The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences uses the latest in the ecological and management disciplines to provide the most diverse and progressive education available in the conservation of the earth’s biodiversity. Students in this department are interested in making contributions to solving problems associated with the extinction of species, wildlife recreational uses, food production from aquaculture, environmental education, wildlife management, and urban wildlife and fisheries recreational activities.
The conservation and management of wildlife and fisheries resources require resolution of increasingly complex issues that extend far beyond the bounds of classical biology. Contemporary wildlife and fisheries professionals must be well-versed in the life and physical sciences, mathematics, and the language, philosophy and culture. Today’s professionals must have a problem-solving orientation that accommodates animals and their habitats within a larger ecological and socio-economic system. In addition, modern students must be familiar with molecular genetics and the principles of conservation biology. Curricula in wildlife and fisheries sciences are designed to provide both the traditional and contemporary dimensions of academic instruction necessary to transform motivated and intellectually capable students into competent professionals.
WFSC offers a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences with a concentration in one of three options:
Wildlife Ecology & Conservation
This concentration included three sub-concentrations: Wildlife and Fisheries Management, Wildlife Ecology, and Conservation Biology. It is designed for students interested in the research, management, and conservation of wildlife and the ecosystems that support it. This option provides considerable flexibility when designing a degree program and allows students to focus on both conservation and management terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Job opportunities are available with state and federal agencies; private land management individuals and companies; state, national and international organizations; environmental consulting firms; and various private enterprises.
This concentration is for students interested in understanding and managing both aquatic and terrestrial habitats. Courses taken in this emphasis can meet course certification requirements of both the American Fisheries Society and The Wildlife Society.
This concentration is for students interested in understanding and managing terrestrial habitats and animals, including game, non-game, and endangered species. The ability to be professionally certified is becoming increasingly important for employment. Courses taken in this emphasis can meet course requirements to be certified as an Associate Wildlife Biologist.
This concentration is for students interested in the conservation of the earth’s biodiversity. This concentration allows students to focus on various ecological environments and socio-economic aspects including urban and/or wetland conservation.
This concentration is designed for both students interested in the research and management of fish, other freshwater and marine organisms, and the ecosystems that sustain them, as well as controlled production of organisms in aquatic systems. For students interested in the controlled production of organisms in aquatic systems, courses in this concentration are structured to provide the scientific and technological basis of fish culture. Careers are available in state and federal resource agencies; fisheries management companies; nongovernmental conservation organizations; environmental consulting firms; and private consultation. In addition, careers may be available in supporting areas such as quality control, supply, marketing, distribution, finance, consultation as well as domestic and foreign resource development. This option meets American Fisheries Society requirements for certification as an Associate Fisheries Professional.
Vertebrate Zoology (Pre-Professional)
This concentration provides the rigorous training needed for careers in the fields of ichthyology, herpetology, mammalogy and ornithology, with disciplinary expertise in areas such as behavior, ecology, evolution, genetics, molecular biology, physiology and systematics. It is a flexible program that permits the inclusion of courses specifically required by graduate degree programs as well as schools of dentistry, law, medicine and veterinary medicine.
For students interested in biological diversity and the ecological processes and population interactions that sustain it, courses in this option are designed to provide a strong foundation in basic and applied organismal biology that prepares students for graduate studies as well as careers within governmental and non-governmental agencies and environmental firms dealing with biological conservation.
Students interested in mathematical and statistical approaches to conservation of endangered species, management of exploited populations, and their habitats will be equipped in basic ecological data analysis and modeling. The demand for professionals who can integrate quantitative methods and ecological concepts is rapidly increasing among government agencies, academia, and the private sector. Possible careers include entry-level assistant positions in fisheries management, wildlife management, environmental consulting, and research at conservation agencies. This is also suitable for students who plan to obtain a post-baccalaureate degree (M.S. or Ph.D.) in ecology and related fields later in order to pursue higher-level positions.