1997-98 UAF Catalog

Degrees and Programs

Course Description Index

Wildlife Biology

College of Science, Engineering and Mathematics
Department of Biology and Wildlife
(907) 474-7671

Degrees: B.S., M.S., Ph.D.

Minimum Requirements for Degrees: B.S., 130 credits; M.S., 30 additional credits

The undergraduate curricula in the program in wildlife are intended to provide basic education and training. This degree is designed for those students whose objective is to undertake research needed to provide additional information on the workings of wild animal populations, the condition of their habitat, and habitat-animal relationships. It is also designed for those students whose primary interests involve the interpretation, application, or dissemination of research findings, rather than their acquisition. A wildlife degree is appropriate for those students contemplating careers in wildlife agency administration, in developing and implementing wildlife management plans and in public information and education. The curriculum provides a solid foundation for graduate study and meets requirement for certification by The Wildlife Society.

The geographic location of the university is particularly advantageous for the study of wildlife biology. Spruce forest, aspen-birch forest, alpine tundra, bogs and several types of aquatic habitats are within easy reach. Studies can be made in many other habitats ranging from the dense forests of southeastern Alaska to Arctic tundra.

Adequate study collections of plants and animals are available, and a 2,000 acre study area is near the campus. Wildlife biology students have ample opportunity for close association with the personnel of the Alaska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Institute of Arctic Biology and several local offices of the federal and state conservation agencies. These agencies often provide support for graduate student projects, and program faculty usually hire a number of students for summer field work. Thus, an unusually good opportunity is available for students to gain experience and to make job connections.

The Department of Biology and Wildlife, the Institute of Arctic Biology, and the Alaska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit cooperate in offering graduate work leading to the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. Persons desiring detailed information on the graduate program in wildlife biology and management may obtain this from the chair, Wildlife Program. The procedure to be followed in applying for admission to graduate study is outlined in the section on Graduate Admissions.

The Alaska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit and Institute of Arctic Biology offer a limited number of research assistantships. Teaching assistantships are available from the Department of Biology and Wildlife.

Undergraduate Degree Requirements

Wildlife Biology -- B.S. Degree

  1. Complete the general university requirements and B.S. degree requirements, completing COMM 141X as part of the core.
  2. Complete the following program (major) requirements:
    NRM 101 -- Natural Resources Cons. and Policy (3 credits)
    NRM/WLF 431 -- Wildlife Policy and Administration
    or NRM 407 -- Environmental Law (3 credits)
    STAT 200 -- Elementary Probability and Statistics
    or STAT 300 -- Statistics (3 credits)
    STAT 401 -- Regression and Analysis of Variance
    or STAT 402 -- Scientific Sampling (3 credits)
    BIOL 105X-106X -- Fundamentals of Biology (8 credits)
    BIOL 210 -- Animal Physiology (4 credits)
    BIOL 317 -- Comp. Anatomy (4 credits)
    BIOL 239 -- Introduction to Plant Biology (4 credits)
    BIOL 271 -- Principles of Ecology (4 credits)
    BIOL 331 -- Systematic Botany (4 credits)
    BIOL 362 -- Principles of Genetics (4 credits)
    BIOL 425 -- Mammalogy (3 credits)
    BIOL 426 -- Ornithology (3 credits)
    BIOL 471 -- Population Ecology (3 credits)
    CHEM 105X-106X -- General Chemistry (8 credits)
    ENGL 314 -- Technical Writing
    or ENGL 414 -- Research Writing (3 credits)
    MATH 272X -- Introduction to Calculus for the Life Sciences
    or MATH 200X -- Calculus 3-4
    PHYS 103X -- College Physics (4 credits)
    WLF 101 -- Survey of Wildlife Sciences (1 credit)
    WLF 201 -- Wildlife Management Principles (3 credits)
    WLF 303 -- Wildlife Management Techniques (3 credits)
    WLF 410 -- Wildlife Populations and Their Management (3 credits)
    WLF 460 -- Nutrition and Physiol Ecology of Wildlife (3 credits)
    Take at least 3 of the following:
    BIOL 303 -- Principles of Metabolism and Biochemistry (4 credits)
    BIOL 406 -- Entomology (4 credits)
    BIOL 407 -- Aquatic Entomology (3 credits)
    BIOL 414 -- Environmental Physiology (4 credits)
    BIOL 427 -- Ichthyology (3 credits)
    BIOL 441 -- Animal Behavior (3 credits)
    BIOL 444 -- Reproductive Biology (3 credits)
    BIOL 472 -- Communities and Ecosystems (3 credits)
    BIOL 473 -- Limnology (3 credits)
    BIOL 474 -- Plant Ecology (4 credits)
    BIOL 477 -- Ecology of Streams and Rivers (3 credits)
    BIOL 480 -- Water Pollution Biology (3 credits)
    BIOL 482 -- Evolution (3 credits)
    NRM 338 -- Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (3 credits)
    NRM 312 -- Introduction to Range Management (3 credits)
    NRM 341 -- GIS Analysis (4 credits)
    NRM 370 -- Introduction to Watershed Management (3 credits)
    NRM 380 -- Soils and the Environment (3 credits)
    NRM 450 -- Forest Management (3 credits)
    WLF 305 -- Wildlife Diseases (3 credits)
    WLF 419 -- Waterfowl and Wetlands Ecology and Management (4 credits)

    Complete sufficient electives to bring total to (130 credits)

Bachelor of science candidates are strongly urged to obtain work experience in wildlife-related positions with public resource agencies or private firms. Faculty members can help students contact potential employers.

The biology and wildlife program and the Alaska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit cooperate in offering graduate work leading to the master of science degree. A doctor of philosophy degree is also offered. Persons desiring detailed information on the graduate program in wildlife biology may obtain this from the head, biology and wildlife program. The procedure to be followed in applying for admission to graduate study is outlined in the section on Graduate Admissions in this catalog.

MINOR in Wildlife Biology:

A minor in Wildlife Biology requires at least 15 credits in Biology and Wildlife, including WLF 303, WLF 410, WLF 460, and six additional credits approved by the department, in Biology or Wildlife and that are not required for a student's major. Prerequisites for required courses include BIOL 105X-106X, BIOL 210, BIOL 271, STAT 200 or STAT 300, and WLF 201. Depending upon a student's major, some of these prerequisites may satisfy the six additional credits in Biology and Wildlife required for this minor.

Graduate Degree Requirements

Wildlife Biology -- M.S. Degree

  1. Complete the general university requirements and master's degree requirements.
  2. Complete a minimum of 30 credits of approved courses, including thesis, in the field of wildlife biology. At least 24 credits, including thesis and/or research, must be at the 600 level.
  3. Students working in subject areas involving significant non-English literature will be expected to read the appropriate foreign language.

Biological Sciences -- Wildlife Biology -- Ph.D. Degree

The doctoral degree is awarded for proven ability and scholarly attainment. Candidates' programs are planned with their graduate advisory committees, as there are no fixed course requirements required to earn the Ph.D. degree. A candidate for the Ph.D. degree in the Wildlife Biology program will be expected to have coursework at least equivalent to that required for the M.S. degree. See the UAF degree requirements.