Sustaining wild populations

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Together with their faculty mentors, students work on transdisciplinary projects and in doing so, form strong connections with faculty and other outside organizations.
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Wildlife biology students are serious about researching the biology and habitats of our free-ranging wild mammals and birds, and receive a solid background of biological and ecological knowledge for sustaining populations in our ever-changing environment. 

B.S. in Wildlife Biology

The Wildlife Biology major at Unity College immerses students into the depths of wildlife science. 

With heavy emphasis on experiential and outdoor learning, rigorous studies at all levels of resource managemebt, and small lab sections taught by nationally recognized professors, our program will prepare you to solve the world’s most pressing environmental problems.

Program Highlights

 

What You Will Study

Many courses in the Wildlife Biology program integrate other disciplines for cross-study purposes, helping you to consider solutions to human-natural systems in your coursework. As a student in our program, you will gain the fine-tuned skills and knowledge to become an experienced environmental problem-solver.

Program courses include a full range of wildlife courses such as North American Wildlife and Wildlife Habitat and Assessment, plus advanced biological and ecological science courses such as Cell Biology, Comparative Animal Physiology, Evolution and Population Genetics, and Ecosystem Ecology.

In addition to liberal arts foundation courses from our Environmental Citizen Curriculum, the program includes a full range of wildlife courses such as North American Wildlife and Wildlife Habitat and Assessment, plus advanced biological and ecological science courses such as Cell Biology, Comparative Animal Physiology, Evolution and Population Genetics, and Ecosystem Ecology. Undergraduate research opportunties include: 

Monitoring black bears in the Northwoods

This ongoing study analyizes blood samples, DNA and the tracking of Maine black bears. Student researchers gain high level, hands-on research experience, working on what may be the only undergraduate bear study in the United States. Associate Professor George Matula says that the Unity College program, with permission from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW), is providing valuable data on Maine black bears in the Unity area, which is not one of the focus areas of the longstanding MDIFW bear study. Read more about the Unity College Black Bear Study. 

Wood Duck Nest Boxes

Unity College has collected information on wood duck nest boxes for decades. Having this long-term data set gives students insight into the natural history of the species. Maintaining nest boxes is an important connection to the wildlife profession, as wood ducks are a major conservation success story due largely to artificial nesting structures. Boxes are accessed in late winter when foot travel on streams and lakes is possible. Snowshoeing to investigate duck use, clutch size and hatching success is an important aspect of being a wildlife biologist. 

Conducting wild turkey disease surveillance

A group from the Wildlife Capstone class is working with Kelsey Sullivan of Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife and Peter Milligan of U. Maine-Augusta to obtain tissue samples from live turkeys as part of a disease surveillance project. The group is identifying the presence of Lymphoproliferative Disease Virus (LPDV) and its effects and potential implications in Maine. Students are locating potential trap sites, obtaining landowner permission, and maintaining bait stations. They then monitor remote cameras to identify turkey use patterns to schedule capture efforts. 

Many courses have an outdoor lab component in which you’ll learn in various nearby natural settings and then continue the learning process in the lab using modern equipment and technology.

Wildlife Biology program course sheet (PDF)

Careers in Wildlife Biology

Graduates of the wildlife biology program are qualified to pursue careers as wildlife biologists and technicians. They are, however, encouraged to pursue further education in graduate degree programs to enhance their ability to be successful in the highly competitive field of wildlife research. 

Students wishing to pursue graduate studies should also consider completing the Graduate School Core for Biological Sciences in addition to their Wildlife Biology curriculum.

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To learn more about our academic programs and discuss your areas of interest, contact Unity College Admissions. We look forward to hearing from you!