New Wildlife Management Certificate provides application-based, hands-on experience to help maintain biodiversity
Preserving Earth’s biodiversity is no small task — some estimates put the number of species on the planet in the hundreds of millions — but that hasn’t deterred ASU students from taking on the job.
And while a passion for the environment is essential, students looking for careers in the field also need the right credentials. To help meet that need, associate professor Heather Bateman worked with colleagues in ASU’s College of Integrative Sciences and Arts to develop the undergraduate Wildlife Management Certificate.
First offered in fall 2016, the certificate is for students interested in biology, conservation, sustainability and management of natural resources.
According to Bateman, the need was twofold: “Applied biological sciences students wanted some type of recognition when they graduated that would indicate to potential employers they had expertise in the discipline of wildlife management, and [myself and other biology professors] wanted to get the word out across ASU about opportunities to study wildlife and engage with wildlife professionals.”
Creating the certificate accomplished both.
The suite of courses that make up the curriculum for the certificate — which requires 23 credit hours — involve a heavy amount of fieldwork, with students taking two to three fieldtrips per course. On fieldtrips to such Arizona locales as the Kaibab Plateau and the Petrified Forest National Park, students get application-based, hands-on experience while engaging with wildlife professionals from such state and federal agencies as the Arizona Game and Fish Department and the U.S. Forest Service.
Biomedical engineering student Antonio Lopez (right) holds a northern pintail duck while another student tests it for avian influenza at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in San Antonio, New Mexico.Photo courtesy Stanley Cunningham
Lopez releases the northern pintail back into the environment.Photo courtesy Stanley Cunningham
A volunteer holds a green-winged teal duck at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.Photo courtesy Stanley Cunningham
ASU lecturer Stanley Cunningham (left) seining fish with a student.Photo courtesy Stanley Cunningham
A student holds a Sonoran sucker fish. The fish was weighed, measured and released.Photo courtesy Stanley Cunningham
One of ASU associate professor Heather Bateman's students checks minnow traps for aquatic vertebrates.Photo courtesy Heather Bateman
Arizona Game and Fish biologist and ASU alum Christina Akins releases an endangered Tarahumara frog in southern Arizona.Photo courtesy Heather Bateman
Bateman (left, maroon visor) finds a chuckwalla lizard among the rocks at Superstition Mountain.Photo courtesy Heather Bateman
Clark's spiny lizard.Photo courtesy Heather Bateman
Lindsay Boyd, a student of Bateman's, poses with a lizard on a trip to Arizona's Petrified Forest.Photo Courtesy Lindsay Boyd
Arizona Game and Fish herpetologist Tom Jones (left) measures a Sonoran coral snake with ASU student Tony Quiroz.Photo courtesy Heather Bateman
Bateman holds a tubed tiger rattlesnake. Tubing a snake allows biologists to safely handing and measure venomous species.Photo courtesy Heather Bateman
A brown vine snake seen in southern Arizona on an applied herpetology field trip. The vine snake is a common species in Central America, but Arizona is at the northern extent of its range. It feeds on birds and lizards, and often waits in ambush in a shrub or tree.Photo courtesy Tony Quiroz
Checking herpetofauna traps with a biologist at Petrified Forest National Park.Photo courtesy Heather Bateman
Students radio tracking at White Tank Mountain Regional Park in Waddell, Arizona. Tracking an animal by radio involves a transmitter that sends out a signal in the form of radio waves.Photo courtesy Stanley Cunningham
Cunningham and students visit a bat cave on the Armendaris Ranch in New Mexico.Photo courtesy Stanley Cunningham
Red bat at Hassaympa Preserve in Wickenburg, Arizona.Photo courtesy Stanley Cunningham
“In fact, it already has,” Boyd said. “The experience I gained in the wildlife program and being able to use professors as references landed me internships with Arizona Game and Fish for the past two summers. I asked my supervisor … what made my resume stand out, and it was that I had used Stan Cunningham as a reference.”
Boyd, who calls herself “kind of a bird nerd,” says her dream job is to work for The Peregrine Fund, a Boise-based non-profit conducting research and species restoration work with birds of prey all around the world.
She’s hoping the knowledge and experience she gained while obtaining the Wildlife Management Certificate will help get her there, the same way it did with her summer internships: “For those of us who don't have the word ‘wildlife’ in our degree, [the certificate] acknowledges that we have maintained a focus during our college career and have dipped into” the related subjects needed for a career in wildlife management, including plant life, soil health, watersheds and water cycles, nutrient cycles, weather patterns, statistics and land ownership agreements.
Students interested in pursuing the Wildlife Management Certificate should call 480-965-4464 to set up an appointment with an academic advisor. There is no deadline to sign up, and students can take it at any point in their academic career.
2016-2017 ASU student carillonneur named
Mengyu Liu, an Arizona State University freshman student majoring in piano performance, has been selected as the 2016-2017 OneAZ Credit Union Student Carillonneur. Liu received a $500 scholarship from OneAZ Credit Union. She will perform two concerts during the spring semester and assist with playing ASU’s Symphonic Carillon at other events.
Liu studies with Robert Hamilton in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts School of Music. She was born in Shaoyang, China, and resides in Changsha, China. She began studying piano at the age of 5, and studied English in high school. She plans to teach as well as perform.
Liu became interested in the carillon after visiting and playing the instrument, which is housed in the Lower Level of Old Main. “I found it was very amazing and mysterious, with its sound quality, its pedal and its variety in bells,” she said.
“Also, I consider its similarity with church music. When I was listening to the music that played on campus during every evening, I was surprised what instrument it was and how it played this kind of music.“
Liu also hopes to “make people hopeful and happy to life,” she said. “For this, I have some qualifications that are helpful for learning the carillon. First of all, I am a warmhearted person and I will make my music more affected.”
She also wanted to learn to play the carillon because it is a new instrument and a new challenge.
Liu chose to study piano at ASU because of its location — far from the competitiveness and bustle of New York City, where many aspiring musicians choose to go.
“ASU is a good place to study and be quiet to think. I don't want to be so competitive as to lose my own dream.”