Learn to Work in Wildlife Management, Tourism or Education
Job opportunities in wildlife care, education, and interpretation:
- Wildlife Education Officer
- Tour Guide
- Wildlife Keepers
- Show Presenters
- Veterinary Assistant
- Wildlife Carer
- Research Assistant
Where could you work?
- Zoos and Wildlife Parks and Sanctuaries
- Veterinary Surgery/Animal Hospital
- National Parks
- Animal Welfare Leagues or Refuges
- University or Government Research Centres
ACS student comment:
"I love the course and the
course material even though a bit of it seems to be a lot more in depth
than I anticipated. I love it just the same as I'm learning lots. I just
wish I had more time to do a lot more." Kim Stinton - Australia, Advanced Certificate in Wildlife Management course.
To obtain the certificate you must successfully complete all assignments and pass an examination in the following 6 modules.
Module 1 - INTRODUCTION TO ECOLOGY
Ecology is the cornerstone of nature park management providing a link between different branches of Science. Ecology is a study of relationships between living things (animal, plants and microorganisms), and with their environment. How we interact, benefit or compete with each other, how we evolve together, how the environment presents opportunities for change, and how living beings alter the environment to provide for their own needs. This module covers general principles of ecology, and their application anywhere on our planet. It has seven lessons as follows:
- Ecosystems and Populations
Components of an ecosystem, Biomes, Detrital and grazing webs, trophic levels, energy flows etc
- The Development of Life
Lifespans, Natural selection, Genetics, Understanding arguments for and against theory of evolution, etc.
- Animals, Parasites and Endangered Species
Comparative anatomy, how animals fit in ecosystems, animals in the human community, parasites, etc
- Fungi, Tundra, Rainforestsn and Marshlands
Physiology, anatomy, classification and ecology of fungi; Location, the climate, the plant and animal life related to different systems including tundra, marshes and rainforests.
- Mountains, Rivers and Deserts
Formation ecology and importance of mountains (including erosion, volcanoes etc), formation & types of rivers, catchments, dams, deserts and their ecology, etc.
- Shallow Waters
Shore lines, coral reefs, intermediate reefs, estuaries, sandy shores, etc.
- Ecological Problems
The Greenhouse Effect, The Ozone Layer, Poisons & Waste Materials
Module 2 - VERTEBRATE ZOOLOGY
This module will give you a thorough understanding of “higher” animals’ Zoology and Evolution, together with some principles on animal ecology and morphology. There are ten lessons as follows:
- Vertebrate Taxonomy and Diversity
- Ectotherms: Amphibians and Reptiles
- Overview of Mammals
- Mammalian Glires and Insectivora
- Hoofed Mammals: Ungulata
- Primates and other Archonta
Module 3 - WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT
This module develops a broad understanding of wildlife management that can be applied to all types of wildlife around the globe. It involves nine lessons as follows:
- Introduction To Wildlife Management
- Wildlife Ecology
- Wildlife Habitats
- Population Dynamics
- Carrying Capacity
- Wildlife Censuses
- Wildlife Management Techniques
- Wildlife Management Law And Administration
- Wildlife Management Case Study Research Project
Module 4 - ORNITHOLOGY
Learn with us what is a bird, how they evolved, what adaptations they developed to be able to colonize air, land and water so successfully!. Learn to identify and understand the habits of different birds, from water birds and parrots, to town birds and birds of prey.The module consists of nine lessons.
- Classification and Introduction to Birdwatching.
- The Biology of Birds: Anatomy, external & internal structure, breeding, eggs etc.
- Common and Widespread Land Birds: Pests, introduced birds, pigeons, crows & their relatives, etc.
- Giant Birds and Long Legged Birds: Emu, Ostrich, Herons, Storks and Relatives etc
- Seabirds and Waterbirds
- Hunters -Birds of Prey, Owls, Kingfishers
- Other Birds Parrots, Honeyeaters, Swifts and others
- Attracting, Feeding and Keeping Birds
Module 5 - MARINE LIFE I
Develop a knowledge of marine life and ecology, whether for work or general interest. The first two lessons deal with marine environments (weather, nutrient cycle, reefs, shallow and deep water environments, etc). Lessons 3 to 8 deal mostly with marine animals, particularly more complex animals, and the last lesson considers human impacts upon marine environments. This module has nine lessons as follows:
- Marine Ecology Systems
- Shallow Waters and Reefs
- Shellfish & Crustaceans
- Squid, Octopus, and Other Primitive Animals
- Fish Part A
- Fish Part B
- Marine Mammals
- Turtles, Sea Snakes and Seabirds
- Human Impact on Marine Environments and Fishing
Module 6 - ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT
This course develops skills that are both important and in demand in the wildlife management industry. Surprisingly, these things are often not taught in other courses (even degrees), and the fact that you do them here, contributes strongly to the employability of our graduates within industry. There are 8 lessons in this course as follows:
- Types of Employment for Environmental Scientists.
- Introduction to Environmental Assessment.
- International Environmental Law.
- Domestic Environmental Law
- Types of Environmental Assessments
- The Design and Process of Environmental Assessment.
- Writing Environmental Reports Research Project
Duration: 600 hours
Work as a Wildlife Manager
Work with animals can involve either wild animals or domesticated animals. The goals of a wildlife manager will be different to those of a farmer or pet owner though.
A wildlife manager might manipulate an animal population, but wildlife managers are aware of the environmental constraints on the population. Wildlife managers allow for predation and natural environmental changes. They are looking for a balance between the environment and the species. Whilst this might involve occasionally culling species or initiating breeding programs, it is still very different to agricultural animal production. But one thing that is common to both disciplines is the need to be aware of the carrying capacity of a certain area.
Consider the situation of a long drought and its effect on an agricultural enterprise vs a wildlife park. A farmer would try to maximise profit, and this would usually take the form of providing extra feed for his herd. A wildlife manager would not attempt to increase animal numbers and some individuals would die. The reasons for allowing nature to simply take its course include:
The act of providing food to wildlife during drought will mean that a populations’ resistance to future droughts will be weakened. Animals that would have died out in the drought survive, reproduce and pass on their genes. The weak survive where nature would have culled them.
Whenever a manager intervenes, there are flow-on effects. For example, a wildlife manager who provides extra food during a drought to one species may inadvertently provide more food for the predators of that species. The population of predators then increases, and this may then mean that the predator then decimates the population of the original species.
Keeping animals alive where nature might otherwise cull them means they are still consuming resources such as grazing fodder. During a drought, this grazing fodder is already scarce. Allowing animals to live and feed through a drought can have a dramatic effect on the amount of food that is available. Many animals may then simply starve to death and could have irreversible impacts on the plant diversity of the area.
There are other examples of ways which wildlife managers can intervene in the population they are managing. In some instances, intervention is necessary. This may because of fragmentation or other changes to habitats, the invasion of pest species or due to critically low numbers within a wildlife population. However, managers need to be aware that their actions may have far reaching, long term effects that extend well beyond the one species that is being manipulated.
Some people never realize their potential because they are not prepared to start at the bottom. The hardest part of any career, in any industry, is to get started. The more reasons you can give an employer to engage you -the more chance you have of getting started.
- Ensure your skills are up to date, by pursuing further studies or attending professional development activities.
- Keep up to date with what's happening in the field of Wildlife Management. What are the most pressing issues and where is there likely to be more work?
- Join a networking group to meet people who are working in the field of Wildlife Management.
- Get some experience. Whether paid or unpaid, experience will always make your CV look more impressive and give you some practical knowledge to apply in your interview. Working with any animals can help -even pets or farm animals. The hardest experience to get is often the first -so don't be "fussy" -just take anything you can get in order to get started
How to Start
1st Enrol in a relevant course
2nd Get active with relevant organisations
3rd Build experience and networking contacts.
4th Start looking for work.
Tips for Getting a Job (or a promotion)
This course can help a lot, but no course, not even from the best university will by itself guarantee career success -the world is more complicated than that!
What Study Gets You a Job?
- Put yourself in the employers shoes -they get dozens (sometimes hundreds) of people competing for the same job. Their choices are usually based upon lots of different things (Your studies are part of their consideration, but only part)
- People who stand out from other applicants get the job; so you need to do things to make yourself stand out.
- In the past, a qualification made you stand out, because few people had qualifications -but today, most people have qualifications (There are a lot of people with degrees, diplomas and certificates who are unemployed)
Why Study then, if Qualified People are Unemployed?
Having a qualification may be no guarantee for work; but what you learn from a good course does greatly increase your opportunities to be employed.
Getting the Qualification is not as important as Learning what Employers Seek
Employers today look for all of the following:
- Ability to communicate verbally fast, clearly and effectively with co-workers and clients
- Ability to write in a concise, clear and accurate fashion
- Computer skills -not important everywhere; but IT skills are important in an increasing range of jobs
- Capacity to solve problems; fast when needed, and systematically and in detail when required
- Natural Efficiency -some people do things fast (naturally); others do things slow. Where an employer sees an indication of speed without compromising accuracy, the applicant can have an edge.
- Awareness of "state of play" in the industry
- Knowledge and skills that are pertinent to the job
- A thirst for learning -demonstrated by networking within industry, volunteering to get experience, memberships to clubs, societies, associations; reading literature
- Psychology and Personality -Employers are increasingly cautious about employing people who may not be a team player. Psychological profiling is used increasingly by employers to gain some insights into a person's profile.
- Presentation and Grooming -people who present as being well organised and well- groomed will impress
How then can Doing a Course help Get a Job?
- Study can help a lot if it focuses on developing all of the things employers look for (the points above -and more)
- Courses at ACS and with our affiliate colleges do this -but not all colleges or universities have the same focus today.
What Can You do to Improve Your Career Prospects?
- Study a course for the right reasons and with the right attitude -Be open to learning, use the course to build a foundation, but understand that study is only the starting point, and that career success depends upon continuing your learning throughout your whole career, by reading, attending conferences, networking, being involved with colleagues, etc.
- Study a course that makes you stand out -a qualification that is different to all the other applicants will always catch the attention of a boss, and may be the difference between getting an interview or not.
- Build a mix of skills that is not the same as everyone else -if you study different modules at a different school, join different associations, volunteer for different organisations, network with different people -you will stand out from the crowd.
- Make sure your C.V. is really good -get help if you need it (Tutors at this school will help our students with their C.V.'s if you ask -no cost. Resume Writing services can also be used, but they charge)
- Recognise your weaknesses, and work on improving them -not just academically.
ACS Distance Education was established in 1979, and is a leading provider of online and distance education. ACS offers over 400 courses via correspondence, online or on CD. The delivery of the courses is flexible, with students able to start the course whenever suits them, and study at their own pace. With offices in Australia and the United Kingdom, ACS courses are delivered worldwide through our network of affiliates. The ACS head office is located on the Gold Coast, Australia.
Over the years ACS has had thousands of graduates, many of whom have gone on to successful employment, both in industry or in their own businesses. Others have used their courses to develop a hobby, or simply broaden their general education. We currently have over 3000 students enrolled from Australia and around the world. The school employs staff in three states of Australia, plus the U.K. and New Zealand. As such our courses and service have a truly global focus. The courses have been developed with strong industry input from around the world and are continually updated on the basis of surveys undertaken by both current students and graduates every month of the year, as well as industry developments.
The school holds high the ideals of practical education, emphasising in all courses those things which are relevant to "real life". Courses offered cater for hobby interest through to formal training in industry and the professions.
We believe that by providing an alternative education to main stream vocational colleges and universities, we are able to differentiate our graduates and give them real life advantages over graduates from more traditional institutions.
These differences however must be (and are) pursued without compromising academic excellence in any way whatsoever.
In principle we tend to favour experiential learning and problem based learning rather than CBT (Competency Based Training).
We believe learning is more important than assessment. For us, assessment should be provided more to enhance the learning experience, and less to rank students,
More Than a School
The school and its tutors have always been active in industry. We believe strongly that maintaining an awareness of current information and trends enables us to keep our course notes and services to students up to date and relevant. When you study with this school you are learning from people who are doing what you are studying on a daily basis.
Staff come from varied backgrounds: with both teaching and hands on vocational experience (including ex university, vocational college and training staff; research academics, etc). Courses cover e learning or traditional studies; flexible education options for career (jobs), self improvement, professional development, life skills or general adult education.