There is more to camping than pitching a tent and building a fire according to Davis Lipscomb, an Auburn University student majoring in wildlife sciences. As an avid outdoorsman who enjoys hunting and fishing in his spare time, Lipscomb chose a major that he knew would best fit his interests outside of the classroom and books.
“As a freshman, I chose to major in wildlife sciences because I enjoy the outdoors,” said Lipscomb. “I did not want an office job and knew I would not be sitting in an office with this major.”
Housed in the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, students in the wildlife sciences program are given the knowledge and insight into the management and conservation of wildlife species. Through classroom instruction and outdoor labs, students are able to work hands-on with wildlife species such as bats, rats, white-tailed deer, bobwhite quail and many more.
“I have met so many people who I have a lot in common with through my classes and labs,” said Lipscomb. “It is nice to be able to hang out with classmates outside of the classroom; I believe the wildlife sciences program is similar to a social network.”
As a senior, Lipscomb is enrolled in a mammalogy class, which focuses on teaching students different methods of research, habitat analysis and trapping skills.
“This past weekend, about 30 students in my mammalogy class went camping in Gurley, Ala., which is located in north Alabama,” said Davis. “Each evening we set out numerous rat traps and mist nets, which are used to catch bats. Once we caught the species, we recorded data from them and kept some as specimens to continue our research.”
Through the knowledge that each student gains from the wildlife sciences curriculum, students are able to apply their knowledge to jobs including: land management, private consulting for landowners, conservation officers, wildlife technicians and professional wildlife biologists.
“Upon graduation, I hope to manage a piece of private property for someone who owns a large plantation,” explained Davis. “Through our experiences as students, I would know how to alter a piece of land to meet the owners needs. For example, if the owner of the land wanted a lot of quail, I would take the appropriate actions such as burning underbrush to change the landscape.”
Take a walk on the wild side with the students in the wildlife sciences program by taking classes such as Wildlife Management, Basic Soil Science, Systematic Botany and Plant Ecology. But remember, the next time you go camping with this crew, you will need more than a tent and a few pieces of wood for the camp fire.
For more information about majoring in wildlife sciences and the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, visit http://www.sfws.auburn.edu/sso/wildlifesciences.php