Program Requirements

Program Overview

Students who major in Wildlife and Forest Conservation at Castleton University take 35 credits of General Education coursework to ensure that they have a strong liberal arts background. Students are also required to complete 56 credits in the program for a total of 91 required credits. This allows for 31 credits of flexibility in reaching 122 credits.  This is helpful for students that wish to double major, explore various minors, or transfer in to the program and want to graduate in four years. 

The four year plan in Wildlife and Forest Conservation serves as a guide to help students easily navigate both the program and university requirements for successful graduation.

Required Coursework

Course Name

Biology I 

A comprehensive introduction to biology focused on the molecular, cellular, and organismal level. The course provides an introduction to all areas of biology.

Lecture and lab.

4 cr

Biology II

A continuation of Biology I, with particular emphasis on organisms, ecosystems, and evolution.

Lecture and lab.

4 cr

Biostatistics

This course introduces statistical concepts and analytical methods as applied to data encountered in ecological, environmental, and biomedical sciences.  It emphasizes the basic concepts of experimental design, quantitative analysis of data, and statistical inferences.

4 cr

Conservation Biology

This course covers the fundamentals of wildlife, fisheries, and natural resource conservation.

3 cr

Conservation Field Experience

In this course, students work to gain critical experience in wildlife and forest management with hands-on field techniques.

4 cr

Conservation Internship

Students work with local agencies to gain critical experience in hands-on application of conservation practices.  Internships are sponsored by faculty members and supervised by a mentor at the chosen agencies.

3 cr

Ecology

A study of the interrelationships between plants, animals, microorganisms and their abiotic environment. Problems in experimental design and ecological analysis will be explored. Some Saturday field trips are planned. Field trips to primitive areas are required.

Lecture and lab.

4 cr

Environmental Law and Policy

The introductory course on regulations that pertain to wildlife and forest management.

3 cr

Genetics

A survey of the major fields of genetics with a focus on modern molecular genetics and genetic technologies.  A weekly discussion and exploration period examines problem-solving strategies and hand-on applications of modern genetic technologies.

4 cr

Geographical Information Systems

This course is designed to introduce students to the basic concepts of modern geographic information systems (GIS). The class will consist of lectures, discussions, readings, demonstrations, and hands-on training exercises using ESRI’s ArcView software. 

4 cr

Intro to Environmental Chemistry FYS

This First Year Seminar serves as a gateway course for incoming first-year students interested in Wildlife and Forest Conservation as well as Environmental Science, Ecological Science, Biology, and Chemistry.  The course covers essential principles and current issues in environmental science.

3 cr

Natural Resource Management

This introductory course surveys fish, wildlife, and natural resources policy and management.

3 cr

Plant Ecology

This course covers the major concepts in plant community, population, physiological and evolutionary ecology through lecture, discussion and active field and laboratory activities. One or more field trips are planned.

4 cr

Wildlife Management

This course offers in-depth coverage of wildlife policy and management.

3 cr

Plus a minimum of 6 credits of relevant electives:

Animal Behavior

This course examines the behavior of animals as they interact with each other and the environment.  Topics include anti-predator behavior, foraging behavior, territoriality, social interactions, communication, and migration.

4 cr

Dendrology and Silviculture

This course covers the fundamentals of tree growth, cultivation, and management. 

3 cr

Dynamic Earth

This is an introductory geology course which examines the geological features of the earth and the processes that operate in the interior and on the surface of the earth which are responsible for their formation. Topics studied include volcanos, earthquakes, mountain building, plate tectonics, glaciers, minerals, rocks, streams and groundwater. Also covered are the techniques and methods geologists use to learn more about the earth.

Lecture and lab.

4 cr

Ecology of Water

In this course, we will investigate the ecology of the earth’s most perfect liquid - water.  The impact of large dams, groundwater pumping, hydro-fracking, irrigation, and water diversions on the environment, biodiversity, and humanity will be investigated.

3 cr

Field Techniques and Current Topics in Wildlife Biology

This course is intended to provide students with practical, hands-on training in the tools and techniques of field biology and allow them to apply those skills in a variety of exercises. Students will summarize data from small group projects and present results to the large group and instructors. Practicing biologists from across the region will be engaged as guest instructors for certain workshops and will be invited to lead discussion sessions on current wildlife management issues and lead field trips to demonstrate wildlife and habitat management practices on the ground.

3 cr

Herpetology

 

4 cr

Hydrogeology

This is an applied hydrogeology course with lecture, laboratory, and field experience. Course material will include the hydrologic cycle, groundwater, wells, water quality/contamination, and flow modeling.

Lecture and lab.

4 cr

Physics I

An introduction to the concepts and theories of physics for science majors. Topics include forces, motion, and energy. A weekly laboratory section explores concepts and the role of experimentation in science. This course will present and use elementary calculus in order to solve physics problems.  University level calculus is required.  

4 cr