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Florida-Agriculture.com
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Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Mayo Building, M-9
407 South Calhoun Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0800
(850) 617-7300

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Adam H. Putnam, Commissioner

Wildlife Biologist

Wildlife biologists do research that helps us better manage our resources. They may specialize in fields such as physiology, genetics, ecology, behavior, disease, nutrition, population dynamics, land-use, and pollution. They are curious, patient, and persistent. They collect, analyze, and interpret facts objectively and skillfully, and they can report them clearly to other people.

Most wildlife positions are civil service jobs with state, provincial, or federal agencies. Some city, town, and county agencies hire wildlife management specialists. Universities and colleges offering wildlife curriculums hire wildlife professionals with advanced degrees to teach and do research. After the enactment of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, engineering and other consulting firms began employing more wildlife specialists. Private employment with large firms dealing in timber, ranching, mining, energy production, paper production, and chemical production is also increasing. Each year opportunities increase in community nature or conservation centers, zoos, and a growing number of private and public conservation-related organizations around the world.

To be a wildlife biologist, you need a college education. Since most wildlife resources and conservation problems relate to people, you need courses in English, psychology, history, geography, statistics and economics, as well as in physical and biological sciences. Communication skills, especially speaking skills, must be part of your training.

In high school take as much math, physics, English, chemistry, and biology as possible. If you can, get experience working with committees, conducting meetings, and writing for high school publications.

-- Harry Hodgeon, The Wildlife Society

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