Forestry - Wildlife Conservation Online | Penn Foster Career School

Forestry and Wildlife Conservation

Why Penn Foster Career School?

  • Regionally & Nationally Accredited
  • Self-Paced
  • Supportive
  • Low monthly payments

Program Overview

Take your passion for the outdoors and enroll in Penn Foster Career School’s Wildlife/Forestry Conservation training program. Learn about all aspects of managing wildlife, parks and forests, as well as understanding safety in the field, conservation issues, and wildlife law enforcement. You can complete this wildlife conservation program in as little as four months. And, with Penn Foster Career School you can enjoy the benefits of online training — study at home or on the go, at a pace that’s right for you.

This online diploma program can help you take the first step towards your career in forestry and animal conservation, and includes National Audubon Society and National Parks Field Guides to help you research and better understand a variety of animal species.

Curriculum Details

Program Goal and Outcomes

Program Goal

The Wildlife/Forestry Conservation Career Diploma program prepares students for an entry-level position in the field of wildlife and forestry conservation.

Program Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Understand how to gather data on water and soil quality, disease, insect damage to trees and other plants, and conditions that may pose a fire hazard
  • Recognize how to locate property lines and evaluate forested areas to determine the species, quality, and amount of standing timber
  • Characterize the habits and behaviors of wildlife
  • Identify how to maintain trails, campsites, and other recreational facilities
  • Understand how to patrol forest areas and enforce environmental protection regulations
  • Recognize how to communicate with foresters, scientists, and sometimes the public about ongoing forestry and conservation activities
  • Recognize how to suppress forest fires with fire control activities
  • Understand how to train other forestry workers and coordinate detection programs

Unit 1

Starting Your Program

Succeed by learning how to use your Penn Foster program.


  • Understand how to use your Student Portal, including your My Homepage and My Courses pages.
  • Access the Penn Foster Community and use it to find answers.
  • Connect with Penn Foster on various social media sites.
Conservation: People, Animals, and Habitats


  • Identify employment opportunities in wildlife conservation and forestry.
  • Understand the basic organization and functions of government agencies.
  • Learn how to start you own conservation-related business.

Unit 2

Wildlife Management: Upland Game Birds


  • Identify the most common varieties of upland game birds.
  • Trap and transplant wild birds.
  • Managing suitable habitats for individual species.
  • Stock captive-bred birds.
Wildlife Management: Waterfowl


  • Describe the life cycles and habitat requirements for waterfowl species.
  • Analyze the surveys and data that wildlife managers use.
  • Outline the annual process for establishing waterfowl hunting regulations.
  • Learn practical techniques, such as how to capture waterfowl and improve nesting success.
Additional Unit Material

Reference: Neotropical Bird Migration

Unit 3

Wildlife Management: Small Mammals, Part 1


  • Learn about population and habitat management.
  • Understand ecological principles related to various species that live in North America.
  • Describe ecotourism.
  • Describe pest damage control.
Wildlife Management: Small Mammals, Part 2


  • Learn about the major small-animal species of North America.
  • Continue to learn about wildlife management.
  • Receive tips to improve observation and tracking skills.

Unit 4

Wildlife Management: Large Mammals, Part 1


  • Describe principles of big-game management and population dynamics.
  • Identify the different types of wildlife lands.
  • Understand how to select the most appropriate marking or tagging technique to achieve specific research objectives.
Wildlife Management: Large Mammals, Part 2


  • Understand how to manage each of the big-game mammals and their environments.
  • Compare the two orders which contain all big-game animals—Carnivora and Artiodactyla.
  • Compare life spans and mating ages between species.
Wildlife Management: Predators


  • Understand the need for and application of predation management for wildlife and livestock.
  • Analyze the methods and techniques to control or reduce predators.
Park Management


  • Understand why parks were created and the purposes they serve.
  • Describe the entire system of parks within the United States, including federal, state, and local parks.
  • Identify park organizations.
  • Outline the roles and functions of the various park-related professions and trades.
Additional Unit Material

Reference: National Audubon Society Pocket Guide to Familiar North American Mammals

Unit 5

Rangelands Management


  • Describe the physical characteristics of rangelands.
  • Identify types of grazing systems.
  • Understand how mulch tillage, crop rotation, and terracing techniques are used to manage rangelands.
  • Measure vegetation to determine the health of a rangeland and calculate proper stocking rates.
Forest Management, Part 1


  • Understand the basics of forestry.
  • Describe how forests are inventoried.
  • Use forest inventory information to make resource management decisions.
  • Analyze and deter natural and man-made threats to forests.
  • Understand the components of a forest management plan.
Forest Management, Part 2


  • Choose an appropriate logging system for a given set of objectives and environmental conditions.
  • Identify and combat forest damage caused by insects and diseases.
  • Understand the basic principles of fire control.
  • Design a simple forest management plan.
Forest Protection


  • Examine and measure forest health.
  • Minimize the detrimental effects of insects, wildlife, disease, and fire.
  • Understand the circumstances where a fire can be beneficial to forest health.
  • Outline how to suppress a fire when it threatens forest health.
Additional Unit Material

Reference: Peterson First Guide to Birds of North America

Unit 6

Cold-Water Game Fish Management


  • Identify and examine common cold-water game fish.
  • Analyze the principal environmental factors that cause the degradation of cold-water fish populations and their habitats.
  • Determine the suitability of stream, lake, or pond habitats for cold-water fish.
  • Use fish management tools to fix cold-water fishery problems.
Warm-Water Game Fish Management


  • Identify and examine common warm-water game fish species.
  • Describe management techniques and objectives for warm-water fisheries.
  • Monitor and study fish populations using techniques such as tagging.
  • Identify career opportunities in fish management.


  • Compare practices for rearing fish in cold-water and warm-water environments.
  • Describe basic aquaculture and hatchery requirements.
  • Understand the operation and maintenance of hatcheries.
  • Practice fish health management and safely deliver a healthy product to consumers.
Additional Unit Material

Reference: National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Fishes, Whales, and Dolphins

Unit 7

Additional Unit Material

Textbook: Wildlife Law Enforcement

International Conservation Issues


  • Understand the importance of sustainable development for international conservation.
  • Identify several major international conservation groups and their goals.
  • Describe how geography, climate, natural resources, and population density and distribution affect conservation issues in select countries.
Safety in the Field


  • Plan and organize an outdoor fieldwork trip.
  • Choose appropriate gear for your trip.
  • Receive tips on how to handle outdoor emergencies and bear or mountain lion attacks.
  • Administer basic first-aid care.
Wildlife Law Enforcement


  • Describe the role of wildlife enforcement.
  • Analyze state and federal wildlife laws.
  • Understand the rights of private citizens.
  • Identify types of violations and evidence as well as proper search and arrest and testimony procedures.

Computer Specifications
You will need high-speed internet access to begin your program. You will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows XP® or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running OS X® or later, and an email account to complete your program with Penn Foster.

We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.
Microsoft, Windows, and Windows XP are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.
Apple, Mac, and OS X are trademarks of Apple, Inc registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.

Sample Lesson

To view a Wildlife/Forestry Conservation training sample lesson, click here.

Wildlife/Forestry Conservation Program Details

In the Penn Foster Career School Wildlife/Forestry Conservation program you’ll study topics like:

State Licensing Information

Licensing and/or certification requirements for jobs in this field are not the same in every state and may include educational, testing, and/or experiential requirements beyond those offered by your Penn Foster Program. You should contact the state professional licensing board or similar regulatory body in the state(s) where you plan to work to determine their requirements before enrolling in your Program. Please click here for contact information for state licensing/regulatory boards and certain industry licensing information.

online wildlife forestry ranger

Wildlife and forestry conservators handle wildlife law enforcement, population management and protection at parks, recreation facilities, and conservation areas. Here are a few qualities that effective wildlife and forestry conservationists have in common:

  • Detail oriented: It’s important to have a sharp eye and check things twice.
  • Eco-Friendly: You are environmentally conscious and enjoy spending time outdoors.
  • Dependable: People, wildlife, and the land you protect rely on you.
  • Cautious: You need to be careful in the field to avoid injuries or accidents.

I would like to say that enrolling with Penn Foster Career School was the best choice that I ever made. I would recommend Penn Foster. I just have to say 'Thank You' to Penn Foster for achieving my goal.

- Francisco C., Penn Foster Graduate

I am so happy that I made a career change with the help of Penn Foster. Penn Foster makes it easy, and they are always supportive and encouraging to you. Whenever I had a question, I just gave my instructors a call, and they were very helpful and easy to talk with. The online testing made it convenient, and my shipments always arrived right on time.

- Christina R., Penn Foster Graduate

My overall experience with Penn Foster was great. You are allowed to go at your own speed, and the school gives encouragement to keep you going. I would recommend Penn Foster.

- James R., Penn Foster Graduate

Your program includes:

  • Customized payment plans with 0% interest
  • Books, learning aids, and National Audubon Society Field and Pocket Guides
  • Study Planner App to customize your study plans and keep track of your progress
  • Instructional support from our experienced faculty
  • Access 24/7 to Penn Foster’s online community, plus immediate membership in the Wildlife/Forestry Conservation academic group
  • Your personalized online student homepage and learning portal
  • Additional resources such as our online library and career guidance from Career Cruising

Does this program require previous experience in the forestry and conservation field?

No previous experience is necessary, and this program is an excellent introduction to the conservation field.

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