New SIU graduate degree readies students for land, habitat management careers

Read the full story in the Southern Illinoisan.

A few years ago, agencies such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Illinois Department of Natural Resources and nongovernment organizations began noticing that recent Bachelor of Science graduates in wildlife management weren’t adequately trained as land or people managers, said Michael Eichholz, associate professor for the zoology degree program and director of the wildlife administration and management graduate program. Even graduate students earning Master of Science degrees typically received training focused only on research and population management, with the goal of creating wildlife population managers instead of those focused on habitat.

But that wildlife must live somewhere, and land management was being left out of the equation. In the new SIU program, students specialize in how to be natural resource lands managers, instead of focusing on the more general understanding of wildlife ecology without direction toward a specific position.

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