Wildlife Biology

Chad Bishop, Wildlife Biology; Director

The Wildlife Biology Program combines the best features of a liberal arts curriculum with scientific preparation in wildlife conservation. The Program provides students with an extensive knowledge in ecology, population biology, conservation biology, and critical thinking and quantitative skills. Our students receive a strong academic and scientific background with an emphasis on hands-on, experiential learning. The educational requirements for certification by The Wildlife Society can be met within the framework of the undergraduate program. 

While some employment opportunities exist in wildlife conservation for students with the baccalaureate degree, we encourage students to continue their education through the master's degree to qualify for most state, federal, and private positions.

Three optional curricula are offered in the Wildlife Biology Program: terrestrial, aquatic, and honors. All three options follow the same schedule of courses for the freshman and most of the sophomore year and then pursue different curricula for the last two years. Each leads to a B.S. in Wildlife Biology. The University is well-suited for instruction in wildlife biology because of the excellent opportunities for field instruction and research at Lubrecht Experimental Forest, Flathead Lake Biological Station, and the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial and Bandy ranches. The Montana Forest and Conservation Experiment Station, the Division of Biological Sciences, and the Montana Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit facilitate research.

The honors curriculum is designed particularly for students with strong academic records who intend to do graduate work. Entrance into this emphasis is open only to students who, at the beginning of the junior year of the wildlife biology program, have a grade-point average of 3.5 or above and who petition the faculty for entrance.

High School Preparation: In addition to general University admission requirements, the student should elect four years of mathematics and three years of science, including biology, chemistry and physics.

Honors students must complete either WILD 370, 470 and 494 (terrestrial option) or BIOO 340, BIOE 428 and WILD 494 (aquatic option). Honors students are encouraged to enroll also in WILD 499 Senior Thesis. The balance of the coursework for the junior and senior years will be developed in consultation with the honors student's faculty advisor and committee.

All students in the honors emphasis are required to meet with their faculty advisor prior to autumn semester registration of their junior and senior years to work out their course schedules.

Undergraduate Degrees Available

Subject Type Option Track
Wildlife Biology Bachelor of Science Aquatic
Wildlife Biology Bachelor of Science Terrestrial
Wildlife Biology Minor

Department Faculty


  • Chad Bishop, Director, Wildlife Biology Program
  • Ragan Callaway, Professor
  • Erick Greene, Professor
  • L. Scott Mills, Associate Vice President of Research for Global Change and Sustainability
  • Dave Naugle, Professor Large Scale Wildlife Ecology

Associate Professor

  • Creagh Breuner, Professor
  • Lisa Eby, Associate Professor of Aquatic Vertebrate Ecology; Undergraduate Program Director, Ecosystem Science & Restoration
  • Mark Hebblewhite, Associate Professor of Ungulate Habitat Ecology
  • Winsor Lowe, Associate Professor

Assistant Professor

  • Jedediah Brodie, Assistant Professor; John Craighead Endowed Chair of Conservation
  • Zachary Cheviron, Assistant Professor
  • Victoria Dreitz, Assistant Professor, Wildlife Biology Program; Director, Avian Science Center
  • Jeffrey Good, Assistant Professor
  • Angela Luis, Assistant Professor of Population & Disease Ecology
  • Paul M. Lukacs, Associate Professor of Quantitative Wildlife Ecology
  • Andrew Whiteley, Assistant Professor of Fisheries & Conservation Genomics


  • Thomas E Martin, DBS Associated Faculty
  • Mike Mitchell, Unit Leader, Montana Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit; Adjunct Professor


  • Michael Schwartz, Adjunct Reseach Assistant Professor of Wildlife Biology


  • Kerry Foresman, Professor Emeritus
  • Richard Hutto, Professor Emeritus
  • Daniel Pletscher, Professor of Wildlife Biology, Emeritus