The professional field of wildlife science covers the basic ecology of free-living animals and their relations to humans, including their management and conservation. Wildlife science is, therefore, a multidisciplinary field which draws from the natural, quantitative, and social sciences. Wildlife studies at the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences is active in all phases of the discipline with current research projects on the basic ecology of species and a wide range of issues dealing with management and conservation of species and ecosystems, including problems in forest management, wildlife toxicology, range management, and marine mammalogy. Students and faculty focus on vertebrates and is strongly field-oriented. Courses and seminars feature current approaches to wildlife research and management, ecological theory, and quantitative methods.

Graduates concentrating in wildlife science obtain employment in varied settings. Historically, most graduates have been hired by municipal, state and federal agencies. Recently, as the demand for expertise in wildlife science has intensified, graduates also have found opportunities with consulting firms, private conservation organizations, and research laboratories.

Previous Research

  • Wildlife communities on new forestry demonstration sites in western Oregon and Washington
  • Home range movements and habitat use of western gray squirrels
  • Evaluating bird response to the Plum Creek Habitat Conservation Plan
  • Winter habitat use and foraging behavior of lynx in north central Washington
  • Amphibian use of stormwater retention ponds in King County
  • Effects of natural disturbance and barred owl competition on spotted owls in Olympic National Park
  • The role of summer range on mule deer populations in north-central Washington

Wildlife Science Curriculum Structure

Orientation Credits Notes
SEFS 500 1 Graduate Orientation Seminar
Disciplinary Knowledge
ESRM 441 5 Landscape Ecology
ESRM 456 3 Biology and Conservation of Birds
ESRM 452 3 Field Ornithology
ESRM 458 5 Management of Endangered, Threatened and Sensitive Species
SEFS 501 5 Forest Ecosystems – Community Ecology
Research Design/Quantitative Methods
QSCI 482 5 Statistical Inference in Applied Research I
QSCI 483 5 Statistical Inference in Applied Research II
QSCI 458* 4 Modeling and Estimation in Conservation and Resource Management
QSCI/STAT 480* 3 Sampling Theory for Biologists
QSCI/STAT 486* 4 Experimental Design
STAT 403* 4 Introduction to Resampling Inference
STAT 492* 3 Stochastic Calculus for Option Pricing
STAT 516* 4 Stochastic Modeling of Scientific Data
CS & SS 564* 4 Bayesian Statistics for the Social Sciences
CS & SS 565* 3 Inequality: Current Trends and Explanations
CS & SS 567* 4 Statistical Analysis of Social Networks
Social & Natural Science
SEFS 509 3 Analysis of Research Problems
Current Topics
SEFS 554** 1-2 Wildlife Seminar
SEFS 700 9 Master’s Thesis
SEFS 800 27 Doctoral Dissertation

*Ph.D. level course
**for MS, taken twice; for Ph.D., taken three times

Related Faculty

Faculty Member Areas of Interest
Stanley Asah Human dimensions of natural resource management; human environment systems analyses; environmental social psychology
Sarah Converse Conservation biology, decision science, demographic estimation, hierarchical modeling, integrated population modeling, reintroduction biology
Beth Gardner Hierarchical models, spatial capture-recapture models, occupancy models, camera trapping, hair snares, sampling techniques, spatial statistics, Bayesian inference
Christian Grue Wildlife toxicology
Josh Lawler Landscape ecology, conservation biology
Phillip Levin Interdisciplinary conservation science, ecosystem-based natural resource management, marine and coastal conservation biology, marine ecology
John Marzluff Wildlife-habitat relationships, avian social ecology and demography
L. Monika Moskal Remote sensing, biospatial analysis
Laura Prugh Quantitative multi-species conservation and management; wildlife community ecology; conservation of endangered species and fragmented populations; human-wildlife interactions; noninvasive genetics; predator-prey interactions
John Skalski Wildlife biostatistics
Sandor F. Toth Natural resources informatics; sustainable forest and natural resource management; spatial forest planning and optimization; forest engineering and operations research; reserve design
Aaron Wirsing Wildlife science, behavioral ecology, predator-prey interaction


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