The historical roots of Applied Ecology in the School of Natural Resources can be traced to a single individual. Howard Wiegers, a poultry scientist, taught his first wildlife course on UNL's East Campus in 1948. Eventually, the former Department of Forestry, Fisheries, and Wildlife was formed, and now, over 20 Applied Ecology faculty study various aspects of animal population ecology, plant ecology, ecosystems ecology, human dimensions of management, wildlife management, science education, and aquatic ecology. Our work is highly interdisciplinary and collaborative.
The Applied Ecology Program Area hosts the Fisheries and Wildlife undergraduate program, and members also provide critical support to the Water Sciences and Grassland Ecology and Management undergraduate program. Applied Ecology faculty conduct research throughout Nebraska and the Great Plains, but we also extend our impact throughout North America and six continents. Our faculty advise graduate students in three MS and PhD specializations of Natural Resource Sciences: Applied Ecology, Adaptive Management, and Human Dimensions.
Members of Applied Ecology are also responsible for land management at several University-managed sites in Nebraska. And, the Applied Ecology Program Area is home to the Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit.