Department of Biology

Wildlife Conservation and Management

What majors and minors are offered?
The Department of Biology offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife Conservation and Management.

Why should I major in Wildlife Conservation and Management?
If you like to think about how humans coexist with other living things, and how we can preserve their habitats for future generations, you may want to consider a degree in Wildlife Conservation and Management. Careers in that field allow you to contribute something worthwhile to society. The very nature of the work enables you to be involved in projects that help shape the future of natural resources.

Why should I choose this biology program?
The Bachelor of Science Degree in Wildlife Conservation and Management is one of only two programs in the state of Missouri to offer all of the requisite courses for certification as a wildlife biologist by The Wildlife Society.

Wildlife Conservation and Management students have access to the Otoe Creek Nature Area, a 180-acre field study area on campus. The area contains a network of trails that run through various habitats, including ponds and a stream.

The Missouri Department of Conservation’s Northwest Service Center is located on Missouri Western’s campus. The Center includes offices and labs for more than 25 professionals, modern classrooms, research labs and a prep room for the Biology Department. The Biology Department’s Natural History Collection of museum specimens is also housed there, along with a herbarium.

The professors in this program are dedicated to the students, and are outstanding teachers and researchers. They work very closely with students on research projects, and a high percentage of students present their findings at professional meetings.

The Wildlife Conservation and Management program also provides a strong background for students in Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Missouri Western’s Biology Department boasts a 25-seat computer lab that contains the latest GIS software.

Are your programs accredited?
The Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Conservation and Management degree is one of only two programs in the state of Missouri to offer all of the required courses for certification as a Wildlife Biologist by the Wildlife Society.

What are the admission requirements for the program?
The entrance requirements are the same as those required by the institution.

As a high school student, how should I prepare for a Wildlife Conservation and Management degree?
High school students who have completed the college-preparatory curriculum including at least three years of high school science, and mathematics through advanced algebra, are best prepared for the field.

You may want to talk to professors in the Biology Department. They can tell you about career opportunities and the courses you will take for a Wildlife Conservation and Management degree, and they can answer any other questions you may have. They can also help connect you with graduates of the Wildlife Conservation and Management program.

What type of student succeeds in the field of Wildlife Conservation and Management?
Most conservation positions require excellent communication skills because of frequent contact with the public. Often, employees are asked to speak to groups about conservation subjects. Public contact also occurs when employees gather information or enforce wildlife rules and regulations.

Also, students that are highly motivated in biology and have a problem-solving orientation are most likely to succeed.

What is the typical class size?
Although first-semester freshman biology class lectures are large (60 to 100 students), lab sections typically have less than 24 students. Upper division classes often have 10 to 20 students.

How do students work together with faculty?
Students and faculty work closely on a one-on-one basis during faculty-sponsored internships and student research projects. Faculty members also make every effort to meet with students as they work on projects, study for exams, and plan their schedules during advisement sessions.

What student organizations are available?
Missouri Western has a student chapter of The Wildlife Society. The active group participates in several activities related to their field, including prairie restoration work, deer spotlight surveys at Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge, and quail surveys. They earned the Best Chapter Award in the central states in 2004.

The department also hosts the Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society, which participates in a number of activities throughout the year. Last year, at a regional Beta Beta Beta meeting, two students were awarded stipend grants to attend and present their research at the national meeting.

Students may also join the Biology Department’s Pre-Professional Club. Along with a variety of activities, students in the Pre-Professional Club may learn current information about professional schools, admission requirements, and pre-professional exams.

What types of grants has your department received recently?
The Biology Department has received several grants in the past three years for several of their programs:

  • Grants from the Environmental Systems Research Institute totaling $160,000 for Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software.
  • Grants from the Missouri Department of Conservation totaling $7,500.
  • Grants from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service totaling $10,000.
  • Grants from the National Institutes of Health totaling $136,000.
  • Grants from the National Science Foundation totaling $61,000.
  • One biology professor helped to write, and two biology faculty members were instructors, on an $117,000 Coordinating Board of Higher Education No Child Left Behind grant involving area secondary science teachers