Department of Rangeland and Wildlife Sciences

Department curriculum is designed to provide students with foundation knowledge in basic and applied Rangeland and Wildlife Management (RWSC). The department emphasizes development of creative thinking and communication skills that are crucial for success.Upon successful completion of the department-recommended curriculum, RWSC majors can qualify as an Associate Wildlife Biologist by The Wildlife Society, and as a Rangeland Specialist by the Society for Range Management.

The curriculum balances presentation of theory in the classroom with hands-on experience in the field. Wildlife majors have the opportunity to work and study on the South Pasture Wildlife Research Area, a facility dedicated to wildlife management and research just south of Kingsville, Texas. The faculty are involved in research that keeps them abreast of current thinking in the range and wildlife sciences to provide students with up-to-date information.

The department assesses its program by administering comprehensive examinations to undergraduates when they enter the program and during their last semester before graduation. Also, the department chair interviews graduating seniors to determine their impressions on strengths, weaknesses and needs of the program. Results from these activities are used to continually update and improve undergraduate education.

Students majoring in Rangeland and Wildlife Science (RWSC) must have a minimum GPA of 2.5 within the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and receive a grade of "C" or better in all College of AGNR courses and in upper division (3000 and 4000 level) biology courses (BIOL) in order to graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree. Satisfaction of prerequisite courses are required before a student can enroll in the next level course.  

Graduates from the department find employment with state and federal agencies or with ranches and other private businesses. The undergraduate curriculum also prepares students for continued education at the master of science level.

University Teaching and Research Facilities

The University Teaching and Research Facilities include the South Pasture Wildlife Research Area (SPWRA), which is a 254-acre tract of native brush and grasslands that is located approximately 6 miles south of TAMUK campus. The property borders the King Ranch to the west and host a diversity of wildlife species found in southern Texas. The facility houses an outdoor laboratory where students will gain hands-on experiences in their courses. Wildlife surveys and captures, telemetry, prescribed fires, and habitat manipulations are commonly performed at SPWRA. Undergraduate and graduate students have the opportunity to conduct independent research on SPWRA. The TAMUK Wildlife Society holds several meetings at the facility. The Tio and Janell Kleberg Wildlife Research Park is named after long-time supporters of the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, Tio and Janell Kleberg, and contains five facilities. These include the Buddy Temple Wildlife Pathology and Diagnostic Lab, the Albert and Margaret Alkek Ungulate Research Facility, the Duane M. Leach Research Aviary, the South Texas Natives Research Facility and the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Center, a South Texas-style conference center and botanical garden on the edge of the main campus. 

Department Faculty

Anderson, Carolyn Jane Research Assistant Professor, Department of Rangeland and Wildlife Science; Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute; B.S., North Carolina State University; M.S., North Carolina State University; Ph.D., University of Florida.

Ballard, Bart M Professor, Department of Rangeland and Wildlife Science; C. Berdon & Rolanette Lawrence Endowed Chair in Waterfowl Research, Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute; B.S., Iowa State University; M.S., Texas A&M University-Kingsville; Ph.D., Texas A&M University-Kingsville.

Brennan, Leonard Professor, Department of Rangeland and Wildlife Science; C.C. "Charlie" Winn Endowed Chair for Quail Research, Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute; B.S., The Evergreen State College; M.S., Humboldt State University; Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley.

Cherry, Michael Assistant Professor, Department of Rangeland and Wildlife Science; Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute; B.S., University of Georgia; Ph.D., University of Georgia.

DeYoung, Randall W Professor, Department of Rangeland and Wildlife Science; Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute; B.S., Texas A&M University-Kingsville; M.S., Texas A&M University-Kingsville; Ph.D., Mississippi State University.

Foley, Aaron Research Assistant Professor, Department of Rangeland and Wildlife Science; Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute; B.S, State University of New York; M.S., Texas A&M University-Kingsville; Ph.D., Texas A&M University-Kingsville.

Gonzalez-Valenzuela, Eduardo Instructional Assistant Professor, Department of Rangeland and Wildlife Science; B.S., Universidad Autonoma de Chihuahua (Mexico); M.S., Universidad Autonoma de Chihuahua (Mexico); Ph.D., Texas A&M University.

Henke, Scott Professor, Department of Rangeland and Wildlife Science; Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute; Regents Professor; B.S., Purdue University; M.S., Texas Tech University; Ph.D., Texas Tech University.

Hernandez, Fidel Professor, Department of Rangeland and Wildlife Science; Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute; B.S., Angelo State University; M.S., Angelo State University; Ph.D., Texas A&M University.

Lobardi, Jason Research Assistant Professor, Department of Rangeland and Wildlife Science; Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute; B.S., Delaware Valley University; M.S., Stephen F. Austin University; Ph.D., Texas A&M University-Kingsville.

Ortega-Santos, J. Alfonso Professor, Department of Rangeland and Wildlife Science; Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute; B.S., Universidad Autonoma de Tamaulipas (Mexico); M.S., Universidad Autonoma Agraria (Mexico); Ph.D., University of Florida.

Perotto, Humberto Associate Professor, Department of Rangeland and Wildlife Science; Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute; B.Sc., Universidad Mayor de San Simón (Bolivia); M.S., Texas A&M University; Ph.D., Texas A&M University.

Rasmussen, G. Allen Professor, Department of Rangeland and Wildlife Science; Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies; Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute; B.S., Texas A&M University; M.S., Texas A&M University; Ph.D., Texas Tech University.

Rideout-Hanzak, Sandra Professor, Department of Rangeland and Wildlife Science; Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute; B.A., Ball State University; M.S.F., Stephen F. Austin University; Ph.D., Stephen F. Austin State University.

Schognamillo, Daniel Research Associate Professor, Department of Rangeland and Wildlife Science; Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute; B.Sc., Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata (Argentina); M.Sc., University of Florida; Ph.D., Louisiana State University.

Tanner, Evan Assistant Professor, Department of Rangeland and Wildlife Science; Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute; B.S., University of Tennessee; M.S., University of Tennessee; Ph.D., Oklahoma State University.

Tewes, Michael E Professor, Department of Rangeland and Wildlife Science; Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute; B.S., Texas A&M University; M.S., Texas A&M University; Ph.D., University of Idaho.

Unger, Ashley Research Assistant Professor, Department of Rangeland and Wildlife Science; Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute; B.S., Delaware Valley University; M.S., University of Tennessee; Ph.D., Oklahoma State University.

Wester, David B Professor, Department of Rangeland and Wildlife Science; Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute; B.S., Colorado State University; M.S., Texas Tech University; Ph.D., Texas Tech University.

Range and Wildlife Management (RWSC)

RWSC 1110  Wildlife Sciences Profession  1 SCH  (1-0)  

Elementary studies introducing the wildlife profession. Emphasis on departmental requirements, certification and careers, and species identification and taxonomy of North American Wildlife.

RWSC 2330  Range and Wildlife Mgmt  3 SCH  (2-2)  

Introduction to the history of the range and wildlife professions. The role of habitat, harvest theory, human dimensions, livestock interactions, exotic species, ecology to range land management, endangered species and non-game species as they relate to wildlife management. Emphasis on plant-soil-animal relationships. Prerequisites: BIOL 1106, BIOL 1306, and RWSC 1110 with a grade of "C" or better. Non-RWSC majors and minors require approval of Department Chair.

RWSC 2331  Range and Wildlife Ecology  3 SCH  (2-2)  

General overview of basic range and wildlife ecological concepts including natural selection, food webs, trophic levels, competition, predation, niche theory, life-history patterns and succession. Prerequisites: BIOL 1107, BIOL 1307, and RWSC 2330 with a grade of "C" or better. Non-RWSC majors and minors require approval of Department Chair.

RWSC 3310  Wildlife Mgmt Techniques  3 SCH  (2-2)  

Field and laboratory techniques used in wildlife management and research: aging, sexing, marking, capture, monitoring, disease surveys, food habitats and nutrition analyses, habitat assessment and population estimation. Prerequisites: BIOL 1107, BIOL 1307, and RWSC 2330 with a grade of "C" or better, and junior standing, or instructor consent. Non-RWSC majors and minors require approval from Department Chair.

Fee: $3.00

RWSC 3328  Rangeland Plants  3 SCH  (2-2)  

Basic rangeland plant physiology and morphology, plant community function and structure, and plant community response to disturbance. Identification and taxonomy of range grasses, forbs and shrubs; areas of adaptation, utilization and economic importance. Emphasis on the range plants of Texas. Prerequisites: RWSC 2331 with a grade of "C" or better and junior standing. Non-RWSC majors and minors require approval of Department Chair.

Fee: $10.00

RWSC 3350  Art Desn Wildlife Photo  3 SCH  (2-4)  

Learn about powerful image making from cave paintings through the American Civil War to the moon landing and beyond. The art perspective will be applied by the study to visually document wildlife and their ecology in the field and the laboratory. Emphasis on DSLR cameras, lenses, choosing and using perspective, lighting and related aspects of photographic skills, camera controls to enhance creativity, and learning how to incorporate compositional elements. Prerequisite: None. Course does not count toward RWSC major or minor. Certification in wildlife photography can be obtained by successful completion of 4 of the 5 wildlife photography courses.

RWSC 3351  Adv. Digital Wildlife Photo  3 SCH  (2-4)  

Emphasis on the development of improved technical, creative, and compositional wildlife photographic skills. Topics include use of lenses for creativity and the effects of light, color, and design in detail. Principles of creativity, craftsmanship, and applied photographic theory will be used to support technical applications. Prerequisite: RWSC 3350. Course does not count toward RWSC major or minor. Certification in wildlife photography can be obtained by successful completion of 4 of the 5 wildlife photography courses.

RWSC 3352  Macro Wildlife Photo  3 SCH  (2-4)  

Topics covered include technology, equipment, techniques, and the art of close-up and macro photography. It will illustrate the procedures and equipment to make images at-or near life size or larger of various subjects from small plants, animals, and habitats. Prerequisite: RWSC 3350. Course does not count toward RWSC major or minor. Certification in wildlife photography can be obtained by successful completion of 4 of the 5 wildlife photography courses.

RWSC 3353  Wildlife Photographic Tech.  3 SCH  (2-4)  

Examines the technology, equipment, techniques, and the art of flash and alternative light sources for digital photography. Prerequisite: RWSC 3350. Course does not count toward RWSC major or minor. Certification in wildlife photography can be obtained by successful completion of 4 of the 5 wildlife photography courses.

RWSC 3354  Comm Publ Wildlife Photo  3 SCH  (2-4)  

Learn how to better manage your photographs for publication and tell your wildlife or environmental story to the masses. Students will learn the use of computer software processing to improve digital wildlife images and to better prepare images for printing, publication and further distribution of their images. Students will learn how to use software packages of Lightroom and Photoshop. Prerequisite: None. Course does not count towards RWSC major and minor. Certification in wildlife photography can be obtained by successful completion of 4 of the 5 wildlife photography courses.

RWSC 3355  Wildlife Photographic Tech II  3 SCH  (2-4)  

This course will combine many cumulative studied wildlife photography skills and methods useful into a faculty-monitored, independent study project. Students will design their project and, with the approval of faculty, explore various subjects in each of the various assignments designed to develop methods to reveal a subject's characteristics in various scientific applications. The course will expose students to the processes required to produce scientific research as well as scientific posters. The final objective will be to produce a pee-reviewed wildlife photographic article and presentation at the end of the semester. Prerequisites: RSWC 3350, RWSC 3351, RWSC 3352, RWSC 3353, and RWSC 3354. Course does not count toward RWSC major or minor. Minor in wildlife photography with 18 credit hours in wildlife photography courses.

RWSC 3380  Rangeland Improvements  3 SCH  (2-2)  

Range improvement techniques, practices and expected results in various situations. Improvements in plant genetics, morphology, and physiology using various range techniques will be emphasized. Desirability, including economics, of selected range improvements. Prerequisite: RWSC 2331 with a grade of "C" or better. Non-RWSC majors and minors require approval of Department Chair.

RWSC 3385  Wildlife Policy Law & PR (WI)  3 SCH  (2-2)  

Legislation, administration, public relations and biopolitics as they relate to range and wildlife management. Prerequisite: RWSC 2331 with a grade of "C" or better. Non-RWSC majors and minors require approval of Department Chair.

RWSC 3390  Spec Tops in Range and Nat Res  3 SCH  (2-2)  

Selected topics not currently available in existing courses. May be repeated once under different topic. Prerequisites: RWSC 2331 with a grade of "C" or better and junior standing. Non-RWSC majors and minors require approval of Department Chair.

RWSC 3995  Internship  1-9 SCH  (1-9)  

Supervised and planned work experience under college guidelines in an agriculture enterprise or agency setting. Practical application of knowledge and skills of major subject area without classroom consultation, but with formal evaluation. May be repeated for a maximum of nine semester hours toward degree; may not count toward minor. Prerequisite: RWSC 2331; approval of department chair.

RWSC 4171  Wildlife Capstone Seminar  1 SCH  (1-0)  

Holistic knowledge of wildlife management principles and practices. Prerequisite: senior standing in graduating semester or department chair approval.

RWSC 4319  Methods in Rangeland Ecol  3 SCH  (2-2)  

Methods of vegetation sampling and community analysis, range condition and trend analysis, estimating stocking rates, wildlife habitat evaluation, use of expert systems. Prerequisites: RWSC 3328 and ANSC 4308 with a grade of "C" or better. Non-RWSC majors and minors require approval of Department Chair.

Fee: $35.00

RWSC 4320  Prescribed Burning  3 SCH  (2-2)  

Science and art of prescribed burning; review science and ecology concepts basic to prescribed burning and discuss management aspects such as firing techniques, fire weather, fireline safety and smoke management. Effects of fire on plant genetics, morphology, and physiology. Prerequisites: RWSC 2331 and RWSC 3310 with a grade of "C" or better, and junior standing. Non-RWSC majors and minors require approval of Department Chair.

RWSC 4325  Grazing Management & Nutrition  3 SCH  (2-2)  

Physiological processes, morphological development, nutritional qualities and palatability of range plants as a basis for grazing management strategies for domestic and wild animals. Prerequisites: RWSC 3310, RWSC 3328, RWSC 3380 or RWSC 4320 with a grade of "C" or better. Non-RWSC majors and minors require approval of Department Chair.

RWSC 4370  Ecology & Mgmt of Game Birds  3 SCH  (2-2)  

Life-history characteristics, population dynamics, population monitoring, harvest management and habitat management of North American game birds. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

RWSC 4380  Waterfowl and Wetlands  3 SCH  (2-2)  

The ecology and management of North American waterfowl and wetlands. Topics include unique breeding ecology, migration strategies, and management of waterfowl; characteristics of wetlands, wetland classification, biological adaptations to wetlands, wetland management, the functional roles of wetlands and their importance to wildlife. Prerequisites: RWSC 2331, RWSC 3310 with a grade of "C" or better, and junior standing. Non-RWSC majors and minors require approval of Department Chair.

RWSC 4382  Large Mammal Eco and Managemnt  3 SCH  (2-2)  

Methods and techniques of managing and evaluating the habitat and requirements of major North American large mammals. Weekend field trips. Prerequisites: RWSC 2331, RWSC 3310 with a grade of "C" or better and junior standing. Non-RWSC majors and minors require approval of Department Chair.

Fee: $20.00

RWSC 4383  Ecol of Arid and Semiarid Land  3 SCH  (2-2)  

Ecological principles of arid and semiarid land ecosystems are introduced. These principles are used to illustrate consequences of deliberate and unintentional human actions on arid and semiarid environments. Prerequisites: RWSC 2331 and RWSC 3310 with a grade of "C" or better, and junior standing. Non-RWSC majors and minors require approval of Department Chair.

RWSC 4385  Human Wildlife Conflict Res  3 SCH  (2-2)  

Beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors relative to wildlife and wildlife conflicts are examined in the context of natural resource planning, decision-making and actions. Introduction to theory and practice of assessing and controlling human-wildlife conflicts. Prerequisites: RWSC 2331 with a grade of "C" or better and junior standing. Non-RWSC majors and minors require approval of Department Chair.

RWSC 4387  Landscape Ecology  3 SCH  (2-2)  

Basic understanding and practical applications of landscape ecology. Relationships between spatial patterns and processes, and methods to evaluate the use of ecological, biological, and agricultural knowledge, understanding, and techniques that address landscape level processes. Prerequisites: GEOG 2472, RWSC 2331, and junior standing. Non-RWSC majors and minors require approval of Department Chair.

RWSC 4395  Wildlife Research & Sci. Comm.  1-3 SCH  (1-3)  

Literature review with a laboratory field problem. Communication with the scientific community in both oral and written forms, public speaking, and use of media. May be repeated for a total of 6 semester hours; only 3 hours may count toward a minor. Prerequisites: RWSC 2331 with a grade of "C" or better and approval of supervising professor and Department Chair.