Podcast: Importance of continuing education, certification

©BLM Oregon and Washington

The Wildlife Society’s new Strategic Partner relationship with American Public University is a prime example of the Society’s increased focus on providing professional development services and opportunities to its members. In a podcast last week, APU caught up with TWS Executive Director Ken Williams to explore the importance of continuing education to wildlife professionals.

There are two categories of professional development that are important in the wildlife field — academic training and postgraduate development — and both are critical, Williams says. During the podcast, he spoke about the many skills one needs to be successful in the profession that go beyond the subject matter at the undergraduate or even graduate levels, including but not limited to problem-solving, structured decision making, communications, policy development/analysis, conflict resolution and even business management. Another reality wildlife professionals are being face with evermore frequently is funding limits, of which Williams said “it means everyone is expected to do more with less, and professional development is a necessary element to allow that to happen.” He also stressed the relevance of TWS certifications, for which the criteria are considered in the curriculum of APU’s fish and wildlife management programs.