UF offers online master's degree in wildlife forensic sciences

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB)-- A program that has been in the works since 2015 is now available for University of Florida students to enroll in.

UF started an online master's program in Wildlife Forensic Sciences and Conservation.

Students will be taught on how to help those who are defending nature in court by learning skills such as analyzing DNA, handling evidence, and the classification of illegal animal products.

The program's targeted audience includes several groups including wildlife law enforcement professionals and conservation biologists.

"Without proper training in wildlife crime, the physical evidence needed to prosecute in court isn't there and without the evidence the attorneys are a bit hesitant to try to move forward with it," UF Maples Center for Forensic Medicine Associate Director Jason Byrd said

The program's goal is to address the lack of practical training for wildlife law enforcement officers and build solid evidence for the attorney's prosecution in wildlife cases.