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The Student Experience

Helping to Change Lives

The Cornell Yang Center for Wildlife Health is dedicated to helping students prepare for life-changing careers in conservation. Intellectually curious (and adventurous!) students have many opportunities to immerse themselves in a living laboratory, learning first-hand that better management of natural resources today offers hope for tomorrow. Below are links to wildlife health-related learning opportunities and resources at Cornell University.

Cornell Yang Center for Wildlife Health: The Student Experience

Cornell Yang Center for Wildlife Health Student Support Fund (CYCWH SSF)

The CYCWH Student Support Fund launched in 2023 as part of our commitment to train the next generation of wildlife veterinarians and other conservation leaders, grounded in the broader realities of today’s global governance, environmental, socioeconomic, and equity challenges — as well as those of tomorrow. Our goal is to inspire and change the lives of students interested in wildlife health through real-world experiences, training, and mentorship with world-class faculty and partners. For more information, visit our Cornell Yang Center for Wildlife Health Student Support Fund page.

Other Cornell Resources

Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine
Learn more about how the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine leads, enables, and inspires others to attain a healthier world for animals and people.

Wildlife | Zoological Medicine | One Health Electives
Learn about elective course offerings at Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine related to wildlife health, zoological medicine, and One Health.

Cornell Listservs & How to Join
Explore the various listservs available at Cornell University related to wildlife, conservation, ecology, and/or pathogens.

Master of Public Health Degree Program
Cornell University’s Master of Public Health professional training program brings diverse experts together to help train the next generation of public health leaders. The program leverages the breadth and depth of its faculty in human, animal, and environmental health (including climate, biodiversity, soil, water and air), agricultural production, civil engineering, communication, developmental sociology, economics, entomology, food sciences, management systems, psychology, and urban planning. Our training strategy is to develop public health leaders who take a systems-based, trans-disciplinary planetary health approach to address and improve local, regional, national, and/or international health issues.

Joint Graduate Training Program
Since 2010, the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and Cornell University have partnered on a Joint Graduate Training Program. Graduate fields currently participating include Zoology and Wildlife Conservation, Applied Economics and Management, Entomology, Natural Resources, and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. The diversity of graduate fields at Cornell provides many opportunities for shared mentoring of students with different units at the Smithsonian.

Biomedical & Biological Sciences (BBS) PhD Program
The Cornell University BBS Graduate Program is an interdisciplinary program consisting of outstanding graduate students conducting state-of-the-art basic, clinical and translational life sciences research alongside their world-renowned faculty mentors and other research professionals.

Expanding Horizons
Expanding Horizons offers Cornell veterinary students a truly unique opportunity to experience veterinary medicine in a developing country. Students spend 6-10 weeks engaged in veterinary research and/or applied hands-on veterinary experience.

AQUAVET® is a program in Aquatic Veterinary Medicine offered each summer by Cornell University and held at Roger Williams University in Bristol, Rhode Island, where students gain classroom and laboratory hands-on experience with aquatic species.

A website run by vet students at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Founded in 2017, WildLIFE aims to provide prospective and current veterinary students with an inside look into the breadth and depth of zoo, wildlife, and exotic animal medicine initiatives. The student-maintained site is a depot for resources students may find useful.

Planning for a Career in Wildlife
We hosted a panel discussion for current Cornell veterinary students interested in wildlife health-related careers. Panel participants included recent Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine alumni who shared their experiences as students, where their veterinary training has led them, and how their careers have developed.

Celebrating the Achievements of Recent Cornell Veterinary Medicine Alumni: Saving the World is a Growth Industry!
The Cornell Yang Center for Wildlife Health is proud to highlight and celebrate some of the latest achievements of recent graduates from the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine pursuing career paths in wildlife conservation and One Health.

Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology (EEB)
EEB faculty and students pursue topics across a broad set of interlinked fields, including ecosystem biology and biogeochemistry, community ecology and population biology, organismal biology, chemical and molecular ecology, population genetics and genomics, speciation, and macroevolution.

Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
The DNR creates knowledge and facilitates learning to improve society’s stewardship of the environment and promote a conservation ethos for a sustainable planet.

Professional Associations

Wildlife Disease Association (WDA)
The mission of the WDA is to acquire, disseminate, and apply knowledge of the health and diseases of wild animals in relation to their biology, conservation, and interactions with humans and domestic animals.

American Association of Wildlife Veterinarians (AAWV)
The AAWV was formed in 1979 by a small group of veterinarians with a common interest in free-ranging wildlife. AAWV members work at academic institutions, in domestic animal private practice, at zoos and aquaria, and with state/provincial and federal agencies. Members engage in wildlife health research, clinical medicine, teaching, disease surveillance, regulatory work, and administration.

American Association of Zoo Veterinarians (AAZV)
The mission of the AAZV is to empower our members to advance our profession and enhance wild animal health, welfare, and conservation. AAZV is the professional association for individuals and institutions who apply the principles of comparative veterinary medicine to zoo and wildlife species. AAZV is an umbrella organization that provides advocacy, collaboration and partnerships for combined efforts for sustaining and improving the well-being of wildlife in all habitats.

Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians (ARAV)
The ARAV is a globally recognized leader promoting scientifically based responsible reptile and amphibian medicine and surgery, research, conservation, and pet ownership. The mission of the ARAV is to advance and develop state of the art resources for our members to improve the health of reptiles and amphibians.

World Aquatic Veterinary Medical Association (WAVMA)
The WAVMA was formed in 2006 to serve the rapidly expanding discipline of aquatic veterinary medicine throughout the world. The mission of the WAVMA is to serve the discipline of aquatic veterinary medicine in enhancing aquatic animal health and welfare, public health, and seafood safety in support of the veterinary profession, aquatic animal owners and industries, and other stakeholders.

International Association for Aquatic Animal Medicine (IAAAM)
The IAAAM is an organization of individuals who are professionally interested in, and devote a significant amount of time to, the practice of aquatic animal medicine, teaching and research in aquatic animal medicine, or the husbandry and management of aquatic animals.

Association of Avian Veterinarians (AAV)
The AAV is a diverse global professional organization dedicated to advancing and promoting avian health, welfare, and conservation through education, advocacy, and science. Among the key objectives for the organization, the AAV strives to preserve and protect birds in the wild and their native habitats.

Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians (AEMV)
Established in 2000, the AEMV is an association of veterinary professionals dedicated to advancing the care and treatment of ferrets, guinea pigs, rabbits, hamsters, rats, mice, chinchillas, hedgehogs, and other exotic companion mammals.

Society for Conservation Biology (SCB)
The SCB serves as the premier international membership society for professionals, students and non-profits dedicated to advancing the science and practice of conserving biodiversity.

The Wildlife Society (TWS)
Founded in 1937, TWS's mission is to inspire, empower, and enable wildlife professionals to sustain wildlife populations and habitats through science-based management and conservation. TWS enhances members’ networking and learning opportunities, professional and career development, and provides numerous ways for members to get more involved in creating a better future for wildlife and their habitats.