August 27, 2002
FW696 — Graduate Orientation SeminarThe FWB Graduate Student Orientation Seminar, lead by Gary C. White, is intended to get you started on your graduate training at top speed and with a minimum of pitfalls along the way. This orientation seminar will be conducted as a discussion course. You are expected to participate, ask questions, volunteer your experiences (especially new Ph.D. students), and help improve the content for all participants. Help me to improve this orientation by providing comments on the topics covered, format, ways to improve the discussion, etc. What additional speakers would be beneficial to you? What additional topics would you value? Email me with your thoughts: email@example.com .
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|1||Dr. Randy Robinette, Department Head, Fishery and Wildlife Biology. Your expectations for graduate school. Grad school is your preparation for a long and exciting career — you must now think of yourself as a professional. Don’t pass up opportunities to prepare yourself for a productive future. Benefits are proportional to the cost — seek out and take the tough courses, read the challenging literature, attend and be provoked by seminars, take advantage of the many opportunities for promoting your education at CSU. Develop a life-long scientific curiosity, a love of knowledge. A graduate degree is not just an advanced B.S., and, especially, a Ph.D. is not just an advanced M.S. The Ph.D. requires a significant qualitative leap to a higher level of scholarly activity.FWB Graduate Affairs Handbook, GDPE Handbook, Graduate and Professional Bulletin, and various forms and publications from the Graduate School — know the rules.
Advice: remember, you are not working by the hour now — the final product is all that matters, not the time you spent achieving the goal. Excuses always sound pathetic! A superb product is always expected.
|Review the books by Stock and Peters. These books are applicable to most of the topics discussed. Hence, review them occasionally.|
|2||Relationship with your advisor.Commitments by advisor to obtain funding — contractual obligations.
Expectations of your advisor — strong commitment to your graduate training, consistent effort to produce the best academic products you are capable of creating. Completion of project (don’t leave before finishing).
Your expectations from your advisor — sharing of experience, thoughtful advice on how you might best pursue your graduate education, constructive criticism of your work, and compliments when you deserve them. When you want to ask a question or get advice, take the time to think out the question, and demonstrate to your advisor (or any other faculty member) that you desire the answer enough to at least work on the solution yourself first. Hasty questions receive hasty answers, and thoughtful questions should receive thoughtful answers. Arrange meetings with your advisor to discuss serious questions, possibly weekly or monthly “report” sessions.
Student Grievance Procedure (when communication breaks down).
|Sclafani and Dower (1995);Stearns (1987); Huey (1987);
Binkley (1988); Witz (1994);
Kohler and Wetzel (1998);
Department FWB Student Grievance Procedure;
Peters Chapter 5:Choosing a School: The Thesis Advisor
|3||Formation of a graduate committee.Committee composition: MS: 2 FWB department members, 1 member from outside FWB; Ph.D.; same as MS plus 1 additional member from either FWB or outside FWB.
Students are encouraged to include affiliate faculty from outside CSU to broaden their graduate training.
Role of committee — source of help (both critiques and encouragement) in your graduate training. Committee members should be selected to provide assistance on your project, provide advice on coursework and other academic aspects of your training, provide a network to a broader base of people at CSU and outside CSU, and serve as role models to you. Definitely talk to your fellow graduate students about composition of the committee — which faculty are helpful, yet give you the demanding training you should be seeking.
Select a committee early — they are there to help you, so put some effort into developing a good rapport with each of your committee members.
|Peters Chapter 15: Choosing and Managing Your Thesis Committee|
|4||Course work — the FORMAL graduate training.Take advantage of the unique courses at CSU, such as ST511-2, EY501, EY500, FW551, FW565, FW662, FW663. Graduate program should be graduate course work, not 300 and 400 level (remedial) courses. Set your standards high.
Consider courses to broaden yourself — philosophy, logic, ethics.
Consider courses to polish skills, such as public speaking, scientific writing, computers, etc. Pursue courses that prepare you for your future professional role (i.e., what you want to be when you grow up).
Talk to your fellow graduate students about which courses are worthwhile, and which are better accomplished by self study. Much of your learning in grad school is outside of formal course work: seminars, self study, interactions with other grad students, small projects that interest you doable in a few weeks. Don’t over-emphasize course work.
Plan A vs. Plan B Master’s course work requirements.
|Stock Chapter 2: The Graduate Program;Peters Chapter 10: The Master’s Degree: History and Hurdles; Chapter 11: The Doctorate: History and Hurdles.|
|5||Research Study Plan.Proposal vs. a study plan — a contract with your committee. The more up-front thinking that goes into a study plan, the less sewage treatment required on the other end. Literature review — library first, then to local experts, then back to the library. Hypotheses to be tested — lots of up-front thinking.
Statistical procedures — define the statistical hypotheses, the precise test, and the power of the test (i.e., sample sizes, no. of treatments, blocks, etc.). Consult with your advisor as you develop the study plan. Actively seek strong critiques of your study plan, especially from your committee members. If you can get comments from others do so — remember, up-front treatment versus sewage treatment later.
|Lanyon (1995); Keppie (1990); Stock Chapter 3: Getting Started,Chapter 4:Grant Proposals, Chapter 5: Thinking in Research; Peters Chapter 16: The Thesis Topic: Finding It;
Chapter 17: The Thesis Proposal
|6||Exams — Comprehensive and Final Defense.Differences in M.S. and Ph.D. Comprehensive. Potential formats of Ph.D. written comprehensive exams.
Preparation — discuss content with your advisor and committee members. Find and read the grad students exam file.
Stay current — read the literature and attend seminars.
Conduct of the exam — tips for taking oral exams (engage your brain before your mouth, make notes on a pad, ask for the question to be repeated, don’t volunteer everything you don’t know). Get a good night’s sleep before the exam — go to a movie.
Schedule seminars prior to Final Defense.
Deadlines, i.e., 2 weeks notice. Paperwork to bring to the exam. MS — FWB paperwork, Ph.D. — Graduate School forms.
Who can attend the exam?
|Thompson (1994); Peters Chapter 14: Master’s Comprehensive and Ph. D. Qualifying; Chapter 19: The Thesis Defense.|
|7||Constructing CV’s.Scientific meetings, travel funds, functions of professional societies. What professional societies you should belong to (AFS, ESA, SCB, TWS).
Environmental activism versus scientific credibility.
Political involvement. Rights as state/federal employee.
|American Institute of Fishery Research Biologists — Principles of Conduct for Fishery Biologists; Hein (1999); Wood(1995); Hartman (1996); Peters Chapter 13: Playing Politics: Buildling a Reputation|
|8||Use of computer facilities in FWB, CNR, and CSU, Dr. Kenneth Wilson.FWB network (what software should I use/know), CNR computing facilities such as ATL and PC Labs (Unix lab versus Windows 2000 lab); ACNS lamar, dial-up modem pool; CSU Library: SAGE, interlibrary loan, electronic database searches (particularly Web of Science), ABSEARCH; How do I learn all this stuff? CNR Computer Account, University eID.||Kopaska (1996); Peters Appendix A: Buying Your Computer and Software|
|9||Colorado Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Dr. David Anderson, Unit Leader. Dr. Anderson will talk a little about the Coop Unit. The remainder of his presentation will explore Romesburg’s articles on obtaining reliable knowledge and some of his philosophies for getting the most out of graduate school.||Romesburg (1981, 1989, 1991, 1993); Knight (1993); Nudds and Morrison (1991)|
|10||Effective job seminars, and getting jobs. Dr. Kurt Fausch and Dr. Brett Johnson. Content and presentation of your job seminar, how to get on the lists for state and federal jobs, job interviewing, research or management?, job exams.||Knotek et al. (1995);Stock Chapter 6: Talking About Research;
Peters Chapter 20: Oral Presentations: The Key to Being a Star; Chapter 24: Bringing It All Together: The Job
|11||Animal Care and Use Committee. Before you can conduct any research involving animals (even if you are only observing unmarked animals from a distance), you must have your study protocol approved by the Animal Care and Use Committee.|
|12||FWB Graduate Student Organization (GSO), President . The purpose and activities of the GSO will be discussed, followed by a closed forum (i.e., no faculty) of “experienced” CSU grad students.||Verrill (1994); Peter Chapter 22: The Social Milieu|
|13||Role of women and minorities in fisheries and wildlife, Dr. Julie Savidge. Hiring statistics suggest that women and minorities (w&m) have increased in entry-level positions in FWB. Affirmative action still provides a “hiring” advantage to w&m at this level. However, at middle and upper management levels w&m are still rare. Promotion and salary raises of w&m are still affected by a “glass ceiling” – an invisible social barrier created by people that are uncomfortable working with someone who is different. These social barriers can also make a work environment very uncomfortable for w&m which can reduce their productivity relative to the “norm”. Dr. Savidge will encourage an open, frank discussion of this sensitive topic with a focus on solutions not gripes.||Wennerås and Wold (1997); Turgeon (1994); Etzkowitz et al. 1994); Fabrizio (1994); Leffler and Mathews (1998); Peters Chapter 23: Swimming with the Mainstream: Returning Students, Women, Minorities, and Foreign Students|
|14||Publishing — Dr. Kenneth Burnham, past associate editor of Ecology, currently associate editor of Biometrics. Publication of your thesis/dissertation — necessity, authorship (advisor, committee members, sponsors), least publishable unit, responding to reviewer’s comments, responding to editors. Write thesis/dissertation as a series of papers for publication. Publication prior to defense of thesis — committee approval. What to do about outside collaboration and yet include the ideas in your “original contribution.”Strong expectation by faculty that graduate students will publish their work.||Brown (1995); Lertzman (1995); Dickson et al. (1978);Schmidt (????); Brown (1994); Satyanarayana (1986); Stock Chapter 7: Writing About Research;
Peters Chapter 18: The Thesis: Writing It
|15||Conservation advocacy – Dr. Barry R. Noon, instrumental in Northern Spotted Owl politics. Defining your role. Professional societies, advocacy groups, role of the individual, limitations imposed by public employment, loss of scientific credibility, maintaining professionalism, role of science in advocacy, use of scientific data in advocacy.||Karr (1993); Kirchhoff et al. (1995); Sweeney and Stangel (1995); Barry and Oelschlaeger (1996); Fenn and Milton (1997); Shrader-Frechette (1996); Macquire (1996); Meine and Meffe (1996); Tracy and Brussard (1996); McCoy (1996); Symanski (1996)|
Peters, R. L. 1997. Getting what you came for – The smart student’s guide to earning a Master’s or Ph. D. Revised Edition. Noonday Press, New York, New York. 399 pp. (Order from Amazon.com, $10.50)
Stock, M. 1985. A practical guide to graduate research. McGraw-Hill, New York, New York. 168 pp. (Out of print).
Other Books of Interest:
Mitchell, L. 1996. The ultimate grad school survival guide. Peterson’s, Princeton, New Jersey. 209 pp.
National Academy of Sciences, Nationa Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 1996. Careers in science and engineering: A student planning guide to grad school and beyond. National Academy Press, Washington, D. C. 134 pp.
Smith, R. V. 1998. Graduate Research: A guide for students in the sciences. 3rd Edition. University of Washington Press, Seattle, Washington. 193 pp.
Other Readings Available in Reading Room:
American Institute of Fishery Research Biologists. Principles of professional conduct for fishery biologists.
Angus, S. 1995. Women in natural resources: stimulating thinking about motivations and needs. Wildlife Society Bulletin 24(4):579-582.
Anonymous. 1997. Games people play with authors’ names. Nature 387:831.
Barry, D. and M. Oelschlaeger. 1996. A science for survival: values and conservation biology. Conservation Biology 10:905-911.
Binkley, D. 1988. Some advice for graduate advisors. Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America 69:10-13.
Brown, R. 1994. No hitch-hikers. Nature369:601.
Brown, R. W. 1995. Conducting an effective manuscript review. Fisheries 20(7):40-41.
Butler, D. 1996. Peer review ‘still essential’, say researchers. Nature 379:758.
Claramunt, R. 1997. The Internet as an employment tool. Fisheries 7:35.
Department of Fishery and Wildlife, Colorado State University. Student Grievance Procedure.
Dickson, J. G., R. N. Conner, and K. T. Adair. 1978. Guidelines for authorship of scientific articles. Wildlife Society Bulletin 6:260-261.
Etzkowitz, H., C. Kemelgor, M. Neuschatz, B. Uzzi, and J. Alonzo. 1994. The paradox of critical mass for women in science. Science 266:51-54.
Fabrizio, M. 1994. Gender issues in the workplace. Fisheries 19(10):17-18.
Fenn, D. B., and N. M. Milton. 1997. Advocacy and the scientist. Fisheries 22(11):4.
Hartman, K. J. 1996. Designing effective poster presentations. Fisheries 21(7):22.
Huey, R. B. 1987. Reply to Stearns: some acynical advice for graduate students. Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America 68:150-153.
Karr, J. R. 1993. Advocacy and responsibility. Conservation Biology 7:8.
Keppie, D. M. 1990. To improve graduate student research in wildlife education. Wildlife Society Bulletin 18:453-458.
Kirchhoff, M. D., J. W. Schoen, and T. M. Franklin. 1995. A model for science-based conservation advocacy: Tongass National Forest case history. Wildlife Society Bulletin 18:453-458.
Knotek, W. L., K. S. Hockett, and E. J. Pert. 1995. Interviewing. Fisheries 20(9):34-35.
Kohler, C. C., and J. E. Wetzel. 1998. A report card on mentorship in graduate fisheries education: student and faculty perspectives. Fisheries 23(9):10-13.
Kopaska, J. 1996. Fisheries scientists and the Internet. Fisheries 21(7):37.
Lanyon, S. M. 1995. How to design a dissertation project. Bioscience 45:40-42.
Leffler, M., and N. Mathews. 1998. Women in wildlife. Women in Natural Resources 20(1):9-12.
Lertzman, K. 1995. Notes on writing papers and theses. Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America 76:86-90.
Maquire, L. A. 1996. Making the role of values in conservation explicit: values and conservation biology. Conservation Biology 10:914-916.
McCoy, E. D. 1996. Advocacy as part of conservation biology. Conservation Biology 10:919-920.
Meine, C., and G. K. Meffe. 1996. Conservation values, conservation science: a healthy tension. Conservation Biology 10:916-917.
Murphy, B. R. 1998. Graduate mentoring: advancing students’ professional development. Fisheries 23(9):7-9.
Sanborn, W. A., and R. H. Schmidt. 1995. Gender effects on views of wildlife professionals about wildlife management. Wildlife Society Bulletin 24(4):583-587.
Satyanarayana, K. 1986. Whose name and how many names should be on a scientific paper? European Science Editing 30:3-5.
Schmidt, R. H. ????. A worksheet for authorship of scientific articles. Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America.
Sclafani, M., and J. Dower. 1995. Selecting a graduate supervisor. Fisheries 20:37.
Shrader-Frechette, K. 1996. Throwing out the bathwater of positivism, keeping the baby of objectivity: relativism and advocacy in conservation biology. Conservation Biology 10:912-914.
Stearns, S. C. 1987. Some modest advice for graduate students. Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America 68:145-150.
Sweeney, J. M., and P. W. Stangel. 1995. Walking the line:science versus advocacy. Transactions of the North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference 60:216-220.
Symanski, R. 1996. Dances with horses: lessons from the environmental fringe. Conservation Biology 10:708-712.
Thompson, L. 1994. Some do’s for oral exams. Fisheries 19(6):34.
Tracy, C. R., and P. F. Brussard. 1996. The importance of science in conservation biology. Conservation Biology 10:918-919.
Turgeon, D. D. 1994. Managerial Strategies for breaking through a “glass ceiling”. Fisheries 19(8):21-27.
Abstract: Statistics on the hiring of women and minorities indicate that the hiring numbers are much improved but suggest the problem now may be entrance into management and executive positions. In some offices, the “glass ceiling”–an invisible barrier of subtle prejudices and destructive attitudes–exists and affects promotions and salaries on the basis of gender or ethnic background. This paper presents current statistics on the topic and the views of a mid-level science manager selected recently for the federal Senior Executive Service (SES) Candidate Development Program (CDP). Characteristics common among those executives who have been successful and steps that aspiring managers can take to improve their chances of breaking through a glass ceiling are offered.
Van Snik, E. S. 1997. Obtaining teaching experience in graduate school. Fisheries 22(6):37.
Verrill, D. 1994. Tips for teaching assistants. Fisheries 19(8):40.
Wennerås, C. and A. Wold. 1997. Nepotism and sexism in peer-review. Nature 387:341-343.
Witz, B. W. 1994. Some pragmatic advice to graduate students: a hybridization of Stearns, Huey, and Binkley. Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America 75:176-177.
Wood, B. 1995. Strategies for acquiring funds to attend scientific conferences. Fisheries 20(6):42.
Zale, A. V., D. L. Parrish, and M. E. Mather. 1998. Enhancing graduate education and mentoring. Fisheries 23(9):9.
Other Materials to Consider:
Adelman, I. R. 1987. Placement of 1985 fisheries graduates. Fisheries 12:25-28.
Abstract: Universities (150) were surveyed on employment success of 1985 fisheries graduates. Of 83 responses, 62 offered all courses for AFS certification as a fisheries scientist and of these, 56 had at least one graduate in 1985. Among graduates with a B.S., 48% were employed, 18% were working on a higher degree, and 32% were unemployed or of unknown whereabouts; for M.S. graduates, percentages were 63, 14, and 17 respectively; and for Ph.D.’s percentages were 79, 0, and 10, respectively. These results are similar to the employment success of 1984 wildlife graduates. State fisheries agencies hired the largest percentage of B.S. and M.S. graduates, followed by private aquaculture enterprises and then universities. Universities hired the largest percentage of Ph.D.’s, followed by state agencies and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. A survey of hiring trends by state fisheries agencies indicated that 37 agencies hired an average of 6.8 new fisheries employees in 1985-86; 19% replacements for retirements, 40% non-retirement replacements and 41% new positions. Of the latter, 57% were related to Dingel-Johnson/Wallop-Breaux funding. Employment over the next 5 years is expected to average less than 5 new employees per year in contrast to approximately 7 new employees in the past year. Fisheries management and fish culture were expected to be the two most commonly sought specialties followed by computers/biometrics and population dynamics.
Colorado State University. 1993. Graduate and Professional Bulletin 1993-94. 135 pp.
Department of Fishery and Wildlife. Graduate Affairs Handbook.
Eipper, A. W. 1973. Present educational needs in fishery biology. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 102:652-655.
Abstract: Trends in human population numbers, aggregations, and life styles, with their associated environmental impacts and resource allocation problems, pose important new problems for fishery biologists. Colleges and universities that train students for dealing with such problems must now produce more different kinds of fishery biologists, including many with both skills and inclinations for working closely with people of other disciplines on integrated management plans for sizeable ecological units. Accordingly, colleges should offer more diverse course and program options, and encourage students to narrow down as slowly and symmetrically as possible during their undergraduate years. The undergraduate program should include core courses in the biology and the population ecology of fishes, and a fishery management course that includes coverage of the economic, legal, political, and policy aspects. Probably few students have time to specialize in a particular area of fishery biology before graduate school.
Gavin, T. A. 1991. Why ask “Why”: The importance of evolutionary biology in wildlife science. Journal of Wildlife Management 55: 760-766.
Abstract: The kinds of questions we ask in wildlife biology are at least as important as the methods we use to get answers to questions in research. In this essay, I urge wildlife biologists to vigorously pursue “why” questions rather than “how” questions or descriptive studies that should serve only as a starting point for our investigations. Behavioral ecologists are currently involved in a debate over explanations for biological phenomena called “levels of analysis”: how many are there, what terms and definitions apply to each level, and the importance of clearly identifying which level an explanation emanates from given that there are correct explanations for the same phenomenon at each level. Asking “why” questions should lead the wildlife biologist into the realm of evolutionary biology and should place greater emphasis on understanding spatial and temporal variability in reproductive success and survival of wildlife species. I argue that our most useful insights about populations and communities should develop from long-term studies of this type.
Kelso, W. E., and B. R. Murphy. 1988. University fisheries programs in the United States: Structure and needs. Fisheries 13:9-15.
Abstract: A survey of fisheries programs in the United States was undertaken to determine faculty participation, curriculum requirements and their relationship to AFS certification, student enrollment, and graduate research activities. Of 138 programs surveyed, 45 usable questionnaires from programs offering a named fisheries degree (FD) and 35 from programs not offering a named degree (NON-FD) were returned. The predominance of FD programs offering curricula at all degree levels appeared to reflect an overall institutional commitment to fisheries education and research. In contrast, NON-FD fisheries programs usually were specialized areas within biology, zoology, or natural resources departments. Accordingly, the average number of fisheries specialists in NON-FD was lower, and probably resulted in increased emphasis on teaching (at schools with only undergraduate programs) or research (at schools with only graduate programs). Both types of programs emphasized undergraduate courses in biology, chemistry, fisheries, and communications. Wildlife, computer science, economics, sociology, and natural resource courses were required by a higher percentage of FD compared to NON-FD programs, with an average of one required course per discipline. A lack of knowledge regarding AFS certification requirements was evident in survey responses, possibly reflecting a conception that the current program actually has little career impact for the fisheries professional. In addition, if the majority of students from any fisheries program in the U.S. is academically eligible for certification, the program may serve little purpose for identification of highly qualified individuals. Fisheries graduates need to be better prepared to function in the non-scientific capacities of a fisheries progressional. However, while all fisheries programs should require coursework in human-oriented disciplines, we doubt that substantial increases in coursework in these areas will result in corresponding increases in skills desired by employees. Such analytical and administrative skills are developed during the course of employment, and to expect them of entry-level employees in unrealistic. The incorporation of temporary agency internships into educational curricula might serve to bridge part of the perceived gap between employer expectations and educational realities.
Knight, R. L. 1993. On improving the natural resources and environmental sciences: a comment. Journal of Wildlife Management 57:182-183.
Abstract: Romesburg (1991) suggest that natural resources practitioners were focusing on the wrong types of research questions, and that the natural resource disciplines needed to emphasize a different type of education to a different type of student. I argue that the primary focus of applied ecologists is to develop creative natural resource management schemes from basic ecological theory and that many universities are already recruiting the right type of student, those with an unwavering interest in natural history, as well as a high intellect.
Murphy, D. D., and B. D. Noon. 1991. Coping with uncertainty in wildlife biology. Journal of Wildlife Management 55:773-782.
Abstract: A decade after Romesburg admonished wildlife biologists to establish and test hypotheses to gain more “reliable knowledge,” we have added an incentive to bring rigor to our science. Wildlife biologists are finding themselves defending their science against often savage criticism. At least 2 factors are central to producing solid, defendable science: (1) the rigorous application of scientific methods and (2) the development of clear operational definitions for terminology. The hypothetico-deductive (H-D) process, in the form of statistical tests of hypotheses based on experimental data, is hailed as the superior means of acquiring strong inference and reliable knowledge. Results from experimental studies, however, are seldom available, and most management decisions are made on the basis of incomplete information. We argue that even in the absence of experimental information, the H-D process can and should be used. All management plans and conservation strategies have properties that can be stated as falsifiable hypotheses and can be subjected to testing with empirical information and with predictions from ecological theory and population simulation models. The development of explicit operational definitions for key concepts used in wildlife science – particularly terms that recur in legislation, standards, and guidelines – is a necessary accompaniment. Conservation management and planning schemes based on the H-D process and framed with unequivocal terminology will allow us to produces wildlife science that is credible, defendable, and reliable.
Nichols, J. D. 1991. Science, population ecology, and the management of the American black duck. Journal of Wildlife Management 55:790- 799.
Abstract: This essay deals with the relevance of some of the ideas of Romesburg (1981) to population ecology and management of the American black duck (Anas rubripes). Most investigations dealing with the effects of hunting regulations on black duck populations have used the hypothetico-deductive (H-D) approach of specifying a priori hypotheses and associated deduced predictions. These investigations have not used manipulative experimentation, however, but have involved severely constrained analyses of historical data and have thus produced weak inferences. The 1982 lawsuit over black duck hunting regulations, the current uncertainty about appropriate black duck management actions, and the frequent skirmishes in the published literature of black duck population ecology are natural consequences of these weak inferences. I suggest that we attempt to take advantage of management and other manipulations by treating them as an opportunity to learn something via experimentation, as recommended by Macnab (1983) and Walters (1986).
Nudds, T. D., and M. L. Morrison. 1991. Ten years after “Reliable Knowledge”: Are we gaining? Journal of Wildlife Management 55:757- 760.
Peterson, M. J. 1991. Wildlife parasitism, science, and management policy. Journal of Wildlife Management 55:782-789.
Abstract: Wildlife managers lack a scientifically sound basis from which to formulate management policy regarding many host- parasite interactions. One contributing factor to this problem is the paucity of hypothetico-deductive (H-D) research concerning the ecological consequences of host-parasite interactions. A comparison of justifications used for wildlife brucellosis management policy in Wood Buffalo National Park (NP) (Canada) and the Greater Yellowstone Area (U.S.) demonstrates how perspective (with or without science) can drive policy formation. If wildlife scientists consistently used the H-D method to gather reliable knowledge pertinent to an ecological perspective of wildlife brucellosis (or other host-parasite interactions), their contribution toward the formation of disease management policy would be more significant. In situations where disease management must commence prior to the completion of manipulative experiments (which admittedly can be difficult to apply with free-roaming wildlife), adaptive resource management, as suggested by Walters (1986), could profitably be used to test hypotheses.
Romesburg, H. C. 1981. Wildlife science: gaining reliable knowledge. Journal of Wildlife Management 45:293-313.
Abstract: Two scientific methods called induction and retroduction form the basis for almost all wildlife research. Induction is used to establish reliable associations among sets of facts, whereas retroduction is used to establish research hypotheses about the fact-giving processes driving nature. A 3rd scientific method, the hypothetico-deductive (H-D), is a means for testing research hypotheses, i.e., for gauging their reliability. The H-D method is rarely used in wildlife science. Instead, research hypotheses are proposed, and either made into a law through verbal repetition or lose favor and are forgotten. I develop the thesis that wildlife research should use the H-D method to test research hypotheses, using the threshold-of- security hypothesis for winter mortality for illustration. I show that persistent confusions about the definitions of concepts like carrying capacity, correlation and cause-and-effect, and the reliability of knowledge gained from computer simulation models stem from either inadequate or misused scientific methods.
Romesburg, H. C. 1989. More on gaining reliable knowledge: A reply. Journal of Wildlife Management 53:1177-1180.
Abstract: Matter and Mannan (1989) interpret Romesburg (1981) as declaring that scientific methods are systematic, like shop manuals; and they state this is not so. I argue they are correct in what they believe, but incorrect in their interpretation. They also believe the test of the threshold-of-security hypothesis given in Romesburg (1981) is inappropriate; I argue it is not. I demonstrate that Matter and Mannan’s (1989) claims do not weaken the validity or the importance of the message in Romesburg (1981).
Romesburg, H. C. 1991. On improving the natural resources and environmental sciences. Journal of Wildlife Management 55:744-756.
Abstract: I argue that markedly better understanding of the processes of nature than is currently attained is possible; that this understanding would improve the management of natural resources and the environment; that competent scientists are the means to this goal; that to produce these scientists, college education should focus on developing the abilities to conjecture and test theories; and that educators should devise programs to attract into the natural resources and environmental sciences students who are naturally gifted in these abilities.
Romesburg, H. C. 1993. On improving the natural resources and environmental sciences: a reply. Journal of Wildlife Management 57:184-189.
Abstract: Knight (1993) claims that we in applied ecology already are recruiting the right type of students, are educating them properly, and that applied ecology is itself progressing adequately. I thoroughly maintain that his claims cannot stand up to counter example nor to logical analysis. We must project our ideals out beyond the status quo; attaining them will require revolutionary changes in how we recruit and educate students.
Scott, T. G. 1967. Selection of students for graduate training in fisheries and wildlife. Journal of Wildlife Management 31:205-212.
Abstract: There is no method or combination of methods which will invariably identify the student who will succeed in graduate work. The previous academic record and letters of recommendation from people known to the admissions officer constitute the most practicable information on which to base judgments. Aptitude tests tend only to confirm the validity of the undergraduate academic record. A married student may be a greater risk than an unmarried student. Ability to meet the physical demands of graduate work in fisheries and wildlife sciences seems to be inversely related to the age of the student. The student with a rural background, when compared to a comparable student with an urban background is more likely to have an understanding of ecological relationships, to be more effective in solving field problems, and to have acquired self-discipline, dedication to duty, and a responsible attitude.
Sinclair, A. R. E. 1991. Science and the practice of wildlife management. Journal of Wildlife Management 55:767-773.
Abstract: This essay explains the need for wildlife management as scientific experiments to achieve reliable knowledge (Romesburg 1981) and emphasizes that science and management are not alternative processes. I explain the rationale behind the scientific method, the construction of hypotheses and their predictions, and how to test them with manipulations available through the management of wildlife. The scale of wildlife management programs makes them suitable for scientific experimentation (Macnab 1983). Problems such as population regulation and predator-prey interactions are used to show that theory is needed to develop proper predictions.
Sindermann, C. 1982. Winning the games scientist play. Plenum Press, New York, N.Y. 290pp.
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