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Wildlife Ecology and Conservation department

Wildlife Ecology and Conservation department

Graduate Courses

The Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation offers Master of Science (thesis and nonthesis option) and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in wildlife ecology and conservation.

Program emphases include wildlife biology, ecology, and management; landscape ecology and restoration; human dimensions; tropical and international conservation; and conservation education.

Graduate students should have appropriate undergraduate training in the biological, social, and physical sciences including physics, chemistry, and mathematics. Students with inadequate backgrounds may be required to take (without credit at the graduate level) remedial undergraduate courses pertinent to their fields of interest.

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.

Prerequisite: STA 6093.

ALS 6500 Syllabus

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. No background in computing is required. 

ALS 6501 Syllabus

WIS 5496: Research Design in Wildlife Ecology (3)
Prereq: STA 3023 or equivalent; upper-division course in ecology.

Theory, testing, and discussion of how new knowledge about the natural world is obtained through application of sicientific approaches in the ecological sciences. We cover research design and sampling design best practices, and how to write a competitive research proposal.  Offered fall term only.

WIS 5496 Syllabus

WIS 5555C: Conservation Biology (3)
Prereq: basic courses in ecology, genetics.

Application of biological and resource management theory to the problem of the conservation of natural communities.

Offered fall term only.

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.

WIS 6405 Syllabus

WIS 6444: Advanced Wetlands Ecology(4)
Prereq: WIS 4443, SOS 4242, EES 6308C, or consent of instructor.

Examination of geology, hydrology, chemistry, flora, fauna, and ecology of major wetland systems in North America.

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. Identification, monitoring techniques, and management and restoration techniques will be taught through a combination of class lectures and hands-on field exercises and labs. 

WIS 6444C Syllabus

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.

WIS 6466: Wildlife Population Modeling(3)
Prereq: one course in calculus or liner algebra; one course in basic or popular ecology.

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 only.

WIS 6468C: Pattern and Process in Landscape Ecology(3)

Exploration of applied and quantitative methods to explore links between landscape patterns and processes.

Offered fall term only.

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.

Offered fall term of even-numbered years only.

WIS 6544: Administration in Natural Resources(3)

Natural resource agency administration primer in budgets, personnel management, program development, leadership, and strategic planning.

Offered spring term only.

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.

Offered fall term of odd-numbered years only.

WIS 6905: Research Problems in Wildlife and Range Sciences (1-6; max: 10)
Prereq: consent of instructor.

Offered every term.

WIS 6910: Supervised Research (1-5; max: 5)
Prereq: consent of instructor.


Offered every term.

WIS 6933: Seminar (1)



Offered every fall and spring term.

WIS 6934: Topics in Wildlife and Range Sciences (1-4; max: 10)
Prereq: WIS 6452, 5555C, or consent of instructor.

Advanced concepts and practices in wildlife management and conservation.

Offered every term, but topics will vary. Recently-taught (2016-2017) special topics include:
WIS 6934 Global Change Biology (3) (offered spring term only)
WIS 6934 Wildlife Habitat Management (3) (offered spring term only)
WIS 6934 Analysis/Management of Wildlife Population ((3) offered over spring break week)
WIS 6934 Invasion Ecology of Amphibians and Reptiles (3) (offered even fall term)
WIS 6934 Conservation of Amphibians and Reptiles (3) (offered odd fall term)
WIS 6934 Ecological Dynamics and Forecasting (2) (offered fall term only)
WIS 6934 Conservation Planning (3) (offered fall term only)
WIS 6934 Quantitative Wildlife Ecology (3) (offered fall term only
WIS 6934 Data Management/Movement Ecology (2) (offered summer term only)
WIS 6934 Coupled Human and Wildlife Systems

WIS 4934 6934 Large Mammal Syllabus

WIS 4934-6934 Disease and Wildlife Syllabus

WIS 6934 Introduction to the Quantitative Analysis of Wildlife Populations

WIS6934 Wildlife Tracks & Sign Syllabus

WIS 6934 Writing Science Syllabus

WIS 6934 Coupled Human and Wildlife Systems Syllabus

WIS 6940: Supervised Teaching (1-5; max: 5)
Prereq: consent of instructor.


Offered every term.

WIS 6971: Research for Master's Thesis (1-15)


Offered every term.

WIS 7979: Advanced Research (1-12)

Research for doctoral students before admission to candidacy. Designed for students with a master's degree in the field of study or for students who have been accepted for a doctoral program. Not appropriate for students who have been admitted to candidacy. S/U.

Offered every term.

WIS 7980: Research for Doctoral Dissertation (1-15)


Offered every term.

This 5-week, experiential program introduces students to New Zealand’s unique flora and fauna and local/national efforts to conserve and restore biodiversity. Note: tuition is off-book.

Offered Summer B term only.

Course Titles and Credits:
WIS 6905 Biodiversity Conservation and Management (3 credits)
WIS 6905 New Zealand Flora and Fauna (3 credits)

The purpose of this course is to provide students with an opportunity for hands-on learning in one of the most diverse and complex ecosystems on the planet. Students will learn field survival skills, wildlife and plant identification, wildlife research techniques, African wildlife ecology, and the linkages between conservation and social issues. Students will engage in many of Southern Africa's most pressing conservation issues, participate in community development projects, and gain an understanding and appreciation for the history and cultures of Southern Africa. Note: tuition is off-book.

Offered Summer A term only.

Course Titles and Credits:
WIS 6905 Conservation, Culture and Management (3 credits)
WIS 6905 African Savannah Wildlife Ecology (3 credits)