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Fish and Wildlife Technology

The Degree

Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.)

The Outlook

Career opportunities for Fish and Wildlife Technology graduates include positions as fish and wildlife technicians, fish culturists, aquaculture technicians, hatchery technicians/operators, and fish and wildlife biologists. Additionally, positions exist in the private sector and with government agencies such as the Department of Environmental Conservation and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. In this growing field, graduates will also have the potential for self-employment.

The Program

The Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree in Fish and Wildlife Technology is designed to provide students with knowledge, field experience, and training that will prepare them for careers in areas of fish and wildlife management. Specifically, students will gain hands-on experience with modern fish and wildlife equipment and procedures. In this program, students can choose a fisheries or wildlife focus through approved electives.

The opportunity to use industry-standard research technology such as electro-fishing equipment, water quality probes, GIS computer software, and wildlife tracking radio-telemetry devices gives our students valuable real-world experience.

Students will learn a wide variety of wildlife field techniques. Some of these techniques involve the safe capture and handling of wildlife such as small mammals, amphibians and birds. Capture techniques include live traps, mist nets for both birds and bats and other techniques as appropriate. Noninvasive wildlife techniques are employed such as point counts, call surveys for birds and amphibians and the monitoring of populations through their sign such as tracks, scat or markings.

Honors Courses: The College offers honors courses that provide enhanced educational experiences for students who have demonstrated outstanding academic ability. Enrollment in honors courses is open to qualified students in this degree program, as well as all other qualified FLCC students. Successful completion of honors courses or an Honors Certificate may increase student transfer options to four-year institutions.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this degree program, students will be able to:

  • read, write, integrate and analyze information from multiple resources on a topic in their major.
  • speak and present before a group on a topic in their major.
  • identify fish and mammal species.
  • identify and operate equipment essential to the fish and wildlife fields.
  • apply principles of mathematics to solve problems while collecting and analyzing data in field based courses and incorporate into computer generated field reports.
  • apply their knowledge of ecological principles.
  • demonstrate an understanding of the impact of their behaviors on local, regional and global sustainability.
  • apply ecological principles to the management of fish or wildlife.

The Experience

The Finger Lakes region of central and western New York provides an exceptional outdoor classroom for students interested in Fish and Wildlife Technology. Field experiences are conducted both on- and off-campus on a variety of freshwater bodies including streams, ponds, and lakes. Currently, FLCC owns six research vessels, including a state-of-the-art electrofishing boat. Students utilize industry-standard equipment, such as water sampling and testing devices, backpack electrofishers, fish tagging and marking equipment, and a wide variety of aquatic sampling nets.

The Research and Education Center located at the College's Muller Field Station, south of Honeoye Lake, provides students unique learning experiences in fish culture and aquaculture. Fish culturing operations focus on the collection, spawning, raising and stocking of walleye by utilizing both intensive and extensive techniques. Students are also trained in the use of water recirculation and biofiltration techniques for various aquaculture applications at the Muller Field Station.

Students will have the opportunity to participate in wildlife research projects both in and out of the classroom. Current projects include black bear monitoring in cooperation with the NYS DEC, river otter DNA collection, bird banding and habitat improvement. Students will utilize state-of-the-art technology including telemetry equipment, GIS software and remotely triggered cameras.

Students are expected to become proficient in the field identification of wildlife and their sign. Natural areas on campus and at our two field stations will be supplemented with field trips to various locations throughout the Finger Lakes and beyond.

The Graduates

Graduates of the Fish and Wildlife Technology degree program will be competitive candidates for entry-level positions within local, state, and federal natural resource agencies. Graduates will also be employable at private fish hatcheries, wildlife preserves, and environmental consulting firms. Many graduates of the program also plan to continue their education at a four-year institution. This degree gives them a solid foundation on which to build.

The Scholarships

Scholarships for Fish and Wildlife Technology students meeting the specific criteria include the Herbert Collins Memorial Award, the Conservation/Horticulture Faculty Scholarship, Francis Finnick Scholarship, and NYS Conservation Law Enforcement Scholarships. Contact a member of the Conservation Department or the Financial Aid Office for more information.

The Faculty

Full-time faculty within the Fish and Wildlife Technology degree program offer students a wide range of expertise, both through their educational and professional backgrounds. Graduate degrees were earned at such diverse institutions as Syracuse University, Utah State University, SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry, Lehigh University, SUNY Brockport and the University of New Hampshire. Complementing the decades of experience teaching at the college-level, our faculty have lived and worked literally from Maine to Hawaii within the conservation field before bringing their talents to FLCC. We also boast well-qualified adjuncts to teach specialty classes, with diverse backgrounds that include resource professionals for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation.