Welcome to the Department of Ecology and Conservation Biology –
It is my honor to introduce you to the Department of Ecology and Conservation Biology, a new unit in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences established in January 2020 through a restructuring of the former departments of Ecosystem Science and Management (ESSM) and Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences (WFSC). I believe I speak for all my colleagues when I say that I am extremely excited about our new department and the outstanding people who have joined together to advance shared interests in teaching, research and professional service.
The mission of our department is to conduct interdisciplinary research across all ecological levels, from genes to ecosystems, to conserve biodiversity and natural resources in our rapidly changing world. Our new undergraduate and graduate teaching programs will prepare students for scientific careers in ecology and related fields of study as well as careers in in biological conservation and natural resource management. As we prepare to admit students into these new programs, we continue to mentor and teach students enrolled in the former degree programs in partnership with our colleagues in the new Department of Rangeland, Wildlife and Fisheries Management (RWFM).
The Department of Ecology and Conservation Biology is dedicated to achieving recognition for excellence among academic programs in ecology and conservation biology. Our ecological and conservation research includes field projects conducted throughout Texas and the world. Research training and experiences prepare our students to become leaders capable of solving complex environmental problems that affect biodiversity, ecosystem services and people worldwide.
The department will offer an undergraduate major in ecology and conservation biology designed to prepare students for a wide range of careers in science and conservation. The major has four tracks: Ecology and Conservation Biology, Ecoinformatics, Forestry, and Vertebrate Zoology. Each of these tracks will prepare students for admission into a graduate or professional program for advance training. Individual tracks also will position graduates to move directly into the workforce in specific fields, including forestry, natural resource conservation, veterinary medicine, fisheries ecology, biodiversity assessment, environmental management, and a host of other careers that address emerging environmental challenges. The department also offers graduate programs for M.Sc. and Ph.D. students that prepare students for professional careers in academia, science, and conservation practice in either the public or private sector.
We encourage you to explore our website and learn more about our educational programs, people, and exciting opportunities to engage in research and conservation outreach. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.
Dr. Kirk Winemiller
Interim Department Head