West Texas A&M University

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Wildlife Biology Program

Wildlife Biology

Available On Campus

CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

  • Management with state or federal agencies
  • Wildlife managers
  • Wildlife biologists
  • Refuge managers
  • Park rangers
  • Park naturalists
  • Game wardens
  • Recreation planners
  • Consulting wildlife biologists
  • Non-government organizations
  • Private landholders
  • Private consulting firms
  • (with addition education) Academia

PLAN OF STUDY

Wildlife Biology (B.A.)
Wildlife Biology (B.S.)

WHAT YOU WILL LEARN

  • Exposure to principles for both traditional wildlife management and more modern ecosystem management.
  • Classes that focus on the biology, ecology, and natural history of vertebrates.
  • A solid understanding of the biology and ecology of wildlife species through field work and classes in classes like Mammalogy, Ornithology, Herpetology, and Ichthyology
  • An understanding of how to utilize management techniques to achieve desired management goals based on a species' biology
  • Opportunities to gain field/research experience using the latest techniques and tools of wildlife biologists by assisting faculty and graduate students with research projects and through field trips
  • An understanding of the process of science through exposure to wildlife research. Students are further exposed to professional wildlife biologists through our Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society, field trips, access to volunteer activities, and in their classes.
  • Wildlife managers manipulate habitat to control game and other wildlife populations.
  • Wildlife researchers conduct experiments to help solve problems faced by the wildlife manager.
  • Undergraduates are encouraged to become involved with faculty and graduate students and their research to gain valuable experience.

DEGREE OPTIONS/FUTURE ACADEMIC PATHS

Because of the competitiveness of the profession, we encourage students interested in Wildlife Biology to plan for obtaining a Master of Science degree (M.S.).

  •  WTAMU offers M.S. programs in Biology and in Environmental Science.
  • Those students interested in working as professional wildlife managers should design a thesis project with strong management implications.
  • Projects investigating the effects of management practices, such as grazing and controlled burning, are also an important part of our graduate program
  • Species studied by former WTAMU graduate students include ringtails, Palo Duro mice, porcupines, Texas horned lizards, ornate box turtles, and Texas indigo snakes. However, a variety of more community-based research projects, such as bats in Palo Duro Canyon or aquatic turtle communities throughout the Panhandle, have also been undertaken.
A WTAMU Professor raking a reading on the high plains

CAREER CLOSE-UP

Wldlife Biologist

Median wage (TX) - $45,710 annually
Median wage (US) - $60,670 annually

Game Warden

Median wage (TX) - $48,950 annually
Median wage (US) - $54,950 annually

Prerequisites

Students are encouraged to participate in the WTAMU Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society, Beta Beta Beta,WTAMU Environmental Science Club, and WTAMU Geology Club. These clubs engage in a variety of activities, including scheduling presentations by area professionals, fund-raisers, and service opportunities.


Additionally, we encourage students to attend as many professional meetings as possible, such as those sponsored by the The Wildlife Society, the Texas Chapter of The Wildlife Society, American Society of Mammalogists, Texas Society of Mammalogists, Entomological Society of America, Ecological Society of America, Southwestern Association of Naturalists, Texas Academy of Sciences, Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, Kansas Herpetological Society, and Turtle Survival Alliance.

PROGRAM COSTS

Internships, Scholarships, and Financial Assistance

Summer or semester internships with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the Department of Energy, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Arizona Game and Fish Department, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and other organizations may be available to experienced and qualified students contingent upon funding availability or as volunteers. Internships provide students with invaluable on-the-job experience, while simultaneously allowing them to earn both a salary and college credit. Intern programs in both the Wildlife Biology and Environmental Science programs provide students with an opportunity to practice their profession prior to graduation.

In addition to grants, loans, teaching and research assistantships, and scholarships, the university offers scholarship funds and awards on a competitive basis to academically deserving majors.

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