College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
Forest and Wildlife Ecology
226 Russell Labs, 1630 Linden Drive, Madison, WI 53706; 608-262-9975; forestandwildlifeecology.wisc.edu
Professors Karasov (chair), Bockheim, Bromley, Craven, Field, Gower, Guries, Kruger, Langston, Lorimer, Marcouiller, Mladenoff, Raffa, Ray, Stanosz, Townsend; Associate Professors Balster, Bowe, Drake, Lutz, Radeloff, Ribic, Rickenbach, Samuel, Van Deelen; Assistant Professors Ozdogan, Pauli, Peery, Pidgeon, Rissman
An undergraduate major in forest science is offered in the Bachelor of Science degree program. The scope of forestry is broad, including activities as diverse as ensuring sustainable supplies of fiber and bio-energy for future generations, control of invasive insect and disease epidemics, maintenance of natural areas, restoration of degraded sites, and providing habitat conditions that will maintain biological diversity. All majors take a common core of basic science and forest-related courses. Beyond the common core, students have broad flexibility in selecting resource-related courses and can develop a custom curriculum attuned to their interests. All curricular tracks are designed to meet accreditation standards of the Society of American Foresters. Most forestry courses include a field component and all students must complete a professional work experience prior to graduation.
Students with research as a professional goal should consider graduate work in forest resources and related sciences. Advanced work usually is required for research positions. Details may be obtained from the department.
The Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology offers graduate education in a variety of specialties leading to the master of science and doctor of philosophy degrees. Programs are developed within the department or jointly with other departments. For information, see the Graduate School Catalog.
Founded by Aldo Leopold, the Department of Wildlife Management (now Forest and Wildlife Ecology) is the oldest academic department in the country where students can receive formal training in the conservation, applied management, and ecological study of wildlife. The curriculum is solidly based in the natural sciences. Students are trained in the basic science of ecology, as well as its application to practical issues such as conservation of exploited wildlife, control of wildlife pests, preservation of rare and endangered wildlife, and the management of wildlife communities in protected natural areas. Training also requires social science course work because most wildlife conservation issues ultimately relate to human communities.
The department offers wildlife ecology through the Bachelor of Science degree program. The wildlife ecology includes course work that will qualify a student for certification as a wildlife biologist by The Wildlife Society. All students are given opportunities to gain practical field experience, which is usually essential for acceptance into a graduate program and eventual employment.
There is intense competition for career openings in the wildlife field. Most opportunities are with state and federal conservation agencies, but career possibilities also exist with private conservation groups and educational institutions. To be most competitive for limited job opportunities, students should pursue a master's degree. The Graduate School Catalog describes the department's graduate programs.