Fisheries & Wildlife Sciences

Our 14,000-acre lakeside campus and devoted faculty provide unique, hands-on opportunities to survey fish and wildlife populations. From their first semester, our students engage in activities such as small mammal trapping, fish sampling and identification, bird capture and banding, wildlife habitat assessments and amphibian ecology studies. Students will develop their ecological acumen as well as cognitive, social and scientific skills to identify, objectively analyze and problem solve management issues in the wildlife and fisheries disciplines. Coursework is designed to meet the biologist certification requirements of the American Fisheries Society or The Wildlife Society. Additional skills and opportunities include:

  • Developing technical knowledge and skills such as species identification, calculating population size, live trapping and tagging.
  • Focusing on longstanding and emerging issues such as invasive species, habitat fragmentation and degradation, climate change and more.
  • Working directly with faculty on professionally relevant fisheries and wildlife research.
  • Minoring in Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
  • Collaborating with the Adirondack Watershed Institute on research, citizen outreach and hands-on stewardship to preserve water quality and combat invasive species.
  • Participating in the Smitty Creek Watershed long-term monitoring and research project.
  • Graduating ready to operate within real-world conditions.

With their friendly demeanor, diverse backgrounds and desire for student success, our faculty understand that this degree is a stepping stone to your career. As such, they are diligent in assisting students to receive an extracurricular education through summer field experiences and in-semester experiences, often through the student chapters of The American Fisheries Society and The Wildlife Society (TWS). Students actively participate alongside wildlife professionals in TWS conclaves and meetings, venturing to places throughout North America. The degree is offered within a standard eight-semester sequence, providing flexibility for summer employment, internships and study abroad. Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences is a challenging program requiring students to be proficient in science and math as a foundation for conducting research.

Key Facts
  • B.S. degree

Pairs well with the following minors:

Career Options
  • Fisheries technician, biologist or manager
  • Wildlife technician, biologist or manager
  • Conservation biologist
  • Ecologist
  • Public educator and outreach specialist
  • Wildlife law enforcement officer
  • Game warden
  • Wildlife consultant
  • Wildlife policy analyst
  • Graduate School
    •  Research Scientist
Program Objectives (Fisheries concentration)

At the end of the program students will be able to:

  • Science Foundations and Fisheries and Wildlife Conservation.
    • Apply science as a body of knowledge and as a method of inquiry.
    • Apply key concepts of biology and ecology to fisheries and wildlife organisms, populations, communities, and their habitats.
    • Apply basic math skills to problem solving in fisheries and wildlife populations and their habitat.
    • Apply key principles of physics and chemistry to fisheries and wildlife adaptations.
  • Major Issues Facing Fisheries and Wildlife Conservation.
    • Develop a comprehensive understanding of the relation between trends in human population growth and major issues (past, present, and future) affecting fish and wildlife populations, communities, and their habitat.
    • Explain how major issues affect the dynamics of fish populations, communities, and their habitats.
    • Articulate scientifically a rationale and justification for assessing and monitoring the effects of major issues on fish and wildlife populations, communities, and their habitat.
    • Apply gained knowledge of assessment and monitoring protocols to evaluate the effects of major issues on fish and wildlife populations, communities, and their habitats
  • Natural Resource Management Approaches in Fisheries and Wildlife Conservation.
    • Delineate the management environment in ecological, economic, political, and socio-cultural terms.
    • Define the cyclic management process as related to an organization’s mission statement, goals, objectives, strategies, assessment plan (problem definition), implementation plan (action plan), and evaluation/monitoring program.
    • Articulate the appropriateness of management approaches used to address the issues and problems affecting fisheries and wildlife, their habitats, and humans.
    • Define the skills needed to effectively work with a variety of stakeholders in an interdisciplinary management setting as an integrated team.
Program Objectives (Wildlife concentration)

At the end of the program students will be able to:

  • Science Foundations and Fisheries and Wildlife Conservation.
    • Apply science as a body of knowledge and as a method of inquiry.
    • Apply key concepts of biology and ecology to fisheries and wildlife organisms, populations, communities, and their habitats.
    • Apply basic math skills to problem solving in fisheries and wildlife populations and their habitat.
    • Apply key principles of physics and chemistry to fisheries and wildlife adaptations.
  • Major Issues Facing Fisheries and Wildlife Conservation.
    • Develop a comprehensive understanding of the relation between trends in human population growth and major issues (past, present, and future) affecting fish and wildlife populations, communities, and their habitat.
    • Explain how major issues affect the dynamics of wildlife populations, communities, and their habitats.
    • Articulate scientifically a rationale and justification for assessing and monitoring the effects of major issues on fish and wildlife populations, communities, and their habitat.
    • Apply gained knowledge of assessment and monitoring protocols to evaluate the effects of major issues on fish and wildlife populations, communities, and their habitats
  • Natural Resource Management Approaches in Fisheries and Wildlife Conservation.
    • Delineate the management environment in ecological, economic, political, and socio-cultural terms.
    • Define the cyclic management process as related to an organization’s mission statement, goals, objectives, strategies, assessment plan (problem definition), implementation plan (action plan), and evaluation/monitoring program.
    • Articulate the appropriateness of management approaches used to address the issues and problems affecting fisheries and wildlife, their habitats, and humans.
    • Define the skills needed to effectively work with a variety of stakeholders in an interdisciplinary management setting as an integrated team.
Required Courses

Program Planning Guide – Fisheries Concentration »
Program Planning Guide – Wildlife Concentration »

Program Core Requirements

  • Intro to Fisheries and Wildlife Management
  • Natural History of North American Vertebrates
  • Biology I
  • Biology II
  • General Ecology
  • Genetics
  • Chemistry I
  • Chemistry II
  • Statistics
  • Precalculus
  • Senior Capstone

Fisheries Science Concentration (core)

  • Aquatic Invertebrates
  • Ichthyology
  • Watershed Management
  • Stream Ecology Management
  • Limnology
  • Forest Soils
  • Fisheries Biology and Management
  • Fisheries Techniques
  • Physics
  • Biological Science Electives
  • Human Dimension Electives

Wildlife Science Concentration (core)

  • Plant Biology
  • Conservation Biology
  • Zoology Electives (Ornithology, Mammalogy, Herpetology)
  • Botany Electives
  • Techniques in Wildlife Management
  • Wildlife Management
  • Ecology Electives
  • Physical Science Electives
  • Policy, Administration Law Electives
  • Wildlife Biology Electives

STUDENT CHAPTERS:

American Fisheries Society »

The Wildlife Society »

TEACHING WILDLIFE IN MN

Travis Stoll '15 now occupies himself cavorting with mammals in MN. »

SIX YEARS WITH DELTA WATERFOWL

Graduate Mike Buxton’s time in the prairie »

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