Wildlife Conservation

Mission Statement

Provide the fundamental educational background in wildlife and fish conservation and management to be sufficiently knowledgeable to secure employment as a professional with a natural resources-orientated agency, organization, or company or continue on to graduate school.

Program Design

The Rio Wildlife Conservation curriculum 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-level positions, and actively engage in management of wildlife and fisheries in the 21st century.

Earning the Wildlife Conservation degree can be accomplished in one of two ways: Pursue the full 4-year course requirement as a Rio Student or complete a Hocking College (HC) Associate of Applied Science degree in either Wildlife Management Resources or Fish Management and Aquaculture Science then transfer to Rio as a junior. The Rio Wildlife Conservation degree curriculum addresses theories, issues, and challenges in the context of both basic science and applied management as well as provide hands-on field-orientated instruction. 

Learning Outcomes

The successful student will be able to:

  • Interpret and apply information provided in technical and/or peer-reviews formats to address conservation issues.
  • Analyze and summarize natural resources/wildlife oriented data sets using descriptive statistics and graphical formats.
  • Effectively communicate, in oral and written form, environmental and natural resources technical information.
  • Relate models, theories, and concepts to wildlife conservation challenges.



The curriculum for the Wildlife Conservation program is designed to meet the educational requirements to earn Certified Associate Wildlife Biologist (CAWB) status awarded by 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 experience within a 10-year period. Although not all employers require certification as a condition of employment, both CAWB and CWB certification conveys to employers than an individual has both fundamental educational and ethical standards essential for success as a natural resources professional.

Degree Requirements

Bachelor of Science – Wildlife Conservation (23431)

First two years:

Option A: Complete at Rio

Option B: Transfer from Hocking College:

Associate of Applied Science degree in Wildlife Management Resources or Fish Management and Aquaculture Sciences71
Remaining General Education required hours *9-15

Hocking College transfer students must have taken HC ENGL 2123 English Composition II or HC ENGL 2225 Technical Writing. Otherwise, they are required to take URG ENG 11203 Composition II.

Additionally, Hocking College transfer students must have taken HC CHM 131 Environmental Chemistry as one of their physical science classes, or they must take URG CHM 10404 Principles of Chemistry or URG CHM 15005 General Chemistry I.

If they have not taken HC BIOS 1120 Botany, URG BIO 28802 Special Topics: Fundamentals of Biology will also be required. If they have not taken HC WLM 2251 Biostatistics for Wildlife Management, URG MTH 21404 Introduction to Probability and Statistics will be required.

Additional 100-200 level classes at Hocking to meet standards for Wildlife Certification0-9
Junior –Senior Course Requirements:
30000-40000 level Required Courses (34 hours minimum)34+
NSC 31303 Comm Environmental & Natural Resources3
BIO 31303 Advanced Ornithology3
BIO 32303 Mammalogy3
BIO 35304 Field Biology and Methodology4
BIO 36303 Local Flora3
BIO 37103 Principles of Conservation Genetics3
BIO 41304 Limnology4
BIO 42303 Human-Wildlife Conflicts3
BIO 43103 Applied Population Biology3
BIO 45303 Conservation Biology3
BIO 47103 GIS Applications for Resource Management3
Minimum of 4 hours taking either:
BIO 48801-03 Selected Topics in Biology
BIO 49901-03 Directed Studies in Biology
Selected Topics may include:
--Advanced Wildlife Techniques3
--Animal Behavior2
--Wildlife Diseases3
--Wildlife Law and Organization3
Total required hours for degree122

* Students completing a Hocking College AAS Degree in Wildlife Management Resources or Fish Management and Aquaculture Sciences will have completed URG General Education Requirements in Communication, Math and Science, and partially completed Health and Social Science requirements. They will need to complete 0 - 2 semester hours of health, 9 semester hours of humanities, and 0-4 semester hours of social sciences.

Note: Hocking College transfer students must take HC CHM131 Environmental Chemistry as one of their physical science classes.