Wildlife Guide for Undergraduates

by Ruth Gustafson – May 20, 2022

Wildlife Biology and Conservation Search Terms

The UC Davis Library online catalog uses Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH). Each library subject database — such as BIOSIS Previews or Zoological Record — also uses subject lists that can help you precisely search your topic including conducting searches by taxanomic categories.

FOR UCD students, faculty, and staff:   Feel free to book an appointment with Ruth for assistance in using these resources or for any questions you may have.   Ruth is continuing with Zoom appointments.  (Exceptions will be made if in-person or phone is the only/best option for the requestor.)

Book an APPOINTMENT with Ruth

Off-Campus Access

  • To access licensed library resources from off-campus, please use the library VPN.

This guide was developed for the Spring UCD annual conferences by the student chapter of The Wildlife Society.

Ruth Gustafson

Student Services
Student Services and Researcher Services Librarian



In this Guide:

The U.S. Government Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes a comprehensive resource on Career opportunities and statistics titled Occupational Outlook Handbook.   See the link below.

Shields and Carlson Health Sciences libraries have selected print and online resources for those interested in animal-related careers.   See the Library Catalogs box below this one for some search tips.

Occupational Outlook Handbook [Bureau of Labor Statistics]

“The Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) provides information on what workers do; the work environment; education, training, and other qualifications; pay; the job outlook; similar occupations; and sources of additional information, for 334 occupational profiles covering about 84 percent of the jobs in the economy.

The OOH is broken up into clusters of similar occupations … to find an occupation, browse the occupation groups … on the left-hand side of the homepage, or use the A-Z Index if you know the specific occupation. [Also] … search for occupations by using the selector drop-down menus on the OOH homepage. Select by pay range, entry-level education, on-the-job training, projected number of new jobs, or projected growth rate. [For a] … specific occupation you are interested in, you may enter a job title into the “Search Handbook” box at the top.”

Magazines and professional practice publications typically publish articles and news items on becoming a professional in the field.   Search Academic Search Complete (which includes magazines) using SUBJECT TERMS wildlife and TITLE   (career* or job* or occupation* or profession* or employ*)

Academic Search Complete:   (VPN)  Indexes articles (many full-text) from popular magazines and scholarly journals in the humanities, social sciences, business and sciences.


Large employers for wildlife professionals include Federal, State, and Local governments and non-profit associations involved with wildlife research.

USAJOBS –  The U.S. Federal Government’s official employment site.

NOAA Careers –  The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration’s employment site.

Careers in Conservation – The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s job site pulling from USAJobs. Special webpages on International Affairs Careers  and Law Enforcement Career Opportunities

Need to learn more about other U.S. Government agencies?  Check out the USAGOV A-Z Index of U.S. Government Departments and Agencies.

Jobs.ca.gov –  The State of California’s official employment site.

Careers at CDFW – The California Department of Fish and Wildlife Careers site.


NOTED DURING 2021 Discovering Your Niche Conference:

Wildlife Career Science Network (on Facebook)

The Wildlife Society: Jobseekers search

Some associations/societies supporting wildlife/conservation biology research and field work are local, others are regional, many are U.S. and several are international in scope.   Below are websites with extensive listings of associations.

Top U.S. Conservation Organizations  (from conservationcareers.com)

A curated list compiled from over 5,000 jobs from a for-profit conservation career company in the UK.

Wildlife Protection Organizations (from Cause IQ)

Data mining compilation from tax-exempt non-profits filings of Form 990 or 990PF with the IRS.   “There are 11,169 wildlife protection organizations in the United States. Combined, these wildlife protection organizations employ 12,353 people, earn more than $2 billion in revenue each year, and have assets of $3 billion.”

Ruth Gustafson collects materials to support ALL animal-related research with the exception of Veterinary Medicine. Disciplines supported in Biological/Agricultural areas include animal behavior, animal anatomy & physiology, animal ecology, animal nutrition, animal taxonomy & systematics.  Resources in BioAg tend to be located in four call number areas on the 3rd floor of Shields Library: QL – Zoology ; SF — Animal Agriculture ; SH — Fisheries & Aquaculture ; SK – Wildlife and Hunting.  Marine Biology materials may additionally be located on the 2nd floor Shields in the GC area.

The Carlson Health Sciences library collects materials to support VetMed which are classed in the SF area. NOTE: This is the only VetMed library collection in the UC system.

  • Biological, Agricultural & Environmental Sciences, Shields Library
    The BioAgEnvi Sciences print collections are located mainly on the 3rd floor of Shields Library. Some collections in the environmental sciences and marine biology are located on the 2nd floor in the G classification areas.
  • Carlson Health Sciences Library
    The Carlson Health Sciences Library is near the SouthWest corner of the UC Davis campus just North of Valley Hall .

Searching in a library catalog requires looking for broader topics such as wildlife genetics or salmon behavior rather than the more specific  coyote DNA sequencing or salmon spawning behavior.

For locating career information: 1) You may BROWSE by a discipline and look for the subheading “vocational guidance” e.g. animal specialists — vocational guidance ; conservation of natural resources — vocational guidance ; ecology — vocational guidance ; environmental sciences — vocational guidance ; fisheries — vocational guidance ; wildlife conservationists — vocational guidance ; wildlife management — vocational guidance .   2) For some areas you can combine subject keywords such as, for wildlife-related careers ANY FIELD (KEYWORD) wildlife* vocational which brings up a variety of titles.

As an wildlife researcher, you will be required to present your research to a variety of audiences.   Search the subject phrase communication in science  for materials on making scientific presentations.   Also, the UCD Libraries selectively buy materials on writing in the sciences. Browsable subject headings that bring up these types of publications include: Biology — Authorship; Communication of technical information; Life sciences — Authorship; Proposal writing in biology; Proposal writing for grants;  Proposal writing for research; Report writing; Technical writing ; Visual communication in science

  • UC Library Search: UCD Library Catalog setting
    Replacing UCD Library Catalog on July 27, 2021, the new UC Library Search includes all of the UC library collections.   This setting is specifically for the UC Davis libraries including (for the first time) the holdings of the Law Library. If you Sign in (on top right corner) using your UCD login and Kerberos passphrase, you are prompted with your loan period, can renew books online, and request items that have been checked out to another borrower, or are in storage.

NEED a PRINT ONLY ITEM AND CANNOT COME TO CAMPUS?  We’ll ship it to you!  The UCD Libraries have a COVID-time-only shipping service in place.   Just click on the INTERLIBRARY REQUEST link from the item you need and we’ll mail the whole item to you.  Make sure you have your correct address listed, when prompted.

ONLY NEED a chapter or an article from a PRINT ONLY ITEM?  Scanning service available for all UCD affiliates.  Use the same INTERLIBRARY REQUEST link but make a note of the specific chapter/article you need and include as much info as you can, especially page number, if available.

Due dates will become active with start of Fall Quarter.  “If you are in the [UCD] area and would like to return materials, you can deposit returns via the remote book drops or at Shields or Blaisdell Medical Library. Materials may also be mailed back at no cost to you. Contact shieldsinterloan@ucdavis.edu for additional instructions and to receive a postage-paid mailing label.”

  • Understanding Call Numbers

    Author: Library Instruction Services, Shields Library

    Library of Congress Classification is used for all of the UCD libraries except the health sciences libraries (which use NLM — National Library of Medicine — classification). Learn about how books are arranged in the UCD libraries with this guide.

    Date: 2004

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (http://www.iucnredlist.org/)
URL: http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Author: International Union for Conservation of Nature
IUCN was founded in 1948 as the world’s first global environmental organization and today is the largest professional global conservation network. Over four decades ago, the Red List started as the IUCN Red Data Book and is currently compiled through the IUCN Species Programme working with the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC).“IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ provides taxonomic, conservation status and distribution information on plants and animals that have been globally evaluated using the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria. This system is designed to determine the relative risk of extinction, and the main purpose of the IUCN Red List is to catalogue and highlight those plants and animals that are facing a higher risk of global extinction (i.e. those listed as Critically Endangered, Endangered and Vulnerable).”

In addition, the “IUCN Red List also includes information on plants and animals that are categorized as Extinct or Extinct in the Wild; on taxa that cannot be evaluated because of insufficient information (i.e., are Data Deficient); and on plants and animals that are either close to meeting the threatened thresholds or that would be threatened were it not for an ongoing taxon-specific conservation programme (i.e., are Near Threatened).”


Species under CITES Protection (http://www.cites.org/eng/disc/species.shtml)

URL: http://www.cites.org/eng/disc/species.shtml
Author: Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is an international agreement between governments. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.Roughly 5,000 species of animals and 28,000 species of plants are protected by CITES against over-exploitation through international trade. They are listed in the three CITES Appendices. The species are grouped in the Appendices according to how threatened they are by international trade. They include some whole groups, such as primates, cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises), sea turtles, parrots, corals, cacti and orchids. But in some cases only a subspecies or geographically separate population of a species (for example the population of just one country) is listed.

Extensive Multidisciplinary and Multiformat Resources

DOAJ : Directory of Open Access Journals

Administrated by: Lund University, Sweden

The DOAJ “was launched in 2003 at Lund University, Sweden, with 300 open access journals and today contains ca. 9000 open access journals covering all areas of science, technology, medicine, social science and humanities.”   This directory is a “community-curated list of open access journals and aims to be the starting point for all information searches for quality, peer reviewed open access material.”


PQDT Open : ProQuest Dissertations and Theses

Administrated by:  ProQuest LLC

Subset of ProQuest’s database which includes materials which “authors of these dissertations and theses have opted to publish as open access.”


OpenDOAR : The Directory of Open Access Repositories

Administrated by: University of Nottingham, UK.

OpenDOAR is an “authoritative directory of academic open access repositories. Each OpenDOAR repository has been visited by project staff to check the information that is recorded here. This in-depth approach does not rely on automated analysis and gives a quality-controlled list of repositories.”



Administrated by:  University of California and powered by the California Digital Library

This UC platform hosts OA content by the university’s researchers and “provides Open-Access scholarly publishing services to
the University of California and delivers a dynamic research platform to scholars worldwide.”



Administrated by:  U.S. Universities/Libraries and large international organizations such as the Internet Archive

HathiTrust is a portal to materials converted through massive digitization projects and is a “partnership of academic & research institutions, offering a collection of millions of titles digitized from libraries around the world. …  The primary community that HathiTrust serves is the members (faculty, students, and users) of its partner libraries, but the materials in HathiTrust are available to all to the extent permitted by law and contracts, providing the published record as a public good to users around the world.”   For U.S. publications, anything earlier than 1923 is considered no longer under copyright and should be freely accessible.  HathiTrust was launched “in 2008 as a collaboration of the universities of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (now the Big Ten Academic Alliance) and the University of California system to establish a repository to archive and share their digitized collections.”


Internet Archive

Administrated by: Internet Archive

Massive digital projects and archived materials from around the world.