The Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Oregon State University provides comprehensive research, education, and outreach programs related to conservation biology and the management of fish and wildlife resources. Our goal is to provide people with the knowledge needed to make wise decisions on issues of conservation, sustainable use, and ecosystem restoration. We accomplish this through a combination of undergraduate and graduate education, scholarly research, extension education, and public outreach.

We take pride in our many accomplishments, including:

  • Our Wildlife Science program was ranked first in the nation and our Fisheries Science program was ranked second in a November 2007 report in the Chronicle of Higher Education.
  • Oregon State Ecampus is ranked 12th on SuperScholar's list of the 25 best online universities in America for the 2013-14 school year.
  • We have three national award-winning teachers on our faculty, including two that have been recognized for their efforts in distance education.
  • Over 70% of the responses to a survey of recently graduated students rated their preparation at Oregon State for their current job as being good to excellent.
  • A recent graduate survey states, “Graduates from the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at OSU are generally successful in obtaining jobs… Ninety-three percent of all graduates were employed within 3 years of graduating from OSU.”
  • Faculty in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife are currently conducting research on a diverse array of topics in North America, as well as internationally. Want to see where? Explore our interactive map that showcases the amazing research and biological conservation activities in action.

Our unique undergraduate program offers students the ability to design their own area of specialization, and through hands-on classes and internships, we focus on critical thinking, leadership and team-building skills. Our graduate program offers both MS and PhD degrees in Fisheries or Wildlife Sciences, Graduate Certificates in Fisheries or Wildlife Management, and a Professional Science Masters in Fish and Wildlife Administration. Graduates from both our undergraduate and graduate programs have been very successful even in a competitive job market.

For more information, please explore our website. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, please feel free to contact me.

Cheers,

Selina Heppell
Department Head

 

 

Who we are

The Department of Fisheries and Wildlife is a part of the College of Agricultural Sciences. We are a team of scientists, students, and staff devoted to the study of conservation biology and fish and wildlife management. We educate our students to think critically and evaluate problems from a strong background in basic and applied science, fundamental ecological principles, and consideration of social influences on conservation. We strive to help our students succeed through a rich program of field and laboratory coursework and personal advising.

Our student body represents a wide variety of social, economic, and ethnic groups with over 700 students working toward their Bachelor of Science degree either on the Corvallis Campus or online through Ecampus and over 150 graduate students working towards their MS, PhD, Certificate, or Professional Science Masters degree.

Our faculty includes 27 tenured or tenure-track faculty, 10 research faculty, 15 faculty members with outreach/extension appointments, and 32 Postdoctoral Associates, Research Associates and Research Assistants. Through our close ties with state and federal agencies, we also have 38 courtesy faculty, including 4 USGS Cooperative Fisheries and Wildlife Research Unit faculty. This dynamic and internationally recognized group of scientific professionals provides a rich environment for students who seek a degree that is both scientifically rigorous and relevant to today’s natural resource issues.

Our staff and faculty also take pride in teaching, advising and public outreach. Many of our teaching faculty have received Outstanding Teaching Awards from the College of Agricultural Sciences, and are listed in the University’s Registry of Distinguished Teachers. Our advising staff provides personal attention to our students and has won awards for excellence in advising at both the college level and within professional societies. Faculty, advisors and the Department Head have an “open door” policy for students that provide a family-oriented atmosphere. Finally, we strive to provide citizens of Oregon with useful scientific information on issues such as salmon and watershed management, land-use practices and habitat restoration, and marine resource conservation.

Mission

Faculty and students in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife acquire, integrate, and disseminate knowledge about fish and wildlife at all levels of biological organization. We focus on resource systems influenced by human activities. Our goal is to provide people with the knowledge needed to make wise decisions on issues of conservation, sustainable use, and ecosystem restoration. We accomplish this through a combination of undergraduate and graduate education, scholarly research, extension education, and public outreach.

Survey of Graduates

2006-2008 Survey of Graduates

2009-2011 Survey of Graduates

Awards

2015

The Fisheries and Wildlife Online Program won the Outstanding Credit Program Award from the University Professional and Continuing Education Association's West Region. 

Jim Hall, Hiram Li, David Noakes, and Carl Schreck were named Fellows of the American Fisheries Society.

Guillermo Giannico received the 2015 College of Agricultural Sciences Excellence in Extension Education Award.

David Noakes was elected as a Fellow of the Linnean Society.

2014

Eric Forsman was presented with the USDA Secretary's Honor Award at a formal ceremony in Washington, D.C. The annual award is one of the highest honors given to Federal employees and was presented by Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack.

Bill Gerth was the recipient of the Agricultural Research Foundation Faculty Research Assistant Award.

Leighann Auer received the Oregon State University, College of Agricultural Sciences Classified Employee Award. 

Jim Hall and Howard Horton received Lifetime Achievement Awards at the 50th Annual Oregon Chapter of the American Fisheries Society Meeting.

Stan Gregory is the recipient of the 2013-14 Excellence in Teaching Award from the University Professional and Continuing Education Association's West Region. 

2013

College of Agricultural Sciences Awards

  • Jessica Miller, Briskey Award for Faculty Excellence
  • Clint Epps, R.M. Wade Award for Excellence in Teaching 
  • Clint Epps, Registry of Distinguished Teachers
  • Carl Schreck, F.E. Price/Agricultural Research Foundation Award for Excellence in Research
  • Danielle Jarkowsky, F.E. Price/Agricultural Research Foundation Award for Excellence in Student Advising and Counseling
  • Michael Banks, Roy G. Arnold/ARF Leadership Award

Carl Schreck, Excellence in Graduate Mentoring Award, University Day 

Fisheries and Wildlife Teaching Faculty, Student Learning and Success Teamwork Award, University Day

Dana Sanchez, The Wildlife Society's, Diversity Award

2012

College of Agricultural Sciences Awards

  • Brian Sidlauskas, Savery Outstanding Young Faculty Award
  • Dan Roby, F.E. Price/Agricultural Research Foundation Award for Excellence in Research
  • Zumwalt Prairie Food Web Research Team: Pat Kennedy, Sandy DeBano, Tim DelCurto and Rob Taylor (TNC) - James and Mildred Oldfield/E. R. Jackman Team Award
2011

College of Agricultural Sciences Awards

  • Clint Epps, Savery Outstanding Young Faculty Award
  • Selina Heppell, F. E. Price/Agricultural Research Foundation Award for Excellence in Student Advising/Counseling
  • Scott Baker, F. E. Price/Agricultural Research Foundation Award for Excellence in Research
  • Bruce Mate, Roy Arnold/Agricultural Research Foundation Leadership Award
  • Howard Horton, Alumni Legacy Award

Rob Chitwood received the OSU Exemplary Employee Award.

Nancy Allen, Rebecca Goggans, Danielle Jarkowsky, Leighann Auer, Lisa Pierson, and Megan Wright (Distance Education Advising Team) received the Vice Provost's Award for Excellence-Program Support.

Guillermo Giannico and Dana Sanchez received the Vice Provost's Award for Excellence - Diversity Award.

Sam Chan received the Vice Provost Special Award - Faculty Panel for Transformation

2010
College of Agricultural Sciences Awards        
   
Carl Schreck, ARF Distinguished Faculty Award
Scott Austed, CAS Classified Employee Award & Professional Faculty Award

2009

College of Agricultural Sciences Awards

Robert Anthony, ARF Distinguished Faculty Award.
Jane Toliver, CAS Classified Employee Award.
Thomas Whittier, ARF Faculty Research Assistant Award.

Judith Li received the Distinguished Service Award from the North American Benthological Society

Hiram Li received the Award of Excellence from the Western Division of the American Fisheries Society

2008

College of Agricultural Sciences Awards

  • Nancy Allen, F.E. Price/Agricultural Research Foundation Award for Excellence in Student Advising/Counseling
  • W. Daniel Edge received the honor of Distinguished Graduate from the College of Forestry and Conservation, University of Montana
  • Robert Hughes received the Award of Excellence from the Western Division of the American Fisheries Society

Carl Schreck was honored for a US Department of Interior Presidential Award presented at the White House in April 2008

Thom Whittier, Robert Hughes and others received the Robert L. Kendall Award for the Best Paper at the American Fisheries Society

2007

College of Agricultural Sciences Awards

  • W. Daniel Edge, Agricultural Research Foundation Leadership Award
  • Stan Gregory, Distinguished Faculty Award
  • Pat Kennedy, Briskey Award for Faculty Excellence
  • Samuel Chan, Excellence in Extension Education Award
  • Sandy DeBano and 4 others, James and Mildred Oldfield/E.R. Jackman Team Award

Thom Whittier, Bob Hughes, and Gregg Lomnicky, along with fellow author David Peck, won Best TAFS Paper of 2007 with their paper titled "Fish and amphibian tolerance values and an assemblage tolerance index for streams and rivers in the Western USA," published in Transactions of the American Fisheries Society

Robert Anthony, Cooperative Research Unit Program, U.S. Geological Survey, for Scientific Excellence for 2006

Rebecca Goggans received the 2007 Student Chapter Advisor of the Year Award from The Wildlife Society. Rebecca is the internship coordinator for Fisheries and Wildlife students and is also the Leader of the Fisheries and Wildlife Club

Carl Schreck was honored by the 2007 Western Division of the American Fisheries Society for excellence in scientific achievement

2006

College of Agricultural Sciences Awards

  • Chris Langdon, Briskey Award for Faculty Excellence
  • Robert Anthony, F.E. Price/Agricultural Research Foundation Award for Excellence in Research
  • Selina Heppell, Registry of Distinguished Teachers
  • Selina Heppell, Wade Excellence in Teaching Award

Pat Kennedy, Wings across the Americas Research and Management Partnership Award (2006) from the USDA, Forest Service for contributions to northern goshawk research and management.

Robert M. Hughes received the 2006 Award for Environmental Stewardship from the North American Benthological Society and a Fulbright Senior Specialist Award to teach at the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil November-December 2007

Selina Heppell received the 2006 Aldo Leopold Environmental Leadership Program Scholar Award

History

The Department of Fish, Game, and Fur Animal Management was established in 1935 within the Oregon Agricultural College during the conservation fervor that swept the country in the wake of the Great Depression and Dust Bowl eras.  At the same time the department was established, the Oregon Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit became the second unit in the country among the original nine units established under the enabling legislation. The name of the department was changed to Fish and Game Management in 1936 and to Fisheries and Wildlife in 1964. There have been five permanent leaders since its inception: Roland E. Dimick (1935-1963), Thomas G. Scott (1963-1973), Richard A. Tubb (1975-1993), Erik K. Fritzell (1994 2001), and William D. Edge (2001-present). Charles E. Warren (1973-1975) and Lawrence R. Curtis (1993-1994) served as interim department heads. 

Enrollment in the department has fluctuated substantially during the program’s history. Almost 100 students enrolled in the program the first year and the first class graduated in 1938. The program was virtually closed in 1943 and 1944 because of WW II. Peak enrollment was reached in 1974 with 391 undergraduates. Five years later the largest class of 98 students graduated. The department has had the largest or second largest undergraduate program in the college since it was established, and for many years has had one the largest graduate programs in the university.

Student clubs also have a long history with the department. The first college Fish and Wildlife club in the nation was formed in 1935 at OSU and named the Ding Darling Wildlife Club, in honor of the noted conservationist. The name was subsequently changed to the Fin and Antler Club and later to the Fish and Wildlife Club. The Club is currently a student chapter of both The Wildlife Society and the American Fisheries Society. The Fish and Wildlife Graduate Student Association was established in 2002.

The undergraduate curriculum has changed several times during the department’s history. One impetus has been to provide more flexibility and individual choice to students. In 1996, following a 10-year program review, the program underwent a major revision. The current degree program has three innovative features: internships, a capstone sequence, and a self-designed specialization. In 2009, the Department began to offer a popular online undergraduate degree program and within five years, students registered for classes in that program increased from 56 to 257.

Partnerships

Federal cooperators are an integral part of the department. The Oregon Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit is a partnership between the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), Oregon State University, and the Wildlife Management Institute. The Wildlife Unit, which began in 1935, was terminated in 1959 and reestablished 1971. The Fish Unit was established in 1966 and the two units were later combined. We have been fortunate in having a four scientist unit almost continuously since 1971.

Throughout the years, the department has launched and/or participated in several major collaborative research programs:

  • The Oyster Research Lab on Yaquina Bay, a forerunner to the Hatfield Marine Science Center (HMSC), was established in 1941.
  • The Hatfield Marine Science Center was established in 1965; the department has had faculty conducting marine research at the site since, and now has seven faculty members housed at the center.
  • The Pacific Cooperative Pollution and Fisheries Research Laboratory (later called the Oak Creek Laboratory of Biology), established in 1953, was one of the leading centers for aquatic toxicology in the nation until it disbanded in 1994.
  • Since 1969, one or more faculty has participated in the H.J. Andrews Coniferous Forest Biome Project of the International Biological Program and its successor, the Long-Term Ecological Research Program (LTER).
  • The Smith Farm Genetics and Performance Laboratory in Corvallis was established in 1975.
  • Two or more faculty have been science team members in the Cooperative Forest Ecosystem Research (CFER) program since it was established in 1995. CFER is a cooperative venture between Oregon State University, USGS FRESC, the Bureau of Land Management, and the Oregon Department of Forestry. The partnership works closely with resource managers, researchers, and decision-makers to develop and convey reliable scientific information needed to successfully implement ecosystem-based management in the Pacific Northwest.
  • The Oregon Hatchery Research Center (OHRC), a research venture between ODFW and the department opened in October 2005. The goal of the OHRC is to answer scientific questions related to fish recovery and hatchery programs, including the differences that may exist between wild and hatchery fish, and how to better manage those differences.

Our history of collaborative research and a world-renowned faculty attract some of the brightest minds in the world to our program. Degree programs that engage and enhance student learning, as well as offerings for students on the Corvallis Campus and online through Ecampus, have resulted in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife being one of the largest and most successful departments at Oregon State University.