Current ESSM & WFSC Students
In January 2020, our department was established after a restructuring of the former Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences and Ecosystem and Science Management Departments.
The support of our current students still going through the program under the legacy departments is of utmost importance to us. To help with this transition, ECCB degree programs are currently inactive. Incoming undergraduate and graduate students will still come in under Ecosystem and Science Management or Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences degree programs.
Current ESSM and WFSC students seeking information regarding their degree program can schedule appointments with our undergraduate or graduate advisors or visit the legacy sites for degree requirements, course catalogs and other details.
Chat with an Advisor
Frequently Asked Questions
What happened to the ESSM and WFSC departments?
In January 2020, the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, Ecological Systems Management Department and a portion of the Department of Recreation Parks and tourism Sciences—went through a restructuring. Dr. Patrick Stover, vice chancellor of Texas A&M AgriLife and dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences initiated efforts that resulted in the formation of two new departments—Ecology and Conservation Biology headquartered on campus in the WFES building, and Rangeland, Wildlife and Fisheries Management headquartered on campus in the HFSB building.
Why did the WFSC and ESSM departments restructure?
The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences leadership reasoned that restructuring could better serve students, major stakeholders and the public in providing outstanding education and research addressing local and global environmental and natural resources challenges. This restructuring will allow the college and associated agencies to respond rapidly and effectively to changes happening within the environmental and natural resource arenas, and to ensure that both departments are well-positioned to achieve even greater recognition for excellence in teaching, research and Extension efforts.
What is the difference between the two departments?
A central mission of the Department of Ecology and Conservation Biology is advancement scholarship in the science of ecology as well as innovations in its integration with, and application to conservation biology and natural resources through research and education. ECCB curriculum is designed to achieve student competency in ecology as a basic science as well as the management of natural resources from perspectives of biodiversity conservation, ecosystem processes and services, and integrated human-natural systems from local to global scales.
In contrast, the Department of Rangeland, Wildlife and Fisheries Management aims to prepare natural resource stewards through teaching, research and engagement. Studies in RWFM focus on land, fish and wildlife management to promote sustainability of natural resources, including those that provide direct economic benefits. The Department of RWFM includes an Extension component that disseminates information about the latest advancements in natural resource management and policy to landowners, industry professionals and lawmakers.
Who is leading the new ECCB and RWFM departments?
Dr. Kirk Winemiller, University Distinguished Professor, has been appointed as Interim Department Head for ECCB. Dr. Cliff Lamb, Department Head and Professor of Animal Science, has been appointed as Interim Department Head for RWFM.
Will this set back current WFSC and ESSM students at all?
Although we realize that this restructuring at first might seem stressful for our current students, we are making strong efforts to make sure that this transition has minimal impact on their learning outcomes, technical training and progress towards graduation. While our new departments formed in January 2020, the new degree programs have not yet been activated. Current ESSM and WFSC students in undergraduate and graduate degree programs will remain in those programs until they graduate. Incoming Fall 2020 students will also be entering in under the legacy degree programs.
When will the new ECCB degree programs be implemented?
Committees in both new departments worked tirelessly throughout the spring semester to develop the new degree programs. We hope to get the new degrees submitted and approved in time for the Fall 2021 semester.
I’m a prospective student. Which new department is right for me?
Deciding on a program of study is a big step, and we want to make sure we provide you with the information and resources needed to make that decision. Once the new degree programs are in place, faculty and staff advisors will be able to answer any questions about the ECCB degree programs and curricula. In the meantime, please feel free to contact advisors in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, or Dawn Miles, Assistant to the Department Head, at email@example.com.