Eastern Wildlife Damage Control Conferences

 

Date of this Version

February 1991

Abstract

University students, particularly those enrolled in natural resources programs, make up one of the smallest, yet potentially most important and influential audiences for wildlife damage professionals. Considering that these students will be tomorrow's natural resources technicians, biologists, and administrators, I feel that it is critical that we provide them factual information about wildlife damage to increase their awareness of potential problems and solutions, and increase their ability to make well-informed decisions.

An important aspect of education is accurate audience identification and association. This is not an easy task, however, as today's audience is collectively a moving target. Once primarily rural and agriculturally oriented, it is now increasingly urban. Although I teach in mid-America at one of the nations most prestigious agricultural colleges, 80 to 90% of the students in my wildlife damage courses have urban backgrounds. With this changing environment, individual attitudes have changed, which makes our efforts all the more challenging and essential. We can have an impact on attitudes about wildlife and wildlife damage management (Timm and Schemnitz 1988), but the use of different media and educational strategies will be required to get the message across.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Resources with a major in Fisheries and Wild life that is administered by the Department of Forestry, Fisheries, and Wildlife (FFW). Three of the 7 fish and wildlife faculty (myself, R. M. Case, and R. J. Johnson) share an interest in wildlife damage management, and conduct associated teaching, research, and extension activities. The department was recognized as a national leader in wildlife damage management during a 1989 Cooperative State Research Service (CSRS) Review.