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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
  • 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 A.A.S. fish and wildlife technology degree program is designed to provide you with the knowledge, field experience, and training needed for preparing you for a career in the areas of fish and wildlife management. Specifically, you will gain hands-on experience through the use of modern fish and wildlife equipment. In this program, you will choose a fisheries or wildlife focus through approved electives.

The use of industry-standard research technology such as electro-fishing equipment, water quality probes, GIS computer software, and wildlife tracking radio-telemetry devices will give you valuable real-world experience.

While in the program, you 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. A few capture techniques include live traps and mist nets for birds and bats. 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: If you have demonstrated outstanding academic ability, you will have the opportunity to take honors courses at FLCC that provide enhanced educational experiences. If you are a qualified student in this degree program or are a qualified student from another program, enrollment in honors courses is open to you. Successful completion of honors courses or an Honors Certificate may increase your 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

If you are interested in fish and wildlife technology, the central and western parts of the Finger Lakes region in New York State provide an exceptional outdoor classroom for you. Field experiences are conducted 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. As a fish and wildlife technology major, you will utilize industry-standard equipment such as:

  • Water Sampling
  • Testing Devices
  • Backpack Electrofishers
  • Fish Tagging and Marking Equipment
  • Aquatic Sampling Nets

The Research and Education Center located at FLCC's Muller Field Station, south of Honeoye Lake, will provide you with a unique learning experience in fish culture and aquaculture. Fish culturing operations focus on the collection, spawning, raising and stocking of walleye by utilizing intensive and extensive techniques. While in the program, you will receive training in the use of water recirculation. In addition, you will learn biofiltration techniques for various aquaculture applications at the Muller Field Station.

During your time in the major, you will have the opportunity to participate in wildlife research projects 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. You can expect to use state-of-the-art technology including telemetry equipment as well as GIS software and remotely triggered cameras during your program experience.

As the program progresses, you will be expected to become proficient in the field identification of wildlife and their sign. Natural areas on campus and at FLCC's two field stations will be supplemented with field trips to various locations throughout the Finger Lakes region and beyond.

The Graduates

Graduates of the fish and wildlife technology degree program will be competitive candidates for entry-level positions within state, local, and federal natural resource agencies. Graduates will also be employable at private fish hatcheries, wildlife preserves, and environmental consulting firms. In addition, some graduates will plan to continue their education at a four-year institution. The A.A.S. degree will give you a solid foundation to build upon.

The Scholarships

As a fish and wildlife technology major, if you meet specific award criteria, you will be eligible for the following scholarships:

  • Conservation/Horticulture Faculty Award
  • Francis Finnick Memorial Conservation Award

For more information, contact the environmental conservation and horticulture department or the financial aid office.

The Faculty

Full-time faculty in the environmental conservation and horticulture department offers you a wide range of expertise through their educational and professional backgrounds. Graduate degrees were earned at institutions such as Syracuse University, Utah State University, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Lehigh University, SUNY Brockport and the University of New Hampshire. Complementing the decades of experience teaching at the college level, FLCC's faculty has lived and worked from Maine to Hawaii within the conservation field before coming to FLCC. FLCC also boasts well-qualified adjuncts that teach specialty classes, with diverse backgrounds that include resource professionals for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.