Conservation Careers (WSJCANC)


This lesson introduces careers at the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC) and similar conservation organizations. Educational background and training, knowledge and experience needed are covered with emphasis on fish and wildlife biologists and enforcement officers.

Grade Level:

4 - 12, adults

Recommended Setting:

Indoor or outdoor classroom

Outdoor Activity:



Witt Stephens Junior Central Arkansas Nature Center, Little Rock


Education Program Coordinator, 501-907-0636


45 minutes

Suggested Number of Participants:



  • Learn the main professional career positions at AGFC.
  • Examine the education background and other training or experience necessary for AGFC professional positions.
  • Learn what AGFC staff does to manage fish and wildlife.
  • Understand what to do to work at AGFC.

Key Terms*:

Amendment 75 of 1996

Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC)

Carrying capacity

Central Arkansas Nature Center (CANC)

Enforcement division

Fisheries biologist

Fisheries division

Habitat management

Population management


Wildlife biologist

Wildlife division

Wildlife officer

*See glossary for definations


AGFC careers brochures

AGFC recruitment DVD

Tools used by biologists and enforcement officers

Information on intern and scholarship programs

Job description handouts


The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has approximately 600 full-time staff. While other professions earn substantially higher salaries than those in conservation, few offer the same level of personal reward, accomplishment and self-fulfillment. AGFC employees are nationally recognized for outstanding performance. Furthermore, the Arkansas fish and wildlife populations have benefited from the dedication of AGFC staff dating back to 1915. People enjoy numerous wildlife and fish experiences as a result.


  1. Introduce yourself and the CANC. Explain that it is owned and operated by AGFC and showcases the agency’s mission. Also tell how Amendment 75 of 1996 funds paid for the facility and allow free admission.
  2. Ask participants what AGFC employees do. Ask how many are considering a career in conservation. Review the AGFC mission statement and organizational structure.
  3. Use part of the AGFC recruitment DVD to introduce AGFC positions and job duties. Start with the chapter titled “Terry McGuire” and stop after the chapter titled “Bears.”
  4. Outline the three main AGFC divisions: enforcement, wildlife and fisheries. Show that these departments manage fish and wildlife and ensure that populations are there for people to enjoy. Focus on the concepts of habitat management, carrying capacity, population management and regulations. Give some examples of job titles in these divisions and the work they do. Talk about the educational background and experience required for these positions. Show examples of tools fisheries and wildlife biologists and wildlife officers use.
  5. Mention the support divisions and how they function: operations, fiscal, construction and engineering, education, communications and information technology.
  6. Close by explaining the intern program at AGFC. Ask for any questions on AGFC careers and tell where more information is available: the AGFC Little Rock office at 800-364-4263 or the website at



  • What are the three main divisions of AGFC? (Wildlife, fisheries and enforcement)
  • What does scientific management mean? (Applying techniques accepted by the wildlife and fisheries professions to provide for animal populations and habitats)
  • What types of personal rewards are available in the conservation field? (Improving and maintaining wild animal and fish populations and natural habitats, providing enjoyment for the public, working with conservation partners to achieve common goals, etc.)


Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC) – the state agency responsible for managing fish and wildlife


Carrying capacity – the amount of wildlife a given area of land can sustain; varies with amount of food, water and shelter available


Enforcement division – the department of the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission responsible for carrying out wildlife and fish regulations


Fisheries biologist – a scientist who studies and manages native fish species


Fisheries division – the department of the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission responsible for managing fish populations


Habitat management – the process by which wildlife and fisheries biologists provide space, shelter and food sources for wildlife and fish


Population management – the scientific methods used by wildlife and fisheries biologists to ensure wildlife and fish populations are within healthy ranges; includes hunting, fishing, predator-prey relationships, regulations and more


Regulations – legal codes set by the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission concerning wildlife and fish populations


Wildlife biologist – a scientist who studies and manages wild animals


Wildlife division – the department of the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission responsible for managing wildlife populations


Wildlife officer – enforcement position responsible for implementing wildlife and fish regulations; AGFC wildlife officers have full police powers in Arkansas