UD's Waterfowl and Upland Gamebird Center

A photo of professor Chris Williams with students holding a UD Bluehen flag

The University of Delaware's Waterfowl and Upland Gamebird Center is part of an internationally recognized, teaching and research program aimed to:

  • Improve science-based knowledge for understanding and conserving gamebirds in the Mid-Atlantic through yearly fellowships.
  • Assure future classes in Waterfowl Ecology and Waterfowl Hunter Education to become a permanent educational opportunity for future undergraduates.
  • Provide outreach on waterfowl and wetland conservation for public and private stakeholders.

In 2020-2021, the Waterfowl and Upland Gamebird Center's staff of 13 graduate and undergraduate students, in partnerships with State and Federal Agencies and Non-Governmental Organizations, are actively researching priority conservation issues to assure we are improving wildlife populations and healthy ecosystems.

In 2020-2021, the Waterfowl and Upland Gamebird Center's staff of 13 graduate and undergraduate students, in partnerships with State and Federal Agencies and Non-Governmental Organizations, are actively researching priority conservation issues to assure we are improving wildlife populations and healthy ecosystems.

Taking flight in challenging times

From the desk of Chris Williams, Ph.D. Director of the University of Delaware Waterfowl and Upland Gamebird Center

The last couple of years have been beyond challenging  for  the  nation during the COVID pandemic and our hearts go out to all those who suffered loss and adversity. Like so many Universities, the University of Delaware was hit hard; however, we all worked diligently to adapt our operations to assure personal safety while maintaining our core missions of education, research, and extension. The

University of Delaware's Waterfowl and Upland Gamebird Center was no exception and I am so proud of our students who soldiered on and continued to work hard to advance the science and conservation of waterfowl and upland gamebirds in the Mid-Atlantic, United States.

It is with great honor that in the last two years, two big events have occurred to assure that the University of Delaware will serve as a leader in waterfowl and upland gamebird conservation for generations to come. 

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First, from the generosity of several anonymous donors, the Waterfowl and Upland Gamebird program has built an endowment to assure continual funds will be available to assist with the research and educational operating expenses for generations to come.

Second, with our endowment, the University of Delaware designated us as an official Research and Education Center thus assuring our legacy and impact will last in perpetuity. Through the generosity of many philanthropists, North America has nine endowed waterfowl professors or programs to assure waterfowl and wetlands  research,  education,  and conservation is adequately supported   across the four Flyways. We are happy to add representation for the Mid-Atlantic and thus making a second endowed program on the Atlantic Flyway (shared with Clemson University) and a 10th professorship/program in North America.

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Photo of professor Chris Williams
Chris Williams, Ph.D.
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Video titled University of Delaware Waterfowl Hunter Education Course: youtube.com/watch?v=LTIVYa72WFs

Waterfowl Hunter Education

Due to the COVID lockdowns, we could not offer our waterfowl hunter education course during January 2021. However, we look forward to bringing this course back in winter of 2022 to provide this educational experience to undergraduate students who have never had the opportunity to experience hunting. With the support of Ducks Unlimited and Delta Waterfowl, we provide a 4 day course that talks about waterfowl conservation, wetland habitat management, the values associated with hunting, and well as provide the students with hunter safety education. On the last day of the class students have the opportunity to go on a mentored waterfowl hunt.