Wildlife Ecology and Management: BS
Department: Wildland Resources Department
College: S.J. & Jessie E. Quinney College of Natural Resources
USU is the only university in the state with a college devoted to the study of natural resources, and in the wildlife science major students have the opportunity to study with nationally renowned faculty and gain hands-on field work and research experience. Wildlife science includes the analysis, management, conservation, and restoration of forests, rangeland ecosystems, and their associated wildlife populations. The wildlife science major at USU emphasizes the ecology, behavior, conservation, and management of wildlife populations and communities in terrestrial ecosystems.
Students study biology, ecology, chemistry, math, plant and animal ecology, rangeland ecosystems, and how to measure and manage vegetation. The department also promotes a particular focus on current issues and concerns in natural resources, such as climate change, endangered species, restoration of sagebrush steppe systems and other landscapes, and human-wildlife conflict.
With a degree in wildlife science, students may be qualified for the following careers:
- Wildlife biologist
- Conservation officer for state and federal agencies such as the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, etc.
- Environmental consulting firms
- Private industry and landowners
- Nonprofit environmental organizations
- Ecological assistant
- Park ranger
- Nature educator
- Environmental trainer
Career Services provides counseling and information on hundreds of job and internship opportunities and even helps students apply and interview.
In addition to Utah State University’s admissions requirements, the wildlife science program has additional requirements:
- Freshmen: New freshmen admitted to USU in good standing qualify for admission to this major.
- Transfer Students: Transfer students from other institutions or from other USU majors need a 2.5 total GPA for admission.
International students have additional admissions requirements.
Professional Organizations, Honor Societies, and Clubs
Wildlife Society: The student chapter of the Wildlife Society is an organization for students who have an interest in wildlife. It prepares students for careers dealing with wildlife by providing hands-on experiences. The chapter's activities include things such as surveys, habitat work, professional meetings, tours, and specialty fieldtrips. It works with the Utah Department of Wildlife Resources on such projects as helping with deer check stations, checking for chronic waste disease, and helping with the annual youth pheasant hunt. It also takes annual trips to places like Yellowstone National Park.
Xi Sigma Pi National Forest Management Honors Society: Although Xi Sigma Pi is a forest management national honors society, it has expanded its view of forest management to recognize fields such as fisheries, wildlife management, and outdoor recreation. In keeping with the stated national goals of the society, the USU chapter seeks to recognize and encourage academic excellence among students.
Aggie Recyclers: Aggie Recyclers is a club designed to serve the community and the environment, accomplished through educating people how to live in a sustainable way. The club is very involved with recycling on campus as well as promoting other sustainable practices. In addition to raising awareness, members also participate in a variety of service activities.
Student Organization for Society and Natural Resources: SOSNR was established in 2003 to promote opportunities for service in the community, provide forums for individuals to present research, and give students opportunities to participate in conferences to help further their academic careers.
Student Sustainability Council: The Student Sustainability Council is a student organization devoted to promoting sustainability on campus, educating the student body and the local community, and giving students the opportunity to serve in areas related to sustainability.
Labs, Centers, Research
With the second oldest undergraduate research program in the nation, USU offers students a wide range of opportunities to gain hands-on research experience. USU’s Honors Program prepares students for excellent graduate programs by helping them build relationships with professors, participate in research projects, take smaller, more intensive classes, and develop leadership skills.
Berryman Institute: Housed at USU, the Berryman Institute is a national organization dedicated to improving human-wildlife relationships and managing human-wildlife conflicts through teaching, research, and extension. The Berryman Institute gives students hands-on field experience with human-wildlife conflict management professionals, offers field trips to human-wildlife conflict project areas, and allows students to gain experience in wildlife conflict management techniques, such as trapping and aerial gunning. The Berryman Institute is open to all students, regardless of major.
Center for Integrated BioSystems: The CIB leads a progressive, interdisciplinary effort in research, core services, and education serving agriculture and life sciences. The CIB is where the first hybrid animal, a mule, was cloned, and was named one of “30 Awesome College Labs” by Popular Science magazine. The CIB has a research program with several active projects in diverse areas of life science that encompass plant, animal, and microbe functional genomics.
Ecology Center: The Ecology Center is an administrative structure in the university that supports and coordinates ecological research and graduate education in the science of ecology and provides professional information and advice for decision makers considering actions that affect the environment. The Ecology Center at USU has had a string of directors known nationally and worldwide as premier scientists in the field of ecology, and students graduating with a degree in ecology are able to make important contacts with influential faculty that can help them go on to prestigious post-doctoral programs and faculty positions at universities around the world.
Millville Predator Research Facility: This 165-acre site, part of the National Wildlife Research Center, allows employees to care for more than 100 coyotes involved in learning, behavior, and physiology studies. Studies include coyote behavior in captive environments, reproduction, interactions with other species, and more.
S.J. and Jessie E. Quinney Natural Resources Research Library: The Quinney Library maintains collections of materials pertaining to natural resources and the environment in a number of formats that support the programs of study and research in the College of Natural Resources and several partnering centers. The library has more than 60,000 items, both print and electronic, as well as videos, images, and more.
Utah Agricultural Experiment Station: The UAES is part of a network of researchers and facilities at the nation’s land-grant universities and is committed to improving agriculture and managing natural resources for the people of Utah. At research facilities on the USU campus and throughout the state, UAES supports hundreds of research projects that promote agriculture and human nutrition and enhance the quality of rural life.