FISH & WILDLIFE TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM
The Fish & Wildlife Technology Program is offered as an optional addition to the Forest Technology Program. Any student who feels they would like to pursue the field of monitoring and assessment of wildlife as a career path are strongly encouraged to consider the program. Students who wish to pursue this program may register for the program prior to the beginning of their second year of studies and complete it either concurrently together with the Forest Technology Diploma program, or by itself in a third year of study. A Fish & Wildlife Technician is skilled in the use of technologies, and knowledgeable of the various techniques, associated with monitoring and assessing wildlife species and their habitats. Students who take the Fish & Wildlife program graduate with an Advanced Diploma in Forest and Fish & Wildlife Technology.
By the commencement of the first semester of their second year of study, all students interested in enrolling in the Fish & Wildlife Technology program must meet the following criteria.
- Must have satisfied all academic requirements of the core Forest Technology program, as outlined in the MCFT academic policy manual.
- Must have successfully completed a summer work practicum.
In order for an Fish & Wildlife student to graduate they must maintain current and valid certification in the following Professional Certifications. Every MCFT student will have the opportunity to complete these courses during their time at MCFT. Should a student already maintain certification in any of these courses they are not required to take them again. Such students are asked to bring any certification cards or certificates they have received to MCFT to be added to their file.
- Firearm Safety
- Restricted Firearm Safety
- Hunter Education
- Trapper Education
- Bowhunter Education
- Nuisance Wildlife Control Operator
- CSC ATV Rider
- CSC Snowmobile Operator
- Backpack and Boat Electrofishing
- Tandem Flatwater Canoe
- Pleasurecraft Operator
- Wilderness & Remote First Aid
PROGRAM SCHEDULE & CURRICULUM
FISH & WILDLIFE TECHNIQUES I
LAST TWO WEEKS of August
This course is an intensive, two-week module which takes place during the last two weeks of August. It is a “hands-on,” field-focused course wherein students are transported daily to the Acadia Research Forest and/or Indian Lake, near Noonan, NB. The focus of the camp is directed towards fisheries techniques: electrofishing [back-pack and boat], cold-water stream surveys, lake surveys, boat and outboard motor operation and maintenance, fish necropsy, and drainage basin delineation and assessment. Students are introduced to a variety of wildlife techniques including: mist-net capture, grouse noose capture, cannon netting, nest duck box construction and placement, waterfowl, transect surveys [King Census] and wetland ecology/habitat evaluation. Concurrently, students establish and monitor several waterfowl trapping sites in the Saint John River valley near Fredericton. Collections of aquatic [marsh] plants, animal sign [scat], and freshwater stream invertebrates are also required. Activities begin early [< 08:00 hours] and often finish late in the afternoon/evening [>19:00 hrs]. The overlapping weekend is reserved for course activities if there is inclement weather during the week, and a full technical report of stream survey findings is required in the weeks following completion of the course.
FISH & WILDLIFE TECHNIQUES II
Lecture topics in this course focus primarily on methods for marking and handling fish and wildlife. Labs focus on operating biological check stations, live-trapping and tagging small mammals, radio-telemetry and radio collaring techniques, capturing and handling Canada geese, estimating deer herd demographics using trail cameras by conducting a deer survey, setting and deploying a drop net for deer, establishing bait and scent stations, identifying, processing, and preparing mammal skulls and skeletons, and pelt identification.
FISH & WILDLIFE TECHNIQUES III
Lecture topics in this course cover aerial survey techniques and standards, fish and wildlife techniques for estimating population size [pellet group surveys, mark-recapture, transect counts], wildlife tracking and track identification, trapping and furbearer management, aging/sexing fish and wildlife, wildlife immobilization techniques and drug pharmacology and dosage estimation. Labs focus on mammal necropsy methods, aging deer and moose using tooth replacement and wear patterns, aging and sexing upland game birds using plumage characteristics, aging and monitoring fish populations, drug delivery systems, safety, and handling of dart guns, and winter track transects. Lab projects include preparing jaw rings for moose and deer, mammal/bird/fish skeleton preparation and articulation, microtine skull preparation, and bird study skin preparation. Term project is development of a fish and/or wildlife research/management funding proposal for submission to the NB Wildlife Trust Fund.
FISH & WILDLIFE TECHNIQUES IV
This course focuses on applying practical skills that have been developed in previous courses [F&W Techniques 1, 2, and 3] as well as survival and snowmobile use and safety. Like Fish & Wildlife Techniques I, this course is a “hands-om,” field-focused course that takes place outside of the classroom. Students spend 5 days at a remote field camp, and are responsible for the organization and successful operation of the camp as a whole. This includes developing a menu and cooking meals for the entire student/faculty crew, organizing and itemizing all the gear that needs to be transported throughout the camp (including snowmobiles and fuel), and ensuring that all activities are implemented according to schedule.