Wildlife species and their habitats are impacted by human actions and demands on natural resources. At the same time, increasing numbers of Americans are participating in wildlife based outdoor recreation such as camping, hunting, fishing, birdwatching, picnicking, observing and photographing wildlife. Maintaining abundant and healthy wildlife populations and habitats requires an understanding of ecology, natural history, wildlife management, and human demands. These are the challenges facing wildlife biologists of today.
The wildlife programs at Texas State University adhere to the North American model of wildlife management, as well as a strong reliance on research at the graduate and undergraduate level. The goals of our programs are to graduate students prepared to enter the wildlife profession as biologists, managers, and research scientists.
Trained and certified wildlife biologists are in demand for many thoroughly rewarding careers. Some involve teaching and research at colleges and universities. Natural history, population dynamics, investigating and modeling species populations, community interactions, and ecosystem functions are some of the research topics investigated by university faculty. Opportunities are available for ecologically trained curators and guides in museums, nature camps, zoos, nature reserves and state and national parks. State and federal agencies offer a wide variety of careers investigating interactions of wildlife with agriculture, forestry, parasitology and public health. For those who prefer the practical application of ecological principles, wildlife management as applied ecology offers a number of careers in game management, land and natural resource conservation, wildlife refuges, and parks. Private businesses such as ranches, agri-business, environmental consulting firms, private conservation societies, landscape architects, and land use planners also employ wildlife biologists.
Wildlife management focuses on relationships and interactions among plants, animals, and the physical environment. Therefore, a greater range of subject matter is embraced than in many other sciences. This requires a education in a wide variety of scientific fields. At Texas State, our wildlife degrees are based in biology, including courses in genetics, physiology, and cell biology. In addition, an understanding of the principles of other sciences - chemistry, physics, mathematics, and statistics – is required.
Photo by Silas Ott
Photo by Randy Simpson