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The Department of Wildland Resources

Wildlife ecology and management includes the analysis, management, conservation, and restoration of forest, rangeland, and aquatic ecosystems and their associated wildlife populations. Students graduating in wildlife science prepare for a variety of careers in natural resources, including preparation for graduate school to help launch careers with state agencies, federal land management, regulatory, and research agencies, and numerous private sector enterprises, such as consulting firms, private ranches, private land reclamation firms, and nongovernmental organizations.

Current students are encouraged to visit the Wildland Resources Department homepage for current news and information or the Wildland Resources Department's Undergraduate Programs homepage for additional information.

The curriculum meets the USA Federal Government’s Office of Personnel Management requirements for the post of Wildlife Biologist 0486.

View Degree Program in the USU General Catalog


What is Wildlife Ecology and Management?

Wildlife refers to free-ranging mammals and birdsliving in their natural habitats. The Wildlife Ecology and Management major emphasizes the ecology, behavior, conservation and management of wildlife populations and communities in terrestrial ecosystems.

What type of students study Wildlife Ecology and Management?

Students who …

  • Enjoy working with animals.
  • Like to work outside.
  • Are excited to link research and management.

What do Wildlife Ecology and Management majors study?

Wildlife ecology and management majors start with a solid foundation in:

  • Biology
  • Ecology
  • Chemistry
  • Math

Then move to more advanced courses in:

  • Plant and animal ecology.
  • Techniques for vegetation measurement, and management.
  • Management of animal populations, wildlife, policy and economics.

They then focus on a series of courses on specific groups of wildlife (birds, reptiles, amphibians, mammals), management of these animal populations, and on human dimensions of wildlife management, including policy and social science. The curriculum meets the USA Federal Government’s Office of Personnel Management requirements for the post of Wildlife Biologist 0486.

What type of jobs do graduates get?

The curriculum meets the United States Federal Government's Office of Personnel Management requirements for the Wildlife biologist series.

  • Wildlife Biologist with state and federal land-management agencies such as the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.
  • Environmental consulting firms.
  • Private industry with environmental divisions.
  • Private landowners.
  • Nonprofit environmental organizations such as The Nature Conservancy.
Shelly Kotynek


Shelly Kotynek

NR 120

Shelly brings years of experience in academic advising, and her love for the outdoors to help students succeed in their educations and future careers.

  • Semester-by-semester planning
  • Connecting with clubs
  • Changing your major
  • Academic success resources



One of the following Wildlife Science Faculty Mentors will be assigned to you:

Karen Beard Kezia Manlove Clark Rushing Tal Avgar Mike Conover Johan du Toit Dan MacNulty Terry Messmer Karen Mock
  • Career planning
  • Graduate school planning
  • Undergraduate research opportunities
  • Selecting degree program electives

OPM and TWS Certification Requirements