Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology

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The degrees are offered through the Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology program, an intercollegiate program administered by the Colleges of Natural Resources, Agriculture and Life Sciences, and Veterinary Medicine. Students are affiliated with the department of their major professor. The degrees emphasize habitat assessment, population biology, human dimensions, environmental policy, animal health, and sustainable management of fish and wildlife species.

Admissions Requirements

Application for admission is made directly to the Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology program. Minimum requirements include an undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 in an appropriate biological discipline. Completion of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is optional, depending on the requirements of individual faculty.   Admission is competitive and is contingent on the willingness of a member of the faculty to serve as the major professor. Exceptions to minimum requirements may be made for students with special backgrounds.

Master's Degree Requirements

The M.S. degree program requires a minimum of 30 credit hours, including 1-2 hours of seminar and no more than six hours of research. A research-based thesis is required, as is a minor (usually 9-10 hours). The Master of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology degree requires a minimum of 36 credits (including 4-6 hours of special problems and 1-2 hours of seminars), a professional paper, a committee and final exam.  For either degree, further requirements may be imposed by the advisory committee and/or department.

Doctoral Degree Requirements

The Ph.D. program requires 36 to 54 credits of course work beyond the Master's degree, including two seminars and an ethics course, and a dissertation. Exceptionally well-prepared students may petition to have their degree objective changed to Ph.D. before completing the Master's degree.

Student Financial Support

Graduate research and teaching assistantships are offered for qualified students through participating departments. Commitments for assistantships are normally made at the time of admission to graduate study.

Other Relevant Information

Research near campus is facilitated by excellent field, laboratory and computer resources. Off-campus research is conducted at the Pamlico Aquaculture Field Laboratory, research and extension centers in eastern and western NC, The Center for Marine Sciences and Technology in Morehead City, Bull Neck Swamp, Hill Forest, and at facilities of state and federal agencies and private organizations.

Faculty

Full Professors

  • David Derek Aday
  • Anthony T. Blikslager
  • Russell J. Borski
  • Jeffrey A. Buckel
  • Jaime A. Collazo
  • William Gregory Cope
  • Maria T. Correa
  • Frederick Willis Cubbage
  • Robert R. Dunn
  • Kevin Gross
  • Harry Valentine Daniels III
  • Christopher S. DePerno
  • David B. Eggleston
  • John R. Godwin
  • Craig A. Harms
  • George R. Hess
  • Jeffrey M. Hinshaw
  • Jay Frederick Levine
  • Thomas J. Kwak
  • Thomas M. Losordo
  • Kathryn Montgome Meurs
  • Christopher E. Moorman
  • Stacy Arnold Charles Nelson
  • Markus Nils Peterson
  • Luis Alonso Ramirez-Ulate
  • Robert Jeryl Richardson
  • Ann Helen Ross
  • Robert Michael Scheller
  • Clyde E. Sorenson
  • Michael K. Stoskopf

Associate Professors

  • Caren Beth Cooper
  • Madhusudan V. Katti
  • Randall Brian Langerhans
  • Theodore Henry Shear

Assistant Professors

  • Tal Ben-Horin
  • Jie Cao
  • Khara Deanne Grieger
  • Tara Myers Harrison
  • Nathan James Hostetter
  • Lincoln Ray Larson
  • Jamian Krishna Pacifici
  • Olivia Anne Petritz
  • Benjamin J. Reading
  • Kathryn Tate Stevenson
  • Bradley William Taylor
  • Elsa Youngsteadt

Practice/Research/Teaching Professors

  • Jesse Robert Fischer
  • Roland Wesley Kays
  • Lara B. Pacifici
  • Martha Burford Reiskind
  • Kara Kristina Walker

Courses

FW 511/FW 411  Human Dimensions of Wildlife and Fisheries  (3 credit hours)  

Study of human interactions with wildlife and fisheries, including principles important for understanding and addressing wildlife management and conservation challenges. Discussions of wildlife at the urban fringe, human attitudes towards hunting and fishing, and the public trust approach to wildlife management are included.

Juniors and Seniors Only

Typically offered in Spring only

FW 515/AEC 515  Fish Physiology  (3 credit hours)  

The biology of fishes: physiology, anatomy, endocrinology, behavior and genetics. Designed especially for graduate students in fisheries. Several trips to research laboratories taken.

Typically offered in Fall only

FW 544/FW 444  Mammalogy  (3 credit hours)  

The biology of mammals: evolution, functional morphology, reproduction, behavior, ecology, population biology, classification and identification. One weekend field trip planned. One independent field research project is required. Graduate students will prepare a full written report of their research projects, which will not be required of the undergraduates.

Prerequisite: PB 360 or BIO 360 or FOR 260

Typically offered in Fall only

FW 553  Principles Of Wildlife Science  (3 credit hours)  

The principles of wildlife management and their application studied in the laboratory and in the field.

Prerequisite: BO 360 or ZO 260

Typically offered in Spring only

FW 560/FW 460  International Wildlife Management and Conservation  (3 credit hours)  

An international perspective on wildlife management and conservation through investigation and comparison of historical events, policies, international conservation organizations and transfrontier conservation areas. Fundamental principles necessaryin managing the African savannah ecosystem, protected areas and game ranches. Identifying global biomes, zoogeography and the impacts of ecotourism.Cannot receive credit for both FW 460/560.

Prerequisite: Junior standing and above.

Typically offered in Spring only

FW 565/FW 465  African Ecology and Conservation  (4 credit hours)  

This course provides an international perspective on desert ecology, the African savanna ecosystem, African wildlife ecology and management. In addition, the management of a large national park of international importance, conservation of predators and their conflict with humans, and international tourism are discussed. Various sampling techniques are practiced during field work. A combination of lectures, field lectures, field work, field excursions, data analyses and home work form an integral part of the course.

Prerequisite: One 200-level or higher course in ES, ET FOR, FW, NR, PB, PRT, or ZO

GEP Global Knowledge, GEP Natural Sciences

Typically offered in Summer only

FW 586/AEC 586  Aquaculture  (3 credit hours)  

Biological and general principles of aquaculture. Emphasis on the present status of aquaculture, species involved, techniques employed, and problems encountered. Discussion of recent advances in research and development and identification of areas of future research and development.

Prerequisite: BO 360 or ZO 260 or Graduate standing or Senior standing

Typically offered in Spring only

FW 587/AEC 587  Aquaculture Laboratory  (1 credit hours)  

Methods and techniques of cultivating aquatic organisms. Field trips and reports on local hatcheries and facilities required. (Three to four overnight field trips taken on week days to coastal areas, state hatcheries, and private hatcheries; students responsible for shared room costs and their meals. Four field trips also taken on laboratory day within driving range of Raleigh.)

Prerequisite: BO 360 or ZO 260 or Graduate standing or Senior standing, Corequisite: ZO 586

Typically offered in Fall only

FW 595  Special Topics in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences  (1-6 credit hours)  

Special topics in various aspects fisheries and wildlife sciences are developed under the direction of a graduate faculty member. Also used to test and develop new courses.

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer

FW 602  Seminar In Wildlife Management  (1 credit hours)  

Current topics and issues in wildlife biology and management. Students select and research topics, give seminars and lead group discussions.

Typically offered in Fall only

FW 610  Special Topics in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences  (1-6 credit hours)  

Special topics in various aspects of fisheries and wildlife science are developed under the direction of a graduate faculty member. Also used to develop new courses.

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer

FW 685  Master's Supervised Teaching  (1-3 credit hours)  

Teaching experience under the mentorship of faculty who assist the student in planning for the teaching assignment, observe and provide feedback to the student during the teaching assignment, and evaluate the student upon completion of the assignment.

Prerequisite: Master's student

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer

FW 693  Master's Supervised Research  (1-9 credit hours)  

Instruction in research and research under the mentorship of a member of the Graduate Faculty.

Prerequisite: Master's student

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer

FW 695  Master's Thesis Research  (1-9 credit hours)  

Thesis research.

Prerequisite: Master's student

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer

FW 696  Summer Thesis Research  (1 credit hours)  

For graduate students whose programs of work specify no formal course work during a summer session and who will be devoting full time to thesis research.

Prerequisite: Master's student

Typically offered in Summer only

FW 720  Epidemiology of Wildlife Diseases  (3 credit hours)  

Concepts related to infectious disease outbreaks in free-ranging species of wildlife. Numerous examples of wildlife diseases will be used to illustrate factors affecting host-agent-environment interactions in fish, amphibians, birds, and both aquatic and terrestrial mammals. Enrollment in the Fisheries and Wildlife graduate program or Masters of Veterinary Public Health program; clinical residents or veterinary students at the College of Veterinary Medicine.

FW 726/AEC 726  Quantitative Fisheries Management  (3 credit hours)  

Current methods for assessment and management of exploited fish populations, including sampling methods, data analysis and modeling. A required research paper or project.

Typically offered in Fall only

FW 730  Ethics in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences  (2 credit hours)  

Students will explore historical and current thinking concerning the search for truth about natural systems, and the complex ethics scientists and practitioners who operate in the public sector must consider. Standards of professional and ethical behavior specific to Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences will be addressed. Faculty will introduce topics and guide discussions; students will give seminars and lead some discussions. For doctoral students in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences.

Typically offered in Fall only

FW 801  Issues in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences Doctoral Seminar  (2 credit hours)  

Current topics and issues in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences Research. Students select and research topics, give seminars on Ph.D. proposals, and lead group discussions. For doctoral students in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences.

Typically offered in Spring only

FW 802  Seminar in Fisheries and Wildlife  (1 credit hours)  

Current topics and issues in fisheries and wildlife biology and management. Students select and research topics, give seminars, and lead group discussions. For doctoral students in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences.

Typically offered in Fall only

FW 810  Special Topics in Fisheries and Wildlife  (1-6 credit hours)  

Individual students or groups of students, under direction of a faculty member, will explore topics of special interest not covered by existing courses. Format may consist of readings and independent study, problems or research not related to dissertation. Also used to develop and test new 800-level courses. For doctoral students in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences.

Typically offered in Spring and Summer

FW 885  Doctoral Supervised Teaching  (1-3 credit hours)  

Teaching experience under the mentorship of faculty who assist the student in planning for the teaching assignment, observe and provide feedback to the student during the teaching assignment, and evaluate the student upon completion of the assignment. For doctoral students in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences.

Typically offered in Fall and Spring

FW 893  Doctoral Supervised Research  (1-9 credit hours)  

Instruction in research and research under the mentorship of a member of the Graduate Faculty. For doctoral students in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences.

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer

FW 895  Doctoral Dissertation Research  (1-9 credit hours)  

Dissertation Research. For doctoral students in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences.

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer

FW 896  Summer Doctoral Dissertation Research  (1 credit hours)  

Summer Dissertation Research. For doctoral students in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences.

Typically offered in Summer only