Current WFSC and ESSM Students
In January 2020, our department was established after a restructuring of the former Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences and Ecosystem and Science Management Departments.
The support of our current students still going through the program under the legacy departments is of utmost importance to us. To help with this transition, RWFM degree programs are not currently active. Incoming undergraduate and graduate students will still come in under Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences or Ecosystem and Science Management degree programs.
Current WFSC and ESSM students seeking information regarding their degree program can schedule appointments with our undergraduate or graduate advisors or visit the legacy sites for degree requirements, course catalogs and other details.
Speak with an Advisor
Frequently Asked Questions
What happened to the WFSC and ESSM Departments?
In January 2020, the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, Ecological Systems Management Department and a portion of the Department of Recreation Parks and tourism Sciences—went through a restructuring. Patrick Stover, Ph.D., vice chancellor of Texas A&M AgriLife and dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences led these efforts, which resulted in the formation of two new departments—the Departments of Ecology and Conservation Biology and Rangeland, Wildlife and Fisheries Management.
Why did the WFSC and ESSM departments restructure?
The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ administration and leadership believed that this restructuring was necessary to better serve students, Texas landowners and the public in addressing local and global environmental and natural resources challenges. This restructuring will allow us to adapt and react better to the changes happening within our respective fields, to ensure that both departments are able to advance teaching, research and Extension efforts to achieve excellence.
What is the difference between the two departments?
The Department of Ecology and Conservation Biology exists to advance scholarship in the science of ecology, conservation biology and natural resources through research and education. Studies in ECCB will enhance students’ understanding of ecology, conservation biology, and various ecosystems, while investigating the origins and ecology of species, populations and communities.
The Department of Rangeland, Wildlife and Fisheries Management aims to prepare the next generation of natural resource stewards through teaching, research and engagement. Studies in RWFM focus on land and species management to ensure healthy plant and animal communities in the future. A primary difference between the two departments is RWFM’s AgriLife Extension unit, in place to disseminate science-based knowledge associated with natural resource management and policy to landowners, industry professionals and lawmakers.
Who is leading the new ECCB and RWFM departments?
Currently, Department Head and Professor of Animal Science Cliff Lamb, Ph.D., has been appointed as Interim Department Head for RWFM. Professor Kirk Winemiller, Ph.D. has been appointed as Interim Department Head for ECCB.
Will this set back current WFSC and ESSM students?
It sure won’t! We know that this might seem stressful for our current students, but we’re here to take every action possible to make sure that we make this process as streamlined and easy for them as possible! While our new departments formed in January 2020, the new degree programs are currently inactive. Current ESSM and WFSC students in undergraduate and graduate degree programs will remain in those programs until they graduate. Incoming Fall 2020 students will also be entering in under the legacy degree programs.
When will the new RWFM degree programs be implemented?
At the moment, we have committees working to develop the new degree programs. We hope to get them in place and approved as soon as possible, but we want to make sure that we carefully consider changes and additions to the program. We also understand that these processes take time, so bear with us.
I’m a prospective student. Which new department is right for me?
We’re so glad you asked! Deciding on a program of study is a big step and we want to make sure we provide you all the resources necessary to make that decision. When our new degree programs are put in place, we can answer all of your questions about studies in RWFM. In the meantime, our talented undergraduate and graduate advisors are happy to talk to you about the legacy programs and help find the right degree for you.