Most of those managing lands for wildlife conservation and recreational activities, the actual land managers, continue to be trained with the same Bachelors of Science (B.S.) degree in Wildlife Biology, Wildlife Ecology, Zoology, or a closely related field that was introduced in the 1940s. This is primarily due to the limited number of credit hours required for a B.S. degree. Most B.S. degrees require 120 credit hours, which was probably adequate in the 1940s when information on wildlife management was limited. Southern Illinois University Carbondale has developed a new program to address these needs by providing the opportunity to increase an individual’s biological, ecological, and land management knowledge base above and beyond that acquired with a typical B.S., while simultaneously providing training in human dimensions, conflict resolution, and consensus building, skills critically important for a modern land managers. This program, entitled “Professional Science Master’s of Wildlife Administration and Management.” is a collaborative effort between SIUC, state and federal agencies, and non-government organizations and is accredited by the National Professional Science Master’s Association. The program seeks to provide employers with graduates that not only have adequate knowledge of biological and ecological principles to make appropriate land management decisions but also the social and practical skills to carry out those management actions. This is a non-thesis degree in which students will be required to take courses that provide training in the more practical skills needed by the modern wildlife administrator and land manager in addition to providing the opportunity to complete requirements of The Wildlife Society’s Certified Wildlife Biologists. This program will address the lack of time and expertise provided with the 120 credit-hours of coursework required for a typical B.S. degree by requiring 24 credit hours of coursework and a 6 credit hour internship. The degree will culminate in a capstone project consisting of the preparation and submission of a grant proposal supporting habitat restoration activities at the internship site.
BS in wildlife, biology, zoology, or a closely related field