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 for 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.
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.
- Wildlife Ecology & Management
- Fisheries Ecology & Management
- Conservation Biology
- Zoo Animal Care
- Habitat Management
- Law Enforcement
- Nature-based Entrepreneurship
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, Mammalogy, 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
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
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
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
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
"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! "
"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. "
"My mentors have helped me get off on the right foot for my project. They have accelerated my brainstorming and helped me envision what I want to enact such as my prototype. They have also been walls I can bounce off my ideas and receive feedback for. "
"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. "
"My Change Maker idea is aiming to diversify the outdoor community and allow it to be accessible to all through storytelling and inclusion. I want to make a difference in the outdoors and the world by hearing other people’s stories and experiences. It can make a huge impact. "
"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. "