Online Wildlife Courses
Here are some commonly offered online wildlife courses.
In a principles of fish and wildlife conservation course, students learn about fundamental principles of fish and wildlife conservation and management, as well as the legal, historical, geological, and cultural institutions that affect wildlife populations. They also study ways in which scientific knowledge and research are used in the field.
An ornithology course introduces students to the study of birds, including their structure and function and the physics of flight. Topics include evolution, taxonomy, anatomy, physiology, ecology, and conservation as these concepts apply to birds. An introductory biology course is generally a prerequisite.
A wildlife habitat on the Great Plains course reflects upon the way in which wildlife populations have been altered on the Great Plains by human settlements and agriculture. Students learn about the various wildlife species that live in the area and their ecological needs. An emphasis is placed on management techniques that are effective on private lands.
In wildlife parasitology, students learn about parasites that live on mammals, birds, reptiles, fish, amphibians, and invertebrates. They also study the impact that these parasites have on biology.
A wildlife extinction course focuses on the issues of extinction, species dynamics, and factors that influence the population size in different plants and animals. Students will learn about the importance of habitat preservation for species survival, as well as hunting and gaming law. The course will also discuss possible preventative actions to protect endangered wildlife.
In a methods of fish and wildlife population studies course, students learn about the different techniques used to conduct research on fish and wildlife populations. Topics of study include sampling design, statistical theory, quantitative analysis.
A wildlife policy course provides an overview of the body of legislation that affects wildlife. Students learn about the history of wildlife-related laws, their philosophical underpinning, and the ways they are currently administered.
The National Wildlife Federation has four goals:
- Conserving wildlife
- Protecting endangered species
- Stopping the increase of invasive species
- Protecting and restoring natural bodies of water
College-level online classes and degree programs in wildlife science tend to teach toward the same types of goals. Online degree programs in wildlife sciences cover areas such as wildlife ecology and conservation, natural resources, wildlife biology, fisheries biology, and marine biology.
The study of wildlife, like most other scientific branches, requires a substantial amount of field and lab work. Schools with online programs address this need in various ways. Some colleges have hybrid programs, offering a few courses online, while the rest of the courses have to be taken on-campus. Other schools offer programs entirely online, though they do require students to complete lab and field work. This can take the form of going out into the field and independently assessing habitats, plants, and animals; engaging in one or more internships with conservation organizations; attending conferences; or assisting a working biologist in the field. Online programs can offer certificates, bachelor's, or master's degrees.
Individuals who are interested in wildlife studies can find relevant online courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Many courses focus on a particular type of wildlife.