QUESTION: I have a degree in Biology and am currently trying to find a niche in the Whitetail/Hunting world to make my living. What criteria do you need to become a certified Biologist?
- Q. Brooks
ANSWER: Professional certification is bestowed by The Wildlife Society, a professional scientific and educational association. To qualify, a person must have “the educational background and demonstrated expertise in the art and science of applying the principles of ecology to the conservation and management of wildlife and its habitats.”
The education background consists of having completed a course of study in a college or university leading to a Bachelor of Science, or Bachelor of Arts, or equivalent, or higher degree in wildlife biology/management.
Applicants must also have a minimum of five years of professional experience gained within the 10 years prior to applying for certification.
An applicant who demonstrate this expertise, and is judged “to be able to represent the profession as an ethical practitioner” will be designated as a Certified Wildlife Biologist (CWB). Those with limited experience but who have completed the rigorous academic standards can apply as an Associate Wildlife Biologist (AWB). Then, after sufficient experience is gained, may apply for the more advanced level of certification.
Once certified, CWBs are expected (required) to conduct their activities in accordance with the Code of Ethics and the Standards for Professional Conduct as prescribed by The Wildlife Society. It may seem like a lot to go through, but it ensures you are providing reliable professional service to your clientele, whether you are a consulting biologist working with a private landowner or a state/federal biologist working for the public.