Wildlife Science Option
Fisheries Science Option
Pre-Vetinary Medicine Option
This curriculum emphasizes basic sciences, plant and animal biology and communications skills for effective performance as a wildlife or fisheries biologist. Students learn to view wildlife and fisheries and problems associated with their management from a broad perspective, while also being exposed to social, cultural and ethical issues. Seminar courses and supervised experience in the field with an approved agency provide opportunities for learning management of wildlife populations. Nearby wildlife management areas maintained by state and federal agencies are utilized to illustrate principles Graduates with the wildlife science option are eligible for certification by The Wildlife Society as Associate Wildlife Biologists and graduates with the fisheries science option are eligible for certification by the American Fisheries Society as Associate Fisheries Professionals. Both options qualify graduates for employment by state wildlife resources agencies, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other governmental agencies, as well as private and commercial entities. However, students interested in the more technical phases of this field and in meeting standards for higher managerial positions should plan for graduate study.
Humanity is dependent upon coexistence with a multitude of wildlife species in balanced ecosystems. Trained wildlife professionals are able to apply scientific principles and techniques to modify environmental conditions to favor fish and wildlife. They must not only understand the needs of fish and wildlife, but how to provide those needs, in harmony with man’s other land management activities,such as forestry, agriculture and industrial development. They must be able to resolve human and wildlife conflicts to the benefit of both and to the detriment of neither. The wildlife biology curriculum provides a broad general education with a strong background in life sciences. The fisheries science option qualifies graduates for certification as Associate Fisheries Professionals by the American Fisheries Society, the national scientific organization of the wildlife profession.
Supervised field experience, or an internship, is available for academic credit. It is required of all students in park and recreation administration, agricultural business, agricultural science production and plant science programs, and strongly encouraged for students in all other agricultural and natural resources management degree programs. Internships are designed to enable a student to obtain credit for completion of a prescribed program of work with an approved business or agency. Students have served as interns in a variety of agricultural management and marketing positions and as interns with a variety of city, state and federal agencies. Supervision and evaluation are provided by faculty and on- the-job supervisors. An essential element of this program is that the work experience be designed so it contributes to a student’s learning and level of competence in his/her chosen career area; routine summer jobs or seasonal employment that do not meet these criteria cannot be considered for internship credit. Students interested in the program should apply for participation one semester in advance and they should have achieved senior standing at the time the work experience begins in the case of park and recreation administration – and junior standing in the case of other concentration areas.
Agencies of various levels of government have historically been major employers of fisheries professionals. This continues to be true, but an increasing number of fisheries professionals are employed by private and corporate firms as concern about the environmental impact of industrial activities increases. Graduates of the fisheries science option are eligible for entry-level employment as conservation officers, fisheries research technicians, lake or hatchery managers, wildlife damage control technicians and environmental impact consultants. Graduates are also well prepared to pursue.
Agriculture and natural resources management students are active in several organizations which include the Agronomy Club, Alpha Gamma Rho, Block and Bridle Club, Collegiate FFA, Collegiate 4-H, National Agribusiness Marketing Association, Park and Recreation Adventure Club, Equestrian Team (Athletics), Rodeo Team (Athletics), UT Martin chapter of the Wildlife Society, Student Cattlemen’s Association, UT Martin Turf Club, Sigma Alpha and UT Martin Pre-Veterinary Club. These student organizations provide opportunities for meeting established professionals in the field, enhancing leadership skills and participation in social activities. Teams composed of students enrolled in agriculture or natural resources management annually participate in intercollegiate contests in livestock judging, crops judging, horse judging, NAMA Quiz Bowl, SAEA Quiz Bowl and soil judging. Instruction and coaching are provided by faculty members and membership on the team is based upon participation and competitive performance in practice exercises. The teams have received awards
in regional and national competition. They provide excellent opportunities for interested students to sharpen their evaluation skills. Equestrian competition is also available to interested students through the UT Martin athletics program.
The UT Martin Agricultural and Natural Resources Field Teaching and Demonstration Complex, located adjacent to the campus, is utilized as ; the lab farm in the department’s teaching programs. Together, both units comprise 680 acres and include herds of beef cattle, sheep, goats, horses and swine, as well as greenhouses and landscape, wildlife, field and forage crop demonstration areas. These facilities are used by faculty and students to conduct research that complements the teaching program as well as contributes to the broad objectives of the Center of Excellence. The organization outlined above enables students to become familiar with research conducted at the teaching farm, other experiment stations of the UT Institute of Agriculture and other laboratories of the university. UT Martin, in this way, occupies a unique position that differentiates it from other institutions. UT Martin also has the Ned McWherter Agricultural Complex (pavilion and stalling facility), an Equine Center, West Tennessee Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory and the Ray and Wilma Smith Livestock Merchandising Center, with all of these hosting a variety of events throughout the year.
Dr. Eric Pelren (firstname.lastname@example.org) specializes in upland game bird research and wildlife management. He advises the award winning Student Wildlife Society that provides experiential learning experiences for all students in the program. Dr. Brad Ray (email@example.com) specializes in aquaculture and fish pond management..