Fishing and environmental education college and career preparation

Preparing for a major and a career related to fish and the environment.

Fishing is an outdoor and recreational activity that many youth and adults participate in, especially in the Great Lakes state of Michigan. Are you someone who enjoys fishing or being in the environment for fishing, such as being around lakes, rivers or streams, or the wildlife and outdoor recreation in general? Did you know there are majors or careers related to fishing and the environment that fish live in?

Michigan State University offers a major in Fisheries and Wildlife, which is in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. With this major, students can concentrate in Conservation Biology, Wildlife Biology and Management, Fisheries Biology and Management, Water Sciences, Fish and Wildlife Disease Ecology and Management or Preveterinary. Some of the different career opportunities students can pursue relating to fish and the outdoor environment are a conservation officer, environmental consultant, wetland monitoring assistant, fisheries/wildlife technician, fish hatchery manager, water quality manager, water quality specialist, land management planner and a fisheries/wildlife biologist.

To prepare for a career relating to fish and the outdoors, MSU Extension’s 4-H Youth Development program offers youth the opportunity to participate in Environmental and Outdoor Education projects and activities. Youth may participate in environmental activities in a 4-H club setting with adult 4-H volunteers. During the 4-H club meetings, 4-H volunteers can teach different things relating to fish and the environment. Resources for environmental and outdoor science can be purchased and utilized for 4-H meetings from the 4-H Mall.

Michigan 4-H Youth Development offers a pre-college program for youth interested in fish, fishing, their ecosystem and environmental education. The 4-H Great Lakes and Natural Resources Camp provides a great opportunity for youth to learn and prepare for a career in this field while charter fishing, snorkeling, sailing, hiking through forests, wading through wetlands and exploring sand dunes while at camp.

Also with a pre-college program, Michigan 4-H Youth Development offers an educational and leadership opportunity through the Michigan 4-H Youth Conservation Council. In the Michigan 4-H Youth Conservation Council, youth participants build skills in public speaking and leadership, and they learn about the public policy process. They also meet with environmental professionals.

Do not count out the importance of participating in a series of service projects to continue in the process of learning. Here are some ideas for service projects:

  • Research information relating to fishing, wildlife or other environmental issues and share the information with other 4-H members during 4-H club meetings, or go to different after-school programs or community centers to teach younger youth about these subjects.
  • Organize a cleanup in different areas such as lakes, streams, rivers or natural forests. Work with a 4-H volunteer leader and check with other organizations or clubs with an environmental focus to partner with for this type of activity.
  • Volunteer at a stake park if there are any in your area.
  • Serve on environmental councils and committees in the local community.
  • Check the United States Environment Protection Agency for other community service ideas.

If fishing, wildlife and the environment is a college and career interest, take advantage of the opportunities that are available, or create some opportunities of your own to prepare for the main career options available in this field.

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