WEC Alumni in the World - Tyler Mosteller

Tyler Mosteller (WEC B.S. 2008) entered the Wildlife Ecology and Conservation program hoping to become a land manager focusing on wildlife habitat management. He kept his eye on the ball and is now a land management specialist for the Saint John's River Water Management District, which protects water resources in part or all of 18 Florida counties in the northeast and central part of the state.

"Some of my duties include planning and conducting prescribed burns, mechanical habitat treatments such as mowing and roller chopping, and exotic species removal efforts," says Tyler. "I am also a Certified Wildlife Biologist, [and I] do some alligator management work, gopher tortoise work, and work with game species such as white - tailed deer, wild turkey, and waterfowl."

"My undergraduate experience laid the foundation for what eventually developed into a career as a professional wildlife biologist," Tyler explains. "Before coming to the WEC program, I was a wildlife enthusiast who understood basic parts and pieces of wildlife and habitat management, but who lacked the skills necessary to analyze their interactions in an objective manner. The WEC program, faculty, and staff provided me with the tools and knowledge that set me on the path to becoming a well-rounded scientist.

A solid understanding of biological data, the importance of proper experimental design, and the appropriate analyses and reporting of those data are essential skills that instructors emphasize throughout the undergraduate program. On a personal level, I believe my undergraduate experience shaped me into a real self-motivator. I like to live life in a goal-oriented fashion. I find things that I want to achieve, figure out the steps to get there, and do not let up."

Tyler's determination, coupled with his degree from WEC, has made his goal of working as a land manager a reality. After graduating, Tyler held various wildlife research and management positions in the southern half of the state, including a few with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. "After nearly three years in south Florida," says Tyler, "I returned home to the northeast part of the state to start my current position with Saint John's. "

"I really enjoyed the learning experience as a whole," Tyler says of his time at WEC. He looks back fondly on conversations he had with faculty about interesting topics, and all of the "opportunities that were available for undergraduates to gain valuable field experience." Tyler urges incoming and current WEC students to take full advantage of these opportunities. "Apply for summer internships. Volunteer to assist with research. Apply for seasonal tech positions. Also, get to know your professors."