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Wildlife Ecology and Conservation department

Wildlife Ecology and Conservation department

Graduate Courses

This is an exhaustive list of courses that could be offered. Please use ONE.UF Schedule of Courses to find courses actually offered in upcoming, current and recent terms. Some courses may require pre-requisites. If this blocks your registration, then discuss pertinent undergraduate and graduate courses that provide preparation with the instructor to seek admission. 


REGULAR COURSE OFFERINGS: These course are approved components of the graduate curriculum and have been offered regularly in recent years. All receive letter grades.  Contact Michael Dial ( to be enrolled in these courses taught by WEC faculty. The first three courses listed count as WIS graded credits (despite having different prefixes) because they are taught by WEC faculty.

  • STA 6093 Introduction to Applied Statistics for Agricultural and Life Sciences (3): This course provides students with a conceptual and practical understanding of the application of statistics in the agricultural and life sciences. This is an online course that will use a combination of lectures, programming demonstrations, data exercises using the programming language R, group discussions, and primary literature to teach introductory statistics at the graduate level. Offered fall and spring terms. Prerequisite: None. STA 6093 Syllabus.  Satisfies statistics / quantitative requirements.
  • ALS 6500 Multivariate Statistics in Agricultural and Life Sciences (3): This course provides students with a conceptual and practical understanding of the application of multivariate statistics in the life sciences. Topics covered include ordination, clustering, and discrimination. Prior experience with the programming language R is necessary for this course. Offered fall terms. Prerequisite: STA 6093.  ALS 6500 Syllabus. Satisfies statistics / quantitative requirements.
  • ALS 6501 Data Carpentry for Biologists (3): An introduction to data management, manipulation, and analysis, with an emphasis on biological problems. Class consists of short introductions to new concepts followed by hands on computing exercises using R and SQLite, but the concepts apply to programming languages and databases more generally. Taught every fall. Prerequisite: No background in computing is required. ALS 6501 Syllabus & Schedule.  Satisfies quantitative requirement for MS non-thesis students.
  • WIS 5496 Research Design in Wildlife Ecology (3): Theoretical foundations of ecology, philosophical underpinnings of testing scientific truths, design of descriptive, causal, and predictive research studies.  Emphasis on empirical research in natural systems and best practices in research and sampling design. Students produce a peer-reviewed research proposal on their own thesis / dissertation work.  Taught every fall. Prerequisites: An undergraduate statistics course, general ecology.  This course is not open to MS non-thesis students, nor is it appropriae for students whose research uses social science (survey) methods (equivalent social science courses are available via FYCS). WIS 5496 Syllabus
  • WIS 5555C Conservation Biology (3): Application of biological and resource management theory to the problem of the conservation of natural communities. Offered irregularly. Prerequisite: basic courses in ecology and genetics. WIS 4554-5555c Course Syllabus
  • WIS 6405 Biodiversity (3): Biodiversity emerges from a combination of ecological and evolutionary processes operating across many scales of space and time. This course examines the concept of biodiversity and the processes that generate important patterns of biodiversity in ecology. Offered fall term. Prerequisite:  None. WIS 6405 Syllabus
  • WIS 6444 Advanced Wetlands Ecology (4): Examination of geology, hydrology, chemistry, flora, fauna, and ecology of major wetland systems in North America. Not currently taught.
  • WIS 6444C Wetland Management (3):  Prepares students for basic monitoring, field research, and management of wetlands, using ecological principles and knowledge of community variation in relation to stressors. Not currently taught.
  • WIS 6455 Wildlife Population Ecology (3): Rigorous background in population analysis covering population growth and regulation, species interactions, life-history theory, and population viability analysis. Offered spring term only. Prerequisite: None. WIS 6455 Syllabus
  • WIS 6466 Wildlife Population Modeling (3):  Theory and applications of life tables, age, and stage-structured matrix population models. Sensitivity analysis and analysis of life table response experiments. Unstructured population models.  Offered spring term of even-numbered years. Prerequisite: one course in calculus or liner algebra; one course in basic or popular ecology.  WIS 6466 Syllabus
  • WIS 6468C Pattern and Process in Landscape Ecology (3):  Exploration of applied and quantitative methods to explore links between landscape patterns and processes.  Offered alternate years and terms. WIS 6468C Syllabus
  • WIS 6505C Quantitative Analysis of Animal Populations (3):  Quantitative models are useful to explain and predict animal population’s patterns and processes. Model’s usefulness stems from their ability to synthesize complex processes using a limited number of parameters and assumptions. In this course, students will learn the theory and application of quantitative methods to estimate population level statistics and quantify related uncertainty. Offered spring term only.
  • WIS 6522 Coupled Human and Natural Systems (3): This course will train graduate students in implementing the Coupled Human and Natural Systems (CHANS) framework for interdisciplinary wildlife research around the globe. This is an interdisciplinary approach to addressing global challenges by explicitly examining interactions and feedbacks between humans (e.g., culture, socioeconomics, governance) and nature (e.g., wildlife, plants, abiotic features). Offered odd-year spring terms only. WIS 6934 Coupled Human and Wildlife Systems Syllabus
  • WIS 6525 Environmental Interpretation (3):  Theory and practice of environmental interpretation for natural resource management. Design, implementation, and evaluation of programming about environment for variety of audiences and settings.  Not currently offered.
  • WIS 6544 Administration in Natural Resources (3):  Natural resource agency administration primer in budgets, personnel management, program development, leadership, and strategic planning.  Offered irregularly. WIS 6544 Syllabus
  • WIS 6578 Human Dimensions of Biological Conservation (3): Interdisciplinary overview of theory and practice of conservation education, communication, and integrated resource management using local and international models.  Not currently offered.
  • WIS 6933 Seminar (1): Students attend WEC departmental seminars, engage with speakers, assess presentation quality, and create social media concerning speaker presentations. Specific duties up to the instructors assigned in each term. Offered every fall and spring term.  S/U grade. Required (1 credit) of all WEC graduate students!

CONTRACT COURSES*:  The following 3 WIS courses are only by contract.  Contract forms (from WEC student services) must be filled out by the supervising professor and the student for guided, one-on-one activities and describe the specific tasks and expectations and learning objectives to be completed in order to obtain a final grade.  Contracts must be completed, signed, and deposited with student services 5 days prior to the end of Drop-Add. Go to the graduate forms page to find the contract forms.

  • WIS 6905* Research Problems in Wildlife Sciences (variable): Guided individual study of a selected topic as contracted with an instructor at the start of the term. Can be a research project distinct from thesis or dissertation work, or other supervised activity. Submit contract to Student Services in WEC.  Offered every term. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. Letter grade. [Also used for grad students participating in study abroad program in New Zealand]. Open to all WEC grad students. 
  • WIS 6910* Supervised Research (variable):  Supervised work on a selected topic as contracted with an instructor at the start of the term. Can be for research or extension / outreach activities requiring weekly supervision, especially appropriate for skills/techniques training.  Submit contract to Student Services in WEC.  Offered every term. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.  S/U grade. Open only to research students – not available to non-thesis MS students.
  • WIS 6940* Supervised Teaching (variable): Supervised teaching experience as contracted with an instructor at the start of the term. Can be taken if student is volunteering or paid to help/instruct in classroom or non-traditional teaching endeavors. Offered every fall and spring term.  S/U grade. Open only to research students – not available to non-thesis MS students.

SPECIAL TOPICS COURSES:  WIS 6934 Topics in Wildlife Sciences (variable) is a course number used for new courses or special topics not offered regularly; all can be used for WIS letter-graded course credits. The following courses have been offered recently. All courses fall under WIS 6934, but the section numbers and titles will vary!

  • Diseases and Wildlife (3): WIS 4934-6934 Disease and Wildlife Syllabus
  • Writing Science (3): Offered irregularly.  WIS 6934 Writing Science Syllabus
  • Global Change Biology (3): Offered spring term.
  • Analysis & Management of Wildlife Population (3): Offered irregularly (Spring Break).
  • Invasion Ecology of Amphibians & Reptiles (3): Offered even fall terms.
  • Quantitative Wildlife Ecology (3): Offered fall term.
  • Conservation of Amphibians & Reptiles (3): Offered odd fall terms.
  • Ecological Dynamics & Forecasting (2): Offered fall term.
  • Conservation Planning (3): Offered spring term. Syllabus Cons. Planning
  • Conservation Practice (3). Offered spring term. WIS 6934 Conservation Practice Syllabus

THESIS AND DISSERTATION RESEARCH CREDITS: These course credits are used by research MS and PhD students to get time in their schedules to conduct their research work (field/lab studies, data wrangling, analysis, write-up), and are not open to non-thesis MS students.

  • WIS 6971 Research for Master's Thesis (variable): Credits taken while conducting masters research work (data collection, analysis, writing). Offered every term. S/U grade.
  • WIS 7979 Advanced Research (variable): Credits taken while conducting doctoral research for dissertation before admission to candidacy. Not appropriate for students who have been admitted to candidacy. Offered every term. S/U grade.
  • WIS 7980 Research for Doctoral Dissertation (variable): Credits taken while conducting doctoral research for dissertation after admission to candidacy. Not appropriate for students who have not passed their qualifying exam. Offered every term. S/U grade.


The following courses are regularly taught online-only courses comprising an “off-book” MS non-thesis degree in Wildlife Forensics and Conservation that is seperate from our on campus MS and PhD (core) programs. HOWEVER, most of these courses have 6 seats reserved for graduate students in our core WEC programs. They count just the same as those listed above for WIS graded course credits, but these do not require presence in Gainesville (so can be taken while in the field or working a job elsewhere, for example). Please see this site for the Wildlife Forensics Programs offered via the Maples Center.   Contact Narasi Ramachandran to be enrolled in one of the classes below.

  • WIS 6934 Wildlife Tracks and Sign (3): Offered fall term.
  • WIS 6050 Professional Communication in Wildlife Forensic Science (3): Offered fall term.
  • WIS 6306 Applied Wildlife Forensic Genetics (3): Prerequisite: VME 6573. Offered spring term.
  • WIS 6421 Wildlife Toxicology: The Ecohealth Perspective (3): Offered irregularly.
  • WIS 6425 Carrion Ecology and Evolution (3): Offered summer term.
  • WIS 6552 Conservation Medicine (3): Offered spring term.
  • WIS 6561 Wildlife Crime Scene Processing (3): Offered spring term.
  • WIS 6557 International Wildlife Conservation Law, Policy & Ethics (3): Offered fall term.
  • WIS 6558 U.S. Wildlife Law, Policy & Ethics (3): Offered spring term.
  • WIS 6559 Forensic Science in Conservation Biology (3): Offered summer term.
  • WIS 6576 Human-Wildlife Conflict (3): Irregularly offered.
  • WIS 6563 Wildlife Forensic Pathology (3): Offered spring term.
  • WIS 6905 Botswana Field Course/Study Abroad (6): Offered summer term (controlled admission).
  • WIS 6946 Wildlife Forensics Internship (1-6): Offered every term (controlled admission).

NOTE: The Botswana study abroad and Forensics internship courses (last two) are contract courses and they implement a review and selection process – seats are not guaranteed!