MISSOULA – For many years the University of Montana Wildlife Biology Program has been heralded for its excellence. Now, that reputation has migrated across the continent.
The wildly successful program just earned the top spot in a national analysis of places to study wildlife. UM’s Wildlife Biology Program – which offers students unrivaled access to hands-on, outdoor learning opportunities – is the No. 1 program in the U.S. and Canada, according to Academic Analytics.
The ranking is based on faculty productivity. UM faculty members were compared to their peers in top programs in two countries based on publications, citations, research grants and notable awards.
“Our faculty members excel as scientists and educators,” said Chad Bishop, UM Wildlife Biology Program director. “Our people are more productive scientists overall than others at peer institutions, even when some of those peer institutions are generating more grant dollars for research. That speaks volumes to me about the quality of work being performed by our faculty.”
The Wildlife Biology Program is an interdisciplinary group of faculty from the College of Forestry and Conservation, the Division of Biological Sciences within the College of Humanities and Sciences, and the Montana Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit. The program also has been recognized as one of three Programs of National Distinction at UM.
“I’ve talked to a number of people who have been on this campus for years,” Bishop said, “and they believe this may be the first time a UM program has been ranked No. 1 by such a distinguished organization.”
UM President Royce Engstrom welcomed the announcement, saying, “I congratulate the faculty in the Wildlife Biology Program for their hard work, which has resulted in the distinction as a top program by Academic Analytics.
“This recognition is well-earned for their productivity in research, and I’m also excited about how that translates for our students in the classroom,” Engstrom said. “The opportunity to participate in research and learn about emerging discoveries truly distinguishes the Wildlife Biology Program at the University of Montana as one of the marquee programs in the nation.”
Academic Analytics is a provider of high-quality, custom business intelligence data and solutions for research universities in the United States and the United Kingdom. The Academic Analytics Database includes information on more than 270,000 faculty members associated with more than 9,000 doctorate programs and 10,000 departments at more than 385 universities in the United States and abroad. These data are structured so that they can be used to enable comparisons at a discipline-by-discipline level, as well as overall university performance.