Undergraduate Fisheries Education: Technical Specialization or Broad Foundation?

June 17, 2015 - <kruege62@msu.edu>, Ray T. Oglesby

Journal or Book Title: Fisheries

Volume/Issue: 14:5

Page Number(s): 17-21

Year Published: 1989

The fisheries profession continues to increase in complexity, and fisheries professionals are more frequently being called upon to function in new settings. Simultaneously, the general sphere of knowledge that surrounds fisheries science and management is expanding rapidly as we learn more about our world and how humans interact with it and each other. In this increasingly complex situation, universities have difficulty achieving their primary goal for undergraduate education-the inculcation of the fundamentals of knowledge combined with abilities to analyze and synthesize. Based on an analysis of a typical curriculum, we suggest that undergraduate training of fisheries professionals is no longer a valid proposition. The focus of undergraduate education should be to provide a broad foundation in the sciences and humanities with only an introduction to fisheries science and management. Undergraduate education of this nature will allow students to make informed decisions about whether they will pursue an advanced degree in fisheries or some other field. Technical specialization in fisheries should occur at the graduate education level and, to some extent, through continuing education after the professional has begun a career. We believe that such an undergraduate educational focus will provide students with the opportunity for professional growth throughout their careers and the ability to function effectively within a rapidly changing world.

DOI: 10.1577/1548-8446(1989)0142.0.CO;2

Type of Publication: Journal Article


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