The Wildlife and Fisheries Biology program focuses on research and management of wildlife, fish, and people in the environment. The curriculum focuses on the biology/ecology and management/conservation of animal populations that range from species common enough to be hunted/fished to species that are endangered. Management strategies may include manipulation of populations directly or indirectly through alteration of habitat. Two program options are available: Fisheries Biology and Wildlife Biology.
Courses emphasize applied ecology and various techniques for bringing populations into balance and provide hands-on experience in labs and field trips. All Wildlife and Fisheries Biology majors complete the same core of courses during the first year. As sophomores, students elect either the Wildlife Biology or the Fisheries Biology option. The curriculum includes summer field courses in ornithology and habitat and population measurements as well as extensive laboratory and field work during the regular academic year. The four-year curriculum provides an excellent background for many wildlife and fisheries-related positions. Because competition for jobs in this profession is high nationwide, students are encouraged to continue their studies at the graduate level.
Employment possibilities range from traditional game and fish management careers to administrative, interpretative, and research positions in private conservation organizations, state conservation agencies, or federal agencies such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Biological Survey, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, Department of Defense, or the Peace Corps. Privately-owned environmental consulting firms and planning agencies also employ wildlife and fisheries biologists to carry out environmental impact assessments. Connect with our Experiential Learning Office for more information on internships and careers.