Wildlife ecology has grown as an area of study and concern and is now a major factor determining land/water use, wildlife populations, and recreation in the United States. Wildlife issues are no longer confined to hunting, fishing, and agricultural pursuits, but rather encompass much larger issues pertaining to energy sources, urban and suburban development, overpopulation of some species, threatened and endangered species, water use and availability, and coastal development. Nowhere is this more pronounced than in Central Texas.
Land use in Texas must be balanced between the demands of a burgeoning human population and the requirements of wildlife species for habitat. Attaining this balance can create conflict. The conflicts increase with the growth of human populations, and ethical and practical consequences of land development must be considered as new challenges present themselves. These areas of concern bring with them positions requiring well-trained wildlife ecologists.
The Wildlife Ecology M.S. program at Texas State University has a long history of interagency cooperation with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Students have been supported financially in research by interagency contracts and many graduates of Texas State are employed by these agencies. Cooperation with these agencies has allowed students on the cutting edge of wildlife research in the state. As a result, student interest in wildlife ecology has risen substantially - especially at the Master’s level.
Even though opportunities for students trained in wildlife ecology continue to increase, the field remains highly competitive and demanding in the selection of individuals for each job. In this competitive climate, a M.S. degree in wildlife ecology is a more and more necessary for employment.
Various faculty participate in this program. Prospective graduate students interested in the program should contact a relevant faculty member to inquire about their participation.