Apr 20, 2024  
2002-2003 Graduate Catalog 
2002-2003 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Wildlife Ecology

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The Department of Wildlife Ecology, College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture offers graduate study leading to a Master of Science in Wildlife Ecology, a non-thesis Master of Wildlife Conservation, and a Ph.D. degree in Wildlife Ecology. A broad range of ecosystems, modern laboratory facilities, and a diversified staff provide excellent opportunities for graduate study in wildlife ecology. Emphasis is placed on detailed studies of wildlife species and the habitats in which they live. Research may be conducted in such areas as terrestrial and aquatic ecology, physiology, behavior, population dynamics, experimental management, and the influence of environmental disturbances.

In addition to the Wildlife Ecology faculty, supporting staff represent disciplines including Animal, Veterinary and Aquatic Sciences, Forestry, and Biology. Personnel from the U.S.G.S. Biological Research Division participate in the program as do biologists with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. The Maine Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, plays an important role in maintaining a close liaison between the University and state and federal agencies. Many graduate students participate in the research programs of these units.


Students are admitted to the graduate program in Wildlife Ecology on the basis of their academic records, GRE scores, experience, and recommendations. All applications are considered automatically for several teaching and research assistantships available each year. These assistantships include stipends and payment of tuition. Additional money is available for research expenses on most projects. Applications should be submitted by February 28 for admission in the fall semester.

Degree Requirements

In addition to the requirements of the Graduate School, the following requirements must be met by graduate students in Wildlife Ecology:

Selection of the student’s advisory committee during the first semester to provide program direction and aid in development of the student’s research proposal; completion of a program of study during the first semester; completion of a detailed thesis proposal prior to the beginning of the second semester.

All students should have finished coursework in the following subject areas either in a previous program or prior to completion of the MS or MWC degree.

Biology-18 credits to include:

  • Vertebrate Zoology (4 cr.)
  • Invertebrate Zoology (3 cr.)
  • Ecology (4 cr.)
  • Botany (4 cr.)

Management-20 credits to include:

  • Habitat and Population Management (6 cr.)
  • Resource Economics and Policy (6 cr.)
  • Management of Related Resources (3 cr.)
  • Statistics (3 cr.)

At least one course in each of the biology topics must be a laboratory course.

M.S. candidates are required to complete at least 20 course credits.

MWC students must complete a 4-credit independent study on a topic selected by the student and advisory committee and submit a formal report for approval by the committee. Though this is not a thesis, it will require the review and quality of presentation suitable for publication.

A comprehensive examination consisting of both written and oral sections is administered to Ph.D. candidates after most of the student’s course work is completed.

All theses must be written in publication format and presented at a Department seminar and defended during a final oral examination.

Each Ph.D. candidate also is required to undertake a program to broaden or extend his or her knowledge in a discipline that is ancillary to wildlife ecology. A suitable discipline will be selected by the candidate and his or her graduate committee. Selection will be based on the candidate’s background and professional aspirations. Suitable disciplines might include foreign languages, quaternary studies, economics, biochemistry, physiology, geographic information systems (GIS), or statistical theory. The level of effort of this endeavor should equal at least six credit hours, but need not take the form of structured course work if a suitable alternative is developed. Upon completion of this effort, the candidate will demonstrate his or her proficiency to the graduate committee to fulfill this requirement.

All Ph.D. candidates are required to have at least one semester of teaching experience.

The credit hour requirement for doctoral students in Wildlife Ecology shall include a minimum of 50 credit hours, which may include a maximum of 30 credit hours from the master’s program. A minimum of 35 credit hours will be in course work, of which 20 hours must be in graduate level (500/600) courses. Ph.D. students are expected to be engaged in full-time work on their Ph.D. program for a minimum of two full years; most programs last 3-4 years beyond the master’s degree.

Further Information

For details about specific aspects of the program and the availability of assistantships, write to the Chairperson, Department of Wildlife Ecology, College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture, 210 Nutting Hall.

Graduate Faculty

Daniel J. Harrison, Ph.D. (Maine, 1986), Pro-fessor and Interim Chair. Carnivore ecology, habitat relationships, forestry - wildlife interactions.

James R. Gilbert, Ph.D. (Idaho, 1974), Professor. Population dynamics, biometrics, big game, and pinnipeds.

Malcolm L. Hunter, Jr., D. Phil. (Oxford, 1978), Professor and Libra Professor. Conservation biology, forest wildlife management, landscape ecology, international conservation.

William B. Krohn, Ph.D. (Idaho, 1977), Professor. Leader, Maine Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit. Migratory bird management, habitat evaluation, and wildlife administration.

Cynthia S. Loftin, Ph.D. (Florida, 1998), Assistant Professor of Wildlife Ecology and Assistant Leader, Maine Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit. Systems ecology, landscape ecology, wetlands ecology, GIS applications.

Jerry R. Longcore, M.S. (Michigan, 1963), Faculty Associate, U.S. National Biological Survey. Waterfowl and wetlands ecology.

Raymond J. O’Connor, Ph.D. (Oxford, 1973), Professor. Avian Population Dynamics, life history studies.

Judith M. Rhymer, Ph.D. (Florida State University, 1988), Assistant Professor. Population genetics and conservation biology.

Frederick A. Servello, Ph.D. (Virginia Polytech Inst. and State Univ., 1985), Associate Professor. Nutrition and physiology, habitat relationships of birds and mammals.

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