Bachelor of Science in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences

The Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences Program at GVSU

Our global and local freshwater resources are essential to both ecosystem stability and viability, as well as the many goods and services upon which we all depend. These natural freshwater resources are under increasing pressure.  Our ability to successfully understand, protect, and manage these resources for future generations demands scientific insight and understanding that can be used to inform wise management decisions.  This major is intended for students interested in shaping this future through the specific lens of hands-on scientific and taxonomic training, the ability to gain certification through the American Fisheries Society, developing expertise in molecular ecology and mapping/global information skills, and through understanding of relevant public policies.

Field research

Develop Skills Through Hands-On Learning

  • Independent and group field and laboratory research
  • Taxonomic identification skills for algae, freshwater plants, aquatic insects, and fish
  • Ecological foundations for both lakes and streams
  • Conservation genetics—both application of data and laboratory processes
  • GIS and mapping
  • Data logger programing
  • Computer skills and statistical applications
  • Field sampling skills for both lakes and streams
  • Field safety
  • Communication skills for general public and expert audiences
  • Writing skills including grant-writing
  • Wetland delineation
  • Natural resource policy
  • Problem-solving and critical thinking

This major offers the potential to become a “Certified Fisheries Professional’ through the American Fisheries Society

Hands on learning

Aquatic Biologist Indeed list of job postings

Fisheries Biologist Indeed list of job postings

Environmental Consulting - Indeed list of Michigan job postings

Non-Governmental Organizations – Good examples would include Conservation InternationalDefenders of WildlifeNatural Resources Defense CouncilSierra ClubThe Nature Conservancy, and World Wildlife Fund. These websites contain lists and descriptions of many additional NGOs: Top U.S. Conservation OrganizationsMost influential sustainability NGOs, and Green Dreamer.

Local Nonprofit Organizations - Good examples would include Land Conservancy of West MichiganPierce Cedar Creek InstituteBlandford Nature CenterEdward Lowe FoundationKalamazoo Nature Center, Grand Valley Metro Council and Lower Grand River Organization of Watersheds, and Kellogg Biological Station.  Here is a link to a more comprehensive list of Michigan environmental organizations.

Volunteer opportunities – Any of the above organizations have volunteer opportunities, additionally you could try Ottawa County Parks and Recreation or any county of interest.

Job opportunities

Is GVSU The Right Fit For You?

Our curriculum emphasizes hands-on work in both field and laboratory settings while working closely with our faculty.  We also encourage you to engage in research and internship experiences outside regular classes, and we advise you to be active in student clubs.  Our goal is for you to gain the necessary experiences needed to be employed in the fisheries and aquatic sciences professions. 

Algae Research


Faculty working in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences are located in either Kindschi Hall of Science, located in Allendale, or at the Annis Water Resources Institute in Muskegon.

Brown Trout

Page last modified October 13, 2021