Careers in Science

Wildlife Biologist

Branch of Science

The career of Wildlife Biology belongs to the Life Science branch, because it deals with animal and wildlife behavior, which is the study of life in all forms.


To the right: A Wildlife Biologist holds a small bear cub, after examining it out in the wilderness.


Education Path

The minimum degree you need to become a Wildlife Biologist, is the Bachelor's Degree. If you would want to have a more interesting and hands on wildlife career, a higher degree would be needed.


The major I selected is Zoology and Animal Biology. Courses teach about animals and what systems are used to keep them alive. The students learn about animals' anatomy and behavior, as well as their cell and molecular structures. Many students study exotic and strange animals, but some study familiar domestic creatures. To understand animals, first students need to learn about the inner workings of cells and genetics. Students also study the food chain and its effect on the environment, & the common principles of the body and how it is shaped to the animal's needs.


Anatomy & Physiology, Biotechnology, Calculus, Chemistry, Statistics & Probability, Advanced Biology, and many more courses, are great to take in High School for preparation for this job. In college, important classes are: Cellular & Molecular Biology, Ecology, General Biology, Evolution, Genetics, Animal Physiology, Mammalogy, etc.


The interesting thing is, there are no specific courses that are required or recommended; a student can choose his/her courses depending on which field or specialization that interests them personally. (The courses they take reflect on what the student specializes in).

Training School & College - University of Wisconsin-Madison

I chose UW-Madison for "my college", because it was the closest college to home, out of the schools that special in my major. This school is public, and is located in Madison, Wisconsin. It is located in the Urban area near the large Metropolitan area of Milwaukee. UW-Madison is a very nice University, with a student-faculty ratio of about 17:1, while the class sizes range around 29 students per class. Students may attend the college as long as it takes for them to complete the course. Usually people studying in my major stay for 2, 4 or 6 years, depending on their specialty.


Academics

The average GPA needed to get into the school, is around 3.69. As for the average SAT scor, it is between 24 and 27; ACT average is 1100-1339.


About the Job

Wildlife biologists study the populations, habitats, and conservation of wildlife and fish. Many Wildlife biologists choose different paths of work, depending on their interests or choices. Some study the migration of birds, some study the relationship between predators and their prey, while others might study the human and environmental changes that affect wildlife and their habitat. Wildlife Biologists may also take part in wildlife restoration and reservations to save endangered and threatened species. People with this job often present their research they've discovered in writing reports, scientific papers & journal articles, and making presentations. Many also visit clubs, schools and programs to teach people about wildlife.



Wildlife Biologists work and do research in any type of weather. In addition, they usually walk long distances to conduct their research, and requires large amounts of physical activity.



People with this job work "in the field", which means they do research in an animal's natural habitat, rather than a laboratory. Although Wildlife Biologists are most likely to be employed by the state or national government, they can do their research all around the world.



Factors that Affect Employment

Not many factors, including work locations, affect this job. Wildlife Biologists can work anywhere in the world, including Wisconsin. Those who work in Wisconsin, research mostly familiar animals that are found in the area. Those who do not, study different animals and wildlife, depending on the location.


To the left: This team of Wildlife Biologists work to examine and observe a wild polar bear, near the North Pole.

Salary

- Wisconsin Salary Range: $38,550 - $94,610

- National Salary Range: $35,660 - $93,450


The Wisconsin and National salary ranges don't differ very much. But the value varies for both, depending on the conditions and specialty you choose.


Employer - Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve Inc.

I choose the Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve Inc. as "my employer". This nature preserve is located in Appleton, Wisconsin.


Summary

I can see myself having this occupation someday. Although, I'm not sure I am going to choose a job in the science industry, this would definitely be the job I would choose, if I do. My love for animals and wildlife show greatly, and that's why I would choose this occupation. I love being with animals, and if I could, I would love, greatly to work with them and research them for a living.



A great thing about this job is that Wildlife Biologists love working to conserve threatened animals and researching them. Most, if not all of them, enjoy their job and love working with animals. The only down side is that despite having a great job, it usually requires workers to travel often, sometimes to remote places, depending on the specialty.


Above: Wildlife Biologists working together to learn more about a wild cougar, somewhere in the world.


Sources

Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System (Ed.). (n.d.). Wildlife biologists. Retrieved September 10, 2013, from WISCareers website: http://wiscareers.wisc.edu/C_CVstuff/occinfo.asp?Area=gen&Num=00737


Roese, J. H. (n.d.). [Wildlife biologists measuring a polar bear]. Retrieved from http://www.biologyreference.com/Ve-Z/Wildlife-Biologist.html#b


[Wildlife biologist jeff sikich examining a cougar]. (2012, October 28). Retrieved from http://articles.latimes.com/2012/oct/28/local/la-me-mountain-lions-20121029


Wildlife biologist with black bear cub [Photograph]. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.nps.gov/bibe/parkmgmt/research_permits.htm



(I apologize that they are not in the right form, the way the sources should look like, but it is hard to do that on the iPad.)