Department of Rangeland, Wildlife and Fisheries Management

The Department of Rangeland, Wildlife and Fisheries Management 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.

Ecosystem Science and Management

ESSM 102 Introduction to Natural Resources and Ecosystem Management

Credit 1. 1 Lecture Hour.

Introduction to natural resources including range and forest and ecosystem system approach to wildland management; survey of the field of natural resources and related industries.

ESSM 301 Wildland Watershed Management

Credits 3. 2 Lecture Hours. 2 Lab Hours.

Elements of watershed management including range, forest and other natural resources and principles and practices of wildland management for protection, maintenance and improvement of water resource values.
Prerequisite: Junior or senior classification or approval of instructor.

ESSM 305 Watershed Analysis and Planning

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Provide an integrated framework for watershed planning that addresses the related biophysical, social and economic issues; comprehensive in scope and approach giving students the tools and techniques for developing sound watershed management policy and practice; water issues, problems and regulations for Texas.
Prerequisite: Junior or senior classification.

ESSM 313 Vegetation Sampling Methods and Designs in Ecosystems

Credits 3. 2 Lecture Hours. 2 Lab Hours.

Basis for vegetation sampling in ecosystems including range, forest and other natural resources; methods for conducting sampling; selection of sampling unit appropriate for vegetation type; sampling statistics; mean comparisons; regression analysis; sampling design principles; development of sampling plan; presentation and interpretation of sampling data.
Prerequisites: Any MATH course satisfying university core curriculum, junior or senior classification or approval of instructor.

ESSM 314 Principles of Rangeland Management Around the World

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Basic knowledge of world rangeland ecosystems, how these systems are managed in diverse cultural settings; principles of underlying ecological processes influenced by various land management practices; foster understanding of the values that people in different countries place on rangeland resources; use of these values to enhance geologically sustainable and socially acceptable rangeland management practices.
Prerequisite: Junior or senior classification or approval of instructor.

ESSM 315 Rangeland Inventory and Monitoring

Credit 1. 2 Lab Hours.

Theory and methods to inventory rangeland vegetation; sampling design; analysis of inventory data; interpretation of sampling data; preparation of a technical report; presentation of inventory data in text, tables, and graphs using the style of the Rangeland Ecology and Management discipline.
Prerequisites: ESSM 313, junior or senior classification or approval of instructor.

ESSM 317 Vegetation Management

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Familiarization with practices that cause changes in rangeland vegetation composition for multiple uses; understanding of criteria for range improvement practices; comparison of expected responses of livestock forage production, watershed parameters and wildlife to vegetation changes following range improvements; systems concept for planning, analysis and implementation of range improvement practices.
Prerequisites: ESSM 314, junior or senior classification or approval of instructor.

ESSM 406 Natural Resources Policy

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Natural resources and forest policy development in the United States and review of current issues in forest and related natural resource policy.
Prerequisite: Junior or senior classification or approval of instructor.

ESSM 415 Range Analysis and Management Planning

Credits 4. 3 Lecture Hours. 2 Lab Hours.

Basic concepts and theories of range management systems. Resource inventory, analysis and management planning.
Prerequisites: AGEC 105 or ECON 202, ESSM 314, ESSM 317; junior or senior classification or approval of instructor.

Renewable Natural Resources

RENR 400 Study Abroad in Natural Resources

Credits 2 to 12. 2 to 12 Lecture Hours.

Provides students with an opportunity to gain first-hand experience in natural resource management in foreign countries; focus on the interaction of public, communal and private land tenure systems with the ecological and human dimensions of rangeland management, wildlife conservation and nature-based tourism. May be taken two times for credit.
Prerequisite: Junior or senior classification.

RENR 410 Ecosystem Management

Credits 4. 3 Lecture Hours. 3 Lab Hours.

Concepts and practices relevant to the development of landscape/regional level ecosystem management plans including range, forest and other natural resources; an ecosystem management plan will be developed utilizing a strategic management/coordinated resources approach to establish resource goals, ecosystem resource analysis and impact evaluation and implementation compatible with societal and individual concerns.
Prerequisites: RENR 205, senior classification or approval of instructor.

Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences

WFSC 291 Research

Credits 1 to 4. 1 to 4 Other Hours.

Research conducted under the direction of faculty member in wildlife and fisheries sciences. May be repeated 3 times for credit.
Prerequisites: Freshman or sophomore classification and approval of instructor.

WFSC 301 Wildlife and the Changing Environment

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Using an ecosystem approach, analyzes changes in the North American environment; effects of these changes on wildlife populations; and reviews areas of major, current concern.
Prerequisites: Junior or senior classification; restricted to non-majors.

WFSC 303 Fish and Wildlife Laws and Administration

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Review and analysis of state and federal laws and international treaties and conventions affecting fish and wildlife; their application and administration; organizational structure of state, federal and international agencies; their objectives, policies and practices.
Prerequisites: Grade of C or better in WFSC 101; grade of C or better in RENR 205 or BIOL 357; junior classification or approval of instructor.

WFSC 327/VTPB 301 Wildlife Diseases

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Basic mechanisms of diseases as they occur in wildlife populations; interplay of habitat requirements, individual physiological requirements and disease producing mechanisms of varied wildlife species.
Prerequisite: Junior classification or approval of department head.
Cross Listing: VTPB 301/WFSC 327.

WFSC 404 Aquatic Ecosystems

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Inland and coastal zone aquatic ecosystems, lower foodweb structure, functioning and influence on living resources; lakes, rivers, estuaries, open bay systems, factors impacting ecosystem health and fisheries; harmful algal blooms, reduced water inflows, eutrophication and hypoxia formation as they affect foodwebs, recruitment of commercially and recreationally important fisheries.
Prerequisite: Junior or senior classification or approval of instructor.

WFSC 405 Urban Wildlife and Fisheries

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Urban wildlife and fisheries trains students to establish and maintain diverse, self-sustaining urban wildlife and fish populations at levels in harmony with ecological, social, and economic values of the human community and to develop optimal levels of public appreciation and use of urban wildlife and fish resources and associated habitats.
Prerequisites: RENR 205; junior or senior classification.

WFSC 406 Wildlife Habitat Management

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Designed to acquaint the student with major land use practices on lands that produce wildlife, how these influence wildlife production and alterations or manipulations of habitat used to achieve specific wildlife management goals.
Prerequisites: Grade of C or better in RENR 205 and WFSC 302 or approval of instructor; junior classification.

WFSC 407 Field Wildlife Habitat Management

Credit 1. 2 Lab Hours.

Field and laboratory studies of specific wildlife habitat management practices with special emphasis on those used in Texas; attendance required at four weekend field trips to study wildlife habitat operations.
Prerequisite: Concurrent registration in WFSC 406 required.

WFSC 408 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.
Prerequisites: Senior classification or approval of instructor.

WFSC 409 NATURE in the Classroom: Needed Activities To Understand Resource Ecology

Credit 1. 3 Lab Hours.

Integration of natural resources through conservation ecology programs, utilization of research techniques adaptable for classroom use; field trips to community facilities, gaming strategies and computer simulations.
Prerequisites: WFSC 420 or RENR 205 or concurrent enrollment; junior or senior classification.

WFSC 410 Principles of Fisheries Management

Credits 4. 3 Lecture Hours. 3 Lab Hours.

Basic knowledge from ichthyology, biology of fishes and limnology related to applied aspects of freshwater and marine fishery science. Management techniques applicable to streams, ponds, reservoirs, estuaries and the oceans.
Prerequisites: BIOL 357, or grade of C or better in WFSC 311, WFSC 403, or WFSC 404, or approval of instructor.

WFSC 413 Problem Solving in Wildlife and Fisheries

Credits 4. 2 Lecture Hours. 4 Lab Hours.

Project-based to combine experiences and knowledge from other wildlife and fisheries sciences courses; critical thinking about issues and relevant questions in wildlife and fisheries sciences field; emphasis on completion of course project and answering research or management question.
Prerequisites: Grade of a C or better in WFSC 317 and WFSC 304; STAT 301, STAT 302, or STAT 303; senior classification.

WFSC 414 Ecology of Lakes and Rivers

Credits 4. 3 Lecture Hours. 3 Lab Hours.

Biological, physical, chemical and geological characteristics of fresh waters; human impacts, which include influence of industrial, domestic, conservation and restoration activities.
Prerequisites: CHEM 101 and CHEM 222; PHYS 201; junior or senior classification.

WFSC 417 Biology of Fishes

Credits 4. 3 Lecture Hours. 3 Lab Hours.

Fishes' physiological and morphological adaptations for life in aquatic systems; physiological and behavioral responses of fish to environmental variation. Laboratory emphasizes design, conduct and analysis of virtual experiments featuring "EcoFish," a simulation model of fish autecology.
Prerequisites: WFSC 302 or WFSC 311; WFSC 414; or approval of instructor.

WFSC 418 Ecology of the Coastal Zone

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Introduction to the ecosystems that comprise the coastal zone with an emphasis on the role of freshwater inflows; open bay systems are the focus of lectures, but fringing habitats are also discussed; human components of the coastal zone are also discussed including industrial, commercial domestic, conservation and restoration issues.
Prerequisite: Junior or senior classification.

WFSC 419 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: RENR 205 or equivalent; junior or senior classification or approval of instructor; WFSC 406 and WFSC 407 and ESSM 320 preferred.

WFSC 420 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 are sustainability, stewardship and science.
Prerequisite: Junior or senior classification.

WFSC 427 Disease Management in Fisheries and Aquaculture

Credits 3. 2 Lecture Hours. 2 Lab Hours.

Fish and invertebrates of economic importance; factors influencing the maintenance of health for each species group; problems and solutions unique to each phase of aquaculture from breeding to growout; application of routine diagnosis and other management tools.
Prerequisite: Junior classification.

WFSC 428 Wetland Ecosystem Management

Credits 4. 3 Lecture Hours. 3 Lab Hours.

Ecosystem approach to the ecology and management of wetlands; emphasis on factors controlling wetland structure and function, characteristics of different wetland types, and applied issues of wetland restoration, creation and delineation.
Prerequisite: Junior or senior classification.

WFSC 444 Aquaculture I: Principles and Practices

Credits 4. 3 Lecture Hours. 3 Lab Hours.

Scientific perspectives concerning major principles associated with fish production under controlled conditions; production techniques associated with prominent species produced via aquaculture throughout the world with emphasis on those cultured in the United States.
Prerequisite: Junior or senior classification or approval of instructor.

WFSC 447 Aquaculture II: Aquatic Animal Nutrition, Feeding and Disease Management

Credits 4. 3 Lecture Hours. 3 Lab Hours.

Review of scientific perspectives on major aspects of nutrition, diet formulation and feeding of aquatic species in aquaculture; major disease-causing organisms encountered in aquaculture and means of disease prevention and control.
Prerequisite: Junior or senior classification or approval of instructor.

WFSC 449 Professional Aspects of Aquatic Ecology

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Discipline of aquatic sciences through oral presentation and written documentation; job market expectations, resume preparation, job application, and preparation for and giving an interview.
Prerequisite: Junior or senior classification or approval of instructor.

WFSC 454 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.
Prerequisites: Junior or senior classification with a minimum GPA of 2.0 and approval of instructor.

WFSC 457 Wildlife Ecotoxicology

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.
Prerequisites: Grade of C or better in RENR 205, or CHEM 101, or approval of instructor.

WFSC 481 Seminar

Credit 1. 1 Lecture Hour.

Oral discussion of selected topics from technical literature on recent advances in the field.
Prerequisites: Senior classification in wildlife and fisheries sciences; 6 hours of 300- or 400-level wildlife and fisheries sciences courses. May be repeated for credit.

WFSC 484 Internship

Credits 0 to 9. 0 to 9 Other Hours.

Practical experience working in a professional wildlife or fisheries facility.
Prerequisite: Approval of department head.

WFSC 485 Directed Studies

Credits 1 to 3. 1 to 3 Other Hours.

Individual study and research on selected problem approved by instructor and academic advisor.
Prerequisites: Junior or senior classification; approval of department head.

WFSC 489 Special Topics in...

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

Selected topics in an identified area of wildlife and fisheries sciences. May be repeated for credit.
Prerequisite: Approval of department head.

WFSC 491 Research

Credits 0 to 6. 0 to 6 Other Hours.

Laboratory and/or field research supervised by a faculty member in wildlife and fisheries sciences. Registration in multiple sections of this course are possible within a given semester provided the per semester credit hour limit is not exceeded.
Prerequisites: Junior or senior classification; approval of instructor.

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

Evans, Steven, Lecturer
Rangeland, Wildlife and Fisheries Management
MS, Colorado State University, 2018

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