuable because it expanded my potential job market."

Networking with classmates and acquiring skills in The University of Queensland’s Master of Conservation Biology program helped Morgan Rubanow land her dream job in conservation awareness.

Originally from Hicksville, New York, Morgan was recently appointed the Healthy Forest Initiative coordinator at the Western Slope Conservation Center in Paonia, Colorado, U.S. 

The Western Slope Conservation Center is a non-profit environmental organisation that promotes conservation awareness among the community to promote healthy land, air, water and wildlife. 

“I'm currently responsible for a program called the ‘Youth Forest Advisory Council’, which is a collaborative effort between the Western Slope Conservation Center, U.S. Forest Service, and Delta County schools,” she says. 

“The goal of this program is to provide high schoolers with professional skills to obtain jobs with organisations like the U.S. Forest Service.

“It will also teach them how to vocalise their opinion on conservation matters and provide confidence in pursuing a career involving conservation. I will also be responsible for expanding our volunteer base, assisting with citizen science projects, and organising events.”

Morgan says her employer was “very impressed” with the content and fieldwork covered during the UQ Masters program. 

“The program’s ability to include both marine and terrestrial terrains also proved to be highly valuable because it expanded my potential job market,” she says.

“I enjoy working with the local community and sharing my conservation knowledge to make a positive difference in the world.

“I also have the opportunity to go out into the field from time to time and have the ability to network with other professionals who are interested in similar causes.

“I am happy to be working for an environmental non-profit because this was my ultimate goal after graduating from my Masters.”

Before working with the Western Slope Conservation Center, Morgan gained experience as an intern at the Trevor Zoo in Millbrook New York, as a research assistant at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and as a fundraiser for the Wilderness Society Inc. in Brisbane.

“I accepted my current job about a month before graduating,” Morgan says. “My UQ qualifications were valued by my employer.”

“Having studied abroad at The University of Queensland during my third year of undergraduate studies, I valued UQ’s highly recognised lecturers as well as the field work provided by various courses.

“I was hoping to further my education at UQ due to its hands-on learning emphasis in the biology department. 

“I particularly enjoyed the fieldwork component of the Master of Conservation Biology program and small, yet diverse class size. I also enjoyed being taught by some of the top conservationists in the world and gained valuable insight from their experiences.”

During her UQ studies, Morgan gained numerous awards, including a Dean’s Commendation for Academic Excellence; a Fellowship Funds Inc. one year Fellowship; UQ Science International Scholarship; and a UQ Masters in Conservation Biology Scholarship.

She says the program gave her a comprehensive array of skills and knowledge that could be expanded on during her career.

What advice would Morgan give people wishing to study the Master of Conservation Biology at UQ?

“I would say that they shouldn't be afraid to show their passion and to find others who share similar interests,” she says. 

“The intensiveness of this course is not for everyone, but if you know that you want to become involved in conservation then charge full steam ahead. 

“You will be learning from some of the top lecturers in the field at one of the top universities for conservation science in the world.”

Morgan Rubanow


Master of Conservation Biology