Wildlife & Fish Conservation & Management
Welcome Current and Future RIO 2+2 WILDLIFE & FISH Students
NEWS AND GREAT NEWS
The News: The Rio 2+2 Wildlife and Fish Program is starting its 10th year! Furthermore, starting this fall all courses in the Rio 2 + 2 Program will offered on the Rio Campus. Although we have appreciated and enjoyed the use of the Hocking College campus, this move will provide exciting opportunities including more hands-on learning activities and more student-faculty interaction outside the traditional classroom. The former includes the Great News.
The Great News: In anticipation of the Rio 2 + 2 Program moving to the Rio Campus we have secured permission to conduct wildlife studies on the adjoining Bob Evans Farm and Walker-Smith Farm properties—and at least 18 other sites! These locations in southeast Ohio, are designated as Rio Eco-Monitoring (REM) sites. Already established sites on the Rio Campus, and within 20 miles of campus, are southern flying squirrel nesting box grids, bluebird box trails, bat houses, paired vegetable plots (exclosure vs. non-exclosure to observe deer impacts and plant phenology), deer mineral licks, and stream quality (biological, chemical, and physical) monitoring. Other field activities include using radio telemetry, acoustic monitoring equipment, trail cams, cover boards, electrofishers, and video probe camera technology. Monitoring of vertebrates (mammals, birds, frogs, toads, salamanders, etc.) and invertebrates (both terrestrial and aquatic) as well as plant studies are underway.
The intent of the REM activities is to involve students in the generation of long-term data sets. This will foster directed studies, provide practicum opportunities, and experience conducting data analysis for students—all of which are valuable experiential, hands-on learning to complement the classroom wildlife and fish curriculum. Active participation by students will result in their acquiring important skills and insights valued by employers.
The Rio 2+2 Wildlife and Fish Conservation and Management degree program provides an up-to-date curriculum that maintains a focus on species-level assessments and management, natural history of flora and fauna, and land management practices. All students take these 11 courses: Advanced Ornithology, Mammalogy, Local Flora, Genetics, Evolution, Ecological Methodology, Limnology, Human-Wildlife Conflicts, Applied Population Biology, Communication of Environmental and Natural Resources Technical Information, and Conservation Biology (the capstone course). Four credit hours of electives are also required to further their knowledge of fauna, flora, and natural resources management. Special topics in the past have included Aquatic Entomology, Biology and Management of Reptiles and Amphibians, Management of Western Wildlife, Invasive Species: Management and Monitoring, Biodiversity: Monitoring and Management, Management of Anadromous Fishes, and Landscape Ecology & GIS—the offerings each semester are determined by availability of qualified professionals and student interest. Coupled with the course-work completed during the associate degree (i.e., the first “2” of the “2+2” program), each student experiences an excellent balance of hands on, conceptual, and management-oriented learning to prepare for a career as a wildlife or fish professional.
The Rio 2+2 Wildlife and Fish program provides critical thinking skills, a solid academic background, and specific field and lab skills required for employment by either government or non-government agencies and organizations focused on management, monitoring, and/or research of wildlife and fish resources. Coupled with instilling an attitude of lifelong learning, these skills encourage the flexibility necessary for graduates to advance beyond entry levels positions, and actively engage in management of fisheries and wildlife in the 21st century.
Our curriculum is also designed to meet the educational requirements an individual needs to earn the associate certified wildlife biologist (CWB) status of The Wildlife Society. Elevation to the status of a certified wildlife biologist (CWB) is possible when one obtains at least 5 years of full-time professional-level experience within a 10-year period.