Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Resources Degree
The Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Resources focuses on the ecology, conservation, and management of wildlife species and their natural habitats. A science-based program, this degree offered through the Department of Fish and Wildlife Sciences examines the relationships wildlife populations have with each other, the threats the growing human population poses, and the areas where this field intersects with other natural resources management disciplines.
The University of Idaho designed the B.S. in Wildlife Resources as a degree program for students interested in species science and the preservation of the natural world who are seeking a career where they’re out in the field conducting research. Reflecting this, the structure blends classroom learning heavily rooted in the sciences with hands-on experiences that prepare students for careers working outdoors with government agencies and private conservation organizations.
The first year of the program takes a holistic perspective of all related scientific disciplines. Students, in turn, take courses in chemistry, biology, ecology, genetics, sociology, physics, soil science, and geology, before progressing onto more advanced wildlife courses that not only examine the scientific angle but also where this field fits into forest policy and law enforcement. As well, electives allow students to explore mammalogy, herpetology, ichthyology, and ornithology in greater depth.
Collectively, this structure provides students with the knowledge to influence wildlife management programs and natural resources efforts, all while incorporating field and laboratory experiences and enhancing their critical thinking skills. In the process, students see where wildlife management and conservation overlap with range and forest management, environmental science, and soil science, explore the social and economic effects of human behavior on wildlife species, learn about habitat preservation and conservation strategies, become familiar with wildlife diseases and population dynamics, and acquire field skills in data collection, sampling, surveying, analysis, and research.
Course content and experiential learning ultimately prepare BS in Wildlife Resources students for positions where they’ll be writing species recovery plans, managing parks and protected areas, advising policymakers and land-use planners, and ensuring agencies and organizations comply with conservation efforts. Based on figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, organizations will need 3% more conservation scientists and foresters and 5% more zoologists and wildlife biologists between 2018 and 2028.
- Enjoy a program defined by learning in the field as well as the classroom, and take advantage of the Department of Fish and Wildlife Science’s opportunities, including a Semester in the Wild and the McCall Outdoor Science School.
- Broaden your horizons with an internship at the Taylor Wilderness Research Station.
- Participate in research with top-notch faculty within your first two years.
- Gain useful work experience in on-campus labs and facilities.
- Learn conservation and wildlife management strategies to lessen the threats humans pose to local wildlife populations.
- Examine the environmental, societal, and political factors shaping current wildlife conservation and management efforts, and learn more about endangered and invasive species.
- Gaining a strong scientific and quantitative background prepares students for a range of wildlife research and management positions in the workforce and to pursue a graduate degree in wildlife management. Following graduation, students have found positions with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the US Forest Service, the National Marine Fisheries Service, the US Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Environmental Quality, state fish and game, conservation departments, tribal agencies, and private organizations, research centers, and advocacy groups. Learn more about careers in wildlife resources.