The Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology (FWCB) comprises a multidisciplinary group of scholars working on applied and fundamental problems related to the ecology of free-ranging wild animals, management of harvested and invasive species, and documentation and conservation of biodiversity. The mission of FWCB is to foster a high-quality natural environment by contributing to the management, protection, and sustainable use of fisheries and wildlife resources through teaching, research, and outreach. Our goals are to respond to societal needs for information and education pertaining to the conservation of our natural resources and to ensure excellent teaching, research, and outreach programs.
The University of Minnesota campus is located in the heart of the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan area, which is at the confluence of two major rivers (the Mississippi and Minnesota) and at the transition of the Great Plains grasslands and Great Lakes forests. FWCB is one of 12 academic departments in the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS) at the University of Minnesota. The department is home to the Minnesota Cooperative Fisheries and Wildlife Research Unit (MCFWRU), a partnership of the U.S. Geological Survey, the University of Minnesota, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, and the Wildlife Management Institute.
Our research is responsive. Most of the research we pursue is intended to fill a critical gap in knowledge that will improve conservation and natural resource decisions. Our work contributes to advancing understanding of the biology, ecology, and evolution of species or groups of species, and the ecosystems in which they live. We provide guidance for planning, management, or restoration of populations, ecosystems, and landscapes, and seek effective ways to engage people in natural resource conservation. For example, managing fish and wildlife populations effectively depends on being able to accurately evaluate the status of populations, diagnose why some species thrive in some places but not others, and identify and adapt policies based on their effectiveness. FWCB has nation-leading faculty expertise in quantitative methods, which is at the core of advancing new decision-making approaches for managing fish and wildlife.
FWCB has a long tradition of public engagement. Our science—from waterfowl ecology to large mammal conservation, from invasive species biology to ecological restoration -- is connected to Minnesota and the other locations in which we work around the world. FWCB is a hub of innovation for citizen science, which empowers people to formally contribute to conservation problem-solving. Our key citizen science programs, such as Minnesota Master Naturalists and Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Detectors, have statewide reach and impact. Our partnership with the Bell Museum of Natural History allows us to integrate research and conservation education.