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Nebraskaland Magazine / Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

Fisheries & Wildlife

The problem: Keeping the balance

Our fisheries and wildlife education has a long and proud history of preparing students to meet the challenges of conserving habitat, protecting threatened and endangered species, and managing ecosystems. Not only do students take classes in the natural sciences, but also in communications, decision making, policy, and technology.

Your choice to major in fisheries and wildlife will open up a world of opportunity to address complex challenges in the natural world. This major is perfect of students who are passionate about the outdoors, wildlife, research or conservation – or all of the above!

You will have the opportunity to work in the field, conduct your own research, study abroad and join clubs with other students like you — all from day one.

Study Fisheries & Wildlife


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Fisheries & Wildlife Emphasis Areas

Each fisheries & wildlife student will choose at least one emphasis area to focus in. These emphasis areas help students specialize their course work based on individual career goals.

4-year plan example

Wildlife Ecology & Management

This option is designed for students considering careers in wildlife biology, wildlife ecology, and wildlife research or management. Students completing the Wildlife Ecology and Management option qualify for professional certification through The Wildlife Society as an Associate Wildlife Biologist.

Course Examples: Wildlife Management Techniques, Wildland Plants, Mammology, Geographic Information Science

Fisheries Ecology & Management

This option is designed for students considering careers in fisheries biology, aquatic ecology, limnology, and fisheries management. Students completing the Fisheries Ecology and Management option qualify for professional certification in the American Fisheries Society.

Course Examples: Stream and River Ecology, Ichthyology, Wetlands, Fisheries Science, Limnology

Conservation Biology

From helping preserve habitat while improving economic opportunities to designing nature reserves, this option is designed for students considering careers in conservation, biodiversity, restoration ecology and policy.

Course Examples: Biodiversity Conservation, Natural Resources Policy, Human Dimensions in Natural Resources

Zoo Animal Care

This option is designed for students considering careers in zoo keeping, zoo animal care, animal rehabilitation, and animal training.

Course Examples: Zoo Keeping and Management, Ecophysiology of Wildlife, Environmental Education

Habitat Management

This option is designed for students considering careers in habitat management, private lands management, or public lands (e.g., National Wildlife Refuge) management.

Course Examples: Grassland Conservation, Tree Biology, Soil Science, Wildland Plants

Law Enforcement

This option is designed for students considering careers in wildlife law enforcement. Completion of this program also includes requirements that fulfill a Criminal Justice minor.

Course Examples: Wildlife Management Techniques, Wildlife Damage Management, Introduction to Forensic Science

Nature-based Entrepreneurship

Designed for students considering running their own nature-based business, completion of this option includes a minor through the Engler Entrepreneurship program.

Course Examples: Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development, Herpetology, Introduction to Conservation Biology

The future awaits

Our graduates go on to become leaders in their field. With a degree in fisheries and wildlife, your job title could be:

  • Fisheries Researcher
  • Wildlife Biologist
  • Park Ranger
  • Environmental Educator
  • Zoo Keeper

We want to help you find your dream career. That’s why we utilize our job board, Handshake and send out weekly job update emails.

Student Measures Frog

Go beyond the classroom with these opportunities

Monica Vazquez

Meet Monica

"My favorite class I have taken so far is field herpetology with Dennis Ferraro. I was able to have the opportunity to take field herpetology at Cedar Point Biological Station for two weeks and gain hand on experience with native Nebraska herpetofauna. Through this course we learned how to set up pit falls, turtle traps, build drift fences, and practice seining. During our time we were able to catch lizards, toads, frogs, snakes, and salamanders. It was an awesome experience! "

Student Stories

Emma Chesley

Meet Emma

"I love how passionate the community is within SNR, both the student body and the faculty. It’s amazing to hear about all the amazing things everyone stays busy with! Also, I love how many opportunities there are here. I refer to UNL as "opportunity overload," which can be overwhelming at times when it feels like there is so much to do. However, having so many opportunities is never really a bad thing. "

Student Stories

Jacob Harvey

Meet Jacob

"I came to the University after looking into all the research opportunities and connections to governmental agencies that Nebraska has. There is some form of University extension all around the state and its reputation for effective and meaningful research greatly interested me. "

Student Stories

Amelia Baker

Meet Amelia

"I absolutely love when the professors or students get to nerd out about what animal or soil type or insect they love! It’s a joy to see the looks on people’s faces when they can talk long and hard about the specifics of what they love! I also enjoy students being able to share with each other the things they care about in the world from, larger scale subjects like the environment to animal conservation to climate activism to something as big as coding. "

Amelia's Story More Student Stories

Sophia Gobber

Meet Sophia

"My favorite thing about SNR is how welcoming and knowledgeable everyone is. I have had the pleasure of getting to know all of my professors one on one and I know I can go to them with any questions. Because of the relationships and connections I made with my professors, I have been able to thrive in my outside field work. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, because everyone in SNR is so smart and friendly. "

Sophia's Story More Student Stories

Chase Giese

Meet Chase

"One of my first college visits to UNL included a tour of the Herpetology Lab with Dennis Ferraro. It was only supposed to be a 30-minute tour, but we were there for about an hour and a half, because I was so interested in all of the reptiles he had. I made my decision to come to Nebraska shortly after that trip. "

Chase's Story More Student Stories

Want more information?

Contact Elyse Watson

Undergraduate Recruiter

Location icon102a Hardin Hall
3310 Holdrege Street
Lincoln NE 68583-0981

phone icon  402-472-7471

mail icon  snrrecruiting@unl.edu