Aquatic & Fisheries Biology
Aquatic ecosystems produce many resources that we rely upon for our health and welfare. They not only support sport and commercial fisheries but also provide ecosystem services like water for agriculture, drinking water, waste water treatment, and natural transportation corridors. Largely because of our reliance on them, these systems face increasing threats from habitat alteration, drought, water withdrawal, pollution, invasive species, and other environmental changes. Natural resource managers in this field use their knowledge of the ecological and environmental factors which affect fishes and other aquatic organisms in order to balance the growing demand on our water resources with the need to maintain fisheries and ecosystem services.
Careers in this field range from very applied (e.g. understanding impacts of dams on fish reproduction) to more basic research such as working on understanding the biology of a threatened or endangered species (e.g. Pecos assiminea snail). Graduates work in a variety of settings, including government agencies, consulting firms, and non-governmental organizations.