Wildlife (WLDM) 

MS Renewable Natural Resources

Most graduates with a Master of Science degree with a concentration in Wildlife accept initial jobs as biologists/managers with government agencies that oversee the stewardship of wildlife resources – especially the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries (and other similar state agencies), Department of Natural Resources, Department of Environmental Quality, and the like. A growing segment of graduates have taken jobs as private environmental consultants or work for non-governmental agencies (NGOs). Recent graduates have taken jobs with The Nature Conservancy, Audubon Society, Ducks Unlimited, and the National Rifle Association, just to name a few such NGOs.

Our degree program, like most M.S. degrees in Natural Resources, has students continue knowledge-based learning in graduate classes, but much of a student’s effort is focused on learning the scientific method and problem solving by completing research on a topic that they select with input from their graduate advisor. Recent students have worked on the breeding biology of northern pintails, white-tailed deer nutrition, describing the unique ecology of tropical forests in Peru, evaluating reintroduction methods for endangered black bears, assessing restoration of coastal marsh, and dozens of other exciting projects. Prospective students are urged to contact faculty members whose research addresses resources and issues that the student hopes to study. Below are the requirements for students seeking a Master of Science in Renewable Natural Resources with an area of concentration in Wildlife.

The Wildlife AOC will require a minimum of 9 hours of coursework in addition to the general 9-hour requirement for all M.S. students in the School. The following courses, or demonstration to the student’s Graduate Committee of proficiency in one or more of these courses from previous coursework and experience, are required, and may be included in the 9 hours required for this AOC:

Course Credit Hours Course Title
RNR 7006 3 Behavioral Ecology
RNR 7013 3 Wildlife Population Dynamics
RNR 7016 3 Current Topics and Techniques in Conservation Science
RNR 7007 3 Natural Resources Policy: History; Issues, & Persistent Problems


Depending on prior coursework and experience, additional courses will be required to satisfy the 24-hour course requirement for the M.S. degree. The 24-hour total may include no more than 6 hours of RNR 7029 (Advanced Topics in Renewable Natural Resources). Additional courses required for each student’s program of study will be determined by the graduate committee. These courses will typically be selected from the list below, but may include other courses with committee approval.

Course Credit Hours Course Title
RNR 4013 4 Ecology and Management of Wetland Wildlife
RNR 4023 3 Marine Fisheries Resources
RNR 4039   Biology of Fishes
RNR 4103 3 Conservation Genetics
RNR 4107 3 Human Dimensions in Natural Resources
RNR 4900 3 Watershed Hydrology
RNR 7011 3 Mammalian Ecology and Management
RNR 7012 3 Ecology and Management of Waterfowl
RNR 7015 3 Ecology and Management of Upland Birds
RNR 7017 4 Restoration and Management of Wetland Function
RNR 7029   Advanced Topics in Renewable Natural Resources
RNR 7036 3 Natural Resource Biometrics and Management
BIOL 4141 4 Mammalogy
BIOL 4142 4 Ornithology
BIOL 4145 4 Ichthyology
BIOL 4146 4 Herpetology
BIOL 7001   Tropical Ecology
BIOL 7080 3 Population Ecology
BIOL 7083 3 Community Ecology
BIOL 7120 3 Marine Ecology
EXST 7024   Biological Population Statistics I
EXST 7025 3 Biological Population Statistics II
EXST 7035   Applied Least Squares
EXST 7036 3 Categorical Data Analysis
EXST 7037 3 Multivariate Statistics


Programs for the Master's degree must be completed within five years of entrance into the program.


Dr. William Kelso
F.O. Bateman Professor and
Coordinator of Graduate Studies and Research
118 Renewable Natural Resources Bldg
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA 70803

phone: 225-578-4176

Email Dr. William Kelso