Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences - BS, Vertebrate Zoology Option

Graduates are well equipped for post-baccalaureate study in many life science fields (graduate school programs and human and veterinary medicine) or for direct entry into professions such as wildlife management, fisheries management, environmental impact assessment, aquaculture, natural history museum education, zoological park collection management, public school teaching and urban wildlife management. Employers of recent graduates include state and federal resource agencies, scientific foundations, ranches, hunting and fishing clubs, fish farms, environmental consulting firms, museums and secondary schools.

Wildlife Ecology and Conservation; Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences; and Vertebrate Zoology curriculum options lead to the Bachelor of Science degree. Each student will choose a course of study from among the options within the department’s curricula after consultation with the academic advisor. The chosen option is enhanced by a common departmental “core” of courses necessary for a sound education in the wildlife and fisheries conservation professions.

Students are encouraged to develop an emphasis area within their degree option. To build this emphasis area, students will choose directed electives, from related disciplines, in consultation with their academic advisor and faculty members.

Vertebrate Zoology Option

This emphasis provides the rigorous training needed for careers in the various aspects of natural resources related to the fields of ichthyology, herpetology, mammalogy and ornithology, including behavior, ecology, evolution, genetics, molecular biology, physiology and systematics. It is a flexible program which permits the inclusion of courses specifically required by schools graduate 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 will prepare students for graduate studies as well as careers within governmental and nongovernmental agencies and environmental firms dealing with biological conservation.

Students who are 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, hospitals, and universities. This is also suitable for students who plan to obtain a post baccalaureate degree (MS or PhD) in ecology and related fields later in order to pursue higher level positions.