Wildlife (WLDP)

Ph.D Renewable Natural Resources

The demand for graduates in all environmental fields is likely to accelerate over the next 5-10 years with widespread retirements by biologists, managers, and administrators trained and hired during the 1970s and 1980s. Several federal agencies have predicted turnover of 30-60% of their personnel during the coming decade, and we are confident job opportunities for our graduates will increase, as will demand for our graduate program.

Our degree program has students continue knowledge-based learning in graduate classes, but much of a student’s effort is focused on learning the scientific method and problem solving by completing research on a topic that they select with input from their graduate advisor. Recent students have worked on the breeding biology of northern pintails, white-tailed deer nutrition, describing the unique ecology of tropical forests in Peru, evaluating reintroduction methods for endangered black bears, assessing restoration of coastal marsh, and dozens of other exciting projects. Prospective students are urged to contact faculty members whose research addresses resources and issues that the student hopes to study. Below are the requirements for students seeking a Doctor of Philosophy in Renewable Natural Resources with an area of concentration in Wildlife.

The Wildlife AOC will require a minimum of 15 hours of coursework in addition to the general 9-hour requirement for all Ph.D. students in the School. The following courses, or demonstration to the student’s graduate committee of proficiency in one or more of these courses from previous coursework and experience, are required, and may be included in the 15 hours required for this AOC:

Course Credit Hours Course Title
RNR 7006 3 Behavioral Ecology
RNR 7013 3 Wildlife Population Dynamics
RNR 7016 3 Current Topics and Techniques in Conservation Science
RNR 7007 3 Natural Resources Policy: History; Issues, & Persistent Problems


Depending on prior coursework and experience, additional courses will be required to satisfy the 34-hour course requirement for the Ph.D. degree. The 34-hour total may include no more than 6 hours of RNR 7029 (Advanced Topics in Renewable Natural Resources). Additional courses required for each student’s program of study will be determined by the graduate committee. These courses will typically be selected from the list below, but may include other courses with committee approval.

Course Credit Hours Course Title
RNR 4013 4 Ecology and Management of Wetland Wildlife
RNR 4023 3 Marine Fisheries Resources
RNR 4039   Biology of Fishes
RNR 4103 3 Conservation Genetics
RNR 4107 3 Human Dimensions in Natural Resources
RNR 4900 3 Watershed Hydrology
RNR 7011 3 Mammalian Ecology and Management
RNR 7012 3 Ecology and Management of Waterfowl
RNR 7015 3 Ecology and Management of Upland Birds
RNR 7017 4 Restoration and Management of Wetland Function
RNR 7029   Advanced Topics in Renewable Natural Resources
RNR 7036 3 Natural Resource Biometrics and Management
BIOL 4141 4 Mammalogy
BIOL 4142 4 Ornithology
BIOL 4145 4 Ichthyology
BIOL 4146 4 Herpetology
BIOL 7001   Tropical Ecology
BIOL 7080 3 Population Ecology
BIOL 7083 3 Community Ecology
BIOL 7120 3 Marine Ecology
EXST 7024   Biological Population Statistics I
EXST 7025 3 Biological Population Statistics II
EXST 7035   Applied Least Squares
EXST 7036 3 Categorical Data Analysis
EXST 7037 3 Multivariate Statistics


Dr. William Kelso
F.O. Bateman Professor and
Coordinator of Graduate Studies and Research
118 Renewable Natural Resources Bldg
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA 70803

phone: 225-578-4176

Email Dr. William Kelso