Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology, in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS), employs an 18-member faculty and offers one major with three areas of emphasis: Fisheries, Wildlife, or Conservation Biology. The major enrolls about 150 students who will enter a variety of careers in natural resource and environmental fields. Because influencing policy and resource management is based on communication of research findings to multiple stakeholders, students in this major are challenged to write both for research-oriented audiences and lay audiences.
With its initial Writing Plan approved in July of 2013 the department is beginning to track student passage through its curriculum in order to know where to locate various elements of writing instruction. In addition, selected student writing abilities have been tracked in the 2K-level Intro course as a baseline. The department is also planning two faculty workshops, one on designing small, focused writing assignments and one on developing and using five-minute writing workshops in various courses.
In response to faculty conversations about the importance of visuals and scientific posters in FWCB, the professors who teach FWCB 5051: Analysis of Populations added a "Research Night" event to the course: teams of students created scientific posters about their collaboratively written scientific articles and then presented them at an evening event attended by 150 people, including professional affiliates of the department. The event gave students practice creating and presenting research posters, as well as authentic audience for their projects.