Department of Rangeland, Wildlife and Fisheries Management

Head: G. Cliff Lamb
Interim Associate Head: Georgianne Moore
Graduate Advisor: Amanda Ray

Graduate programs of study and research lead to the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences. These programs prepare students for careers with academic institutions, governmental agencies, and private business/industry. Studies in environmental conservation and education are available to those students interested in preparing themselves for public service in a number of fields other than research and management. The non-thesis Master of Wildlife Science and Master of Natural Resource Development degree programs are designed to give students broad academic training combined with practical experience, to develop problem-solving and management skills. The MS (thesis option) and Ph.D. degrees require a strong background in the basic and applied agricultural and life sciences, particularly as they relate to whole-organism biological systems. The latter two degrees involve intensive research, and the resulting thesis or dissertation must demonstrate superior knowledge and understanding of the subject area.

Graduate study in the Department of Rangeland, Wildlife and Fisheries Management normally requires some breadth in several disciplines, which differ among courses of study and are dependent on candidate background. The academic program of study is tailored to the background and educational goals of each degree candidate in consultation with his or her Graduate Advisory Committee. There are no foreign language requirements for any of the department’s graduate degree programs unless set by the student’s Advisory Committee or the University.

Research activities in the department involve vertebrates, invertebrates, plants, and natural-resource systems, and span the broad fields of wildlife ecology and management, fisheries ecology and management, aquaculture, biodiversity and systematics, conservation education/museum science and the human dimensions of wildlife and fisheries resource management. Research in these fields is supported by disciplinary expertise in aut- and synecology, evolutionary biology, resource sociology, animal behavior, physiology, animal diseases and parasitology, bioenergetics, nutrition, genetics, and systems analysis and modeling. Although much of the research program is without geographic bounds, the more site-specific aspects of the program focus on Texas, Mexico, and the neotropics.

Facilities for research and graduate education include over forty laboratories with modern and sophisticated scientific instrumentation; an NSF-sponsored Center for Biosystematics and Biodiversity; the Biodiversity Research and Teaching Collections, which is among the largest collections of animals and genetic tissues in the New World; the Marine Mammal Research Facilities at Galveston; and an Aquacultural Research and Teaching Facility (laboratory and ponds) devoted to study of fish and invertebrate production for food and sport fishing. Field studies may be conducted at the Texas A&M University System’s off-campus research and extension centers. Texas A&M is a member of the Archbold Tropical Research Center on the Caribbean island of Dominica. Graduate students are eligible to apply for the usage of laboratory and field facilities at both of these locations.

Some faculty members in the Department of Rangeland, Wildlife and Fisheries Management have appointments on the intercollegiate faculties of Genetics, Ecology, Nutrition, and Toxicology; graduate students are eligible to seek degrees in those areas. The department also encourages interdisciplinary research efforts with other departments and within the Institutes of Marine Life Sciences and Renewable Natural Resources.

The Department of Rangeland, Wildlife and Fisheries Management has a residency requirement for all M.S. and Ph.D. students. Master of Science students must complete, on the campus at College Station, 9 credit hours during one semester. Students who enter the doctoral degree programs with baccalaureate degrees must spend four semesters, of 9 hours each, on the campus at College Station. Students who hold master’s degrees when they enter doctoral degree programs must spend two semesters, of 9 hours each, in resident study on the campus. A semester may be fall, spring, a 10-week summer semester, or two 5-week summer terms. Full-time staff members of the University or of closely affiliated organizations stationed on the campus at College Station may fulfill residency requirements by completion of less-than-full course loads. Any exception to these rules must be approved in writing by the department head and the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies.

Ecosystem Science and Management

ESSM 604 Changing Natural Resource Policy

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Process through which environmental policies are changed; theories of social and political change; using these theories along with original research on environmental policy problems to create and implement plans for changing environmental policies in communities.
Prerequisite: Graduate classification.

ESSM 610 Rangeland Resource Management

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Basic concepts and theories of rangeland resource management; trends in range classification, grazing management and improvement practices.
Prerequisite: Graduate classification in agriculture or related subject matter areas.

ESSM 611 Grazing Management and Range Nutrition

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Nutritional ecology of domestic and wild herbivores on rangelands; vegetation and animal response to various grazing management practices; diet selection, quality, intake and supplementation of herbivores.

ESSM 612 Rangeland Vegetation Management

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Principles of rangeland brush and weed control with mechanical, chemical, burning and biological methods; interrelationships of brush management with grazing, wildlife and watershed management; planning and economic analysis of range improvement practices.

ESSM 636 Wildland Watershed Management

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Elements of watershed management and principles and practices of wildland management for protection, maintenance and improvement of water resources values; current literature and research advances.

ESSM 671 Ecological Economics

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Study of the relationships between ecosystems and economic systems; understanding the effects of human economic endeavors on ecological systems and how the ecological benefits and costs of such activities can be quantified and internalized.
Prerequisite: Graduate Classification.
Cross Listing: AGEC 659 and RENR 659.

Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences

WFSC 618 Wildlife Study Design and Analysis

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Fundamental and advanced aspects of study design applicable to terrestrial animals; analysis and review of the scientific literature related to study design; and the development of study design for written and oral presentations.
Prerequisite: Graduate classification or approval of instructor.

WFSC 619 Wildlife Restoration

Credits 3. 2 Lecture Hours. 3 Lab Hours.

Study of the fundamentals of the restoration of animal populations and the resources they require; factors that control the distribution and abundances of animals in relation to restoration; and how restoration plans for wildlife are developed.
Prerequisite: Graduate classification or approval of instructor.

WFSC 623 Aquaculture

Credits 4. 3 Lecture Hours. 3 Lab Hours.

Principle of fish production for stock enhancement and human food. Species of fish used for production, cross-breeding and selection; feeds and feeding of fish and nutritional and environmental requirements for optimum productivity; effects of fish production on land and water uses as related to conservation.
Prerequisite: Graduate classification or approval of instructor.

WFSC 627 Ecological Risk Assessment

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Approaches used to identify, evaluate and manage ecological risks of chemicals on aquatic and terrestrial environments; emphasis on methods useful to assess effects of contaminants on ecosystems; testing techniques, site assessment and monitoring procedures, regulatory requirements and field and laboratory techniques. Only one of the following can be applied to the requirements for a degree: WFSC 627 and WFSC 639.

WFSC 628 Wetland Ecology and Pollution

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Wetlands as ecological systems that are prime habitats for wildlife and fish; geomorphology, hydrology, limnology, plant and animal communities, and humans use and management; wetlands as ultimate reservoirs of environmental pollutants; distribution, fate and effects of environmental pollutants on aquatic and terrestrial wildlife.
Prerequisite: Graduate classification or approval of instructor.

WFSC 630 Ecology and Society

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Study and compare human and natural ecosystems using diversity, interrelations, cycles, and energy as the conceptional organization; central themes of the course are sustainability, stewardship and science.
Prerequisite: Graduate classification or approval of instructor.

WFSC 631 Ecological Applications in R

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Introduction to R and diversity of statistical packages available; data summary and manipulation; univariate and multivariate statistics; populations and community ecology; time-series and spatial analysis.

WFSC 636 Wildlife Habitat Management

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Designed to acquaint with major land use practices on lands that produce wildlife, how these influences wildlife production and alterations or manipulations of habitat used to achieve specific wildlife management goals.
Prerequisite: Graduate classification or approval of instructor.

WFSC 638 Techniques of Wildlife Management

Credits 3. 2 Lecture Hours. 3 Lab Hours.

Techniques available to directly and indirectly manipulate wild animal populations to achieve balance between socioeconomic and aesthetic values.
Prerequisite: Graduate classification or approval of instructor.

WFSC 641 Sustainable Military Land Management

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Overview of the Department of Defense (DOD) lands within a temporal, geographic, and environmental context and perspective; major policies/laws impacting military land use and areas critical to mission sustainment; management strategies important to sustaining installations and ranges.
Prerequisite: Graduate classification or approval of instructor.

WFSC 642 Field Military Land Management

Credit 1. 0 Lecture Hours. 2 Lab Hours.

Review of land management practices and challenges on military and adjacent private lands through field visits of select military installations. Field trips required. Previous or concurrent registration in WFSC 636 is strongly encouraged.
Prerequisite: Graduate classification or approval of instructor.

WFSC 644 Wildlife and Natural Resource Policy

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Review formation and implementation of major natural resource laws and policies that impact land uses; overview of natural resource laws/policies followed by presentations of a selected case study; current natural resource management (including forestry, air, water, wildlife, climate change and energy) programs and institutions analyzed and related to current natural resource policy challenges.

WFSC 647/NFSC 651 Nutritional Biochemistry of Fishes

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Principles of nutritional biochemistry including nutrient metabolism and biochemical energetics with special emphasis on finfish and shell fish.
Prerequisite: BICH 410 or equivalent.
Cross Listing: NFSC 651/WFSC 647.

WFSC 654 Amazon Field School

Credits 4. 4 Lecture Hours.

Investigation of social and ecological complexities of biodiversity conservation in tropical ecosystems; biological and social science approaches to evaluate causes, consequences and solutions to biodiversity loss through ecology, culture and governance.
Cross Listing: RPTS 654 and VTMI 604.

WFSC 681 Seminar

Credit 1. 1 Lecture Hour.

Important current developments in wildlife or fisheries fields with special reference to literature. Students may register up to but no more than two sections of this course in the same semester.

WFSC 684 Professional Internship

Credits 1 to 16. 1 to 16 Other Hours.

On-the-job training in fields of wildlife and fisheries sciences.
Prerequisite: Graduate classification in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences.

WFSC 685 Directed Studies

Credits 1 to 6. 1 to 6 Other Hours.

Individual study and research on selected problem approved by instructor and graduate advisor. Credit adjusted in accordance with requirements of each individual case.
Prerequisite: Approved proposal.

WFSC 689 Special Topics in...

Credits 1 to 4. 1 to 4 Lecture Hours. 0 to 4 Lab Hours.

Special topics in wildlife ecology, fisheries ecology, vertebrate systematics, evolutionary biology of vertebrates and conservation education. May be repeated for credit.

WFSC 691 Research

Credits 1 to 23. 1 to 23 Other Hours.

Original research on selected wildlife and/or fisheries problem to be used in thesis or dissertation.

Barboza, Peregrine, Professor
Rangeland, Wildlife and Fisheries Management
PHD, University of New England, 1991

Kaiser, Ronald, Professor
Rangeland, Wildlife and Fisheries Management
LLM, University of California, Berkeley, 1989
JD, Thomas M. Cooley Law School, 1977

Knight, Robert, Associate Professor
Rangeland, Wildlife and Fisheries Management
PHD, Texas A&M University, 1980

Kothmann, Merwyn, Senior Professor
Rangeland, Wildlife and Fisheries Management
PHD, Texas A&M University, 1968

Kyle, Gerard, Professor
Rangeland, Wildlife and Fisheries Management
PHD, Pennsylvania State University, 2001

Matarrita Cascante, David, Associate Professor
Rangeland, Wildlife and Fisheries Management
PHD, Pennsylvania State University, 2008

Morrison, Mike, Professor
Rangeland, Wildlife and Fisheries Management
PHD, Oregon State University, 1982

Schuett, Michael, Professor
Rangeland, Wildlife and Fisheries Management
PHD, University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign, 1991

Silvy, Nova, Professor
Rangeland, Wildlife and Fisheries Management
PHD, Southern Illinois University, 1975

Stronza, Amanda, Professor
Rangeland, Wildlife and Fisheries Management
PHD, University of Florida, 2000