Understanding Plants and
Animals Around Us
100% Online: Concentration in Wildlife Ecology
A concentration in Wildlife Ecology is available to all programs except Wildlife Conservation.
- Improve your job readiness by learning additional skills necessary in today’s workplace, while working towards your undergraduate degree in Environmental Emergency Management and Law Enforcement, Environmental Studies or Sustainable Business Management.
- Concentrations appear on your transcript and diploma so future employers know what skills you’ve acquired.
- One-on-one academic and professional advising Our world-class faculty and trained staff strive to make your professional and academic goals a reality.
- Unity College is an accredited institution by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).
- Learn about wildlife ecology and how to protect the environment.
- Study when and where you want and finish your degree while still working full-time.
- Make professional connections with leaders in your field.
- Get job placement assistance through our career development department.
- Eight start dates per year
To obtain this concentration, complete any four of the following courses:
BIOL 201 Organisms that Sustain the Earth: Understanding Plants
Plants, as the most prominent primary producers in terrestrial systems due to photosynthesis, are the base source of energy in most ecosystems. This course will introduce students to the factors that influence the growth, distribution and abundance of plants, the influence of plants on energy and nutrient flow, and key features of plant biology. Students will experience the diversity of plants and how major taxa differ in form and function. Case studies will illustrate the role of plants in ecosystem function, human culture, and animal ecology.
BIOL 203 Ecological Principles: Applications to Conservation and Wildlife
In this course students will explore key concepts of ecology. The course emphasizes concepts applicable to understanding and mitigating impacts of climate change, human activities, and invasive species on ecological systems, as well as other concepts underlying conservation ecology and management of wildlife species. Through course activities focused around practical application of concepts, students will gain a basic understanding of evolution, autecology, population ecology, community ecology, and ecosystem ecology.
WCON 201 Wildlife Plant Identification: Wildlands and Wildlife Habitat
This course centers around the identification and life history of groups of plants important as habitat components of wildlife species. Students will learn major plant groups and species in forest, rangeland, grassland, agricultural, and desert environments that influence wildlife species. Students will explore life history of these plants with the goal of understanding how habitat management activities, human land use, and other activities influence populations of wildlife through changes in food and cover.
WCON 303 Life History and Identification of Birds & Mammals
During this course, students will learn to identify avian and mammalian species with a focus on species at which management is often directed. These species include game bird and mammals, common agricultural or urban ‘pest’ species, and threatened or endangered species. Students will also learn basic life history of these species with a focus on characteristics useful for management. Students will be expected to conduct field activities directed at learning the species prominent in their region.
WCON 305 Wildlife Conservation Genetics
Genetics form a key component of modern wildlife management, providing tools aiding our understanding of taxonomy, conservation of small populations, and hybridization, as well as enabling non-invasive population monitoring and enhancing wildlife forensics. During this course, students will encounter the basic concepts of genetics, with an emphasis on population genetics and genetic techniques useful in wildlife management. Prominent topics covered include genetic variation, the role of gene flow and genetic drift on population viability, and key genetic markers used by wildlife biologists. Students will explore case studies illustrating the applicability of concepts in genetics to wildlife management.
WCON 307 Humans, Parasites, and Wildlife: Understanding the Impact of Insects on Wildlife
Insects, as the largest class of animals, have an extraordinarily large influence on ecosystem function. For humans they as vectors for important zoonotic diseases and pollinators of key food crops. For wildlife species they pollinate and feed on key plant species, vector prominent diseases, create large scale habitat change through plant disease outbreaks, and provide the primary source of animal matter for predators. During this class students will learn basic taxonomy and life history of insects, as well as explore case studies involving the role of insects in plant and animal disease, pollination, biological control, and other influences on ecosystem functioning.