Description of Graduate Programs

Graduate programs in the Department of Plant and Wildlife Sciences provide research and education in plant sciences, biotechnology, genetics, environmental science, wildlife and wildlands, and soil science. Those admitted to this program will have completed BS degrees with strong backgrounds in the basic mathematical, physical, and biological sciences before selecting graduate course work in biology, soil science, wildlife and wildlands ecology, and basic sciences.

Degrees offered through the Department of Plant and Wildlife Sciences



Environmental Science--MS

Pursuit of the MS degree in Environmental Science provides students with research and education opportunities in environmental protection and remediation and in plant growth and physiology. Students will select graduate course work in soil science, biology, and environmentally related courses taught in departments across the campus. Those completing program requirements will be well prepared for employment in environmental science positions at the state and federal level, teaching at the junior college level, and continued graduate studies for the PhD. Their research and teaching interests include: environmental toxicology, pollination biology, improvement in teaching undergraduates in biology, plant growth under environmental stress, invasive species, plant physiology, urban landscape environments, bioremediation of contaminated soils and water, and both modern and ancient agricultural environments.

Genetics and Biotechnology--MS

Genetics is the study of inheritance. Biotechnology is the application of modern DNA marker, isolation, and transfer technologies toward improving plant and animal agricultural productivity, environmental remediation, and the treatment of disease. These branches of biology have risen to prominence during the course of the past fifteen years and are widely recognized for their potential impact upon society in the twenty-first century. Employment opportunities in industry and academia are especially plentiful for graduates with advanced degrees in genetics and biotechnology.

Wildlife and Wildlands Conservation--MS

This program emphasizes the scientific method in developing critical thinking and analytical skills applied to conservation and management problems related to wildlife ecology, wildlands, restoration science and/or rangeland ecology. Depending on the emphasis, advanced training in topic specialties may be complemented by courses in statistics, geographical information systems (GIS), soil sciences, model testing, systematics, or advanced ecology. All emphases require original research topics with the results presented in thesis format. This research is expected to be of a publication quality and thesis style best reflecting that of a professional journal, thus facilitating timely submissions for publication. We also encourage formal presentations at professional meetings.

Wildlife and Wildlands Conservation--PhD

This program emphasizes the scientific method in developing critical thinking and analytical skills applied to conservation and management problems related to wildlife ecology, wildlands, restoration science and/or rangeland ecology. Depending on the emphasis, advanced training in topic specialties may be complemented by courses in statistics, geographical information systems (GIS), soil sciences, model testing, systematics, or advanced ecology. All emphases require original research topics with the results presented in dissertation format. This research is expected to be of a publication quality and dissertation style best reflecting that of a professional journal, thus facilitating timely submissions for publication. We also encourage formal presentations at professional meetings. These graduate programs are supported by twenty-five faculty members within the department. Their research and teaching interests include genetics and biotechnology, plant growth under environmental stress, urban landscape environments, landscape ecology, bioremediation of contaminated soils and water, wildlands restoration methods, environmental pollution, wildlife habitat and ecology, remote sensing.