How many people does it take to write a bestselling textbook?

Guest post by Nova J. Silvy

How do you get 119 individuals to work on the same book? It takes professionalism, persistence, and dedication, plus an incredible passion for wildlife. Those 119 people provided expertise for the 37 chapters of the seventh edition of The Wildlife Society’s The Wildlife Techniques ManualThe volumes would not have been completed without the hard work of a huge number of people, and I am deeply grateful to these authors for their chapters, PowerPoint presentations, figures, and sample questions.

Wildlife professionals and students must constantly adapt to new challenges, technologies, and issues. But when does a landmark text need to be revised and what goes into the decision to revise a major textbook? In this case, the decision to reorganize the material and develop a two-volume set was made after major university users of the Techniques Manual were surveyed to determine what chapters they were using in university courses and for what type of courses. The surveys identified two major use areas: (1) courses in wildlife research techniques and (2) courses in wildlife habitat management techniques. Respondents indicated that most wildlife students and professionals would read most, and possibly all, chapters at some point in their education and career and the division between research and management was both practical and logical.

The new Techniques Manual, divided into a volume about research techniques and one focused on management techniques, is user friendly to both students and instructors. Key words and phrases appear in boldface type to aid students studying the chapters.  Students and instructors can also access PowerPoint presentations, figures, and sample questions.  Lastly, the edition features seven new chapters: four on research techniques and three on management techniques. Thanks to the diligence of all 119 contributors, we have a practical and updated edition that promises to be the most comprehensive resource on wildlife biology, conservation, and management for years to come.

Visit The Wildlife Society’s website for a preview of the new edition and a list of additional resources for students and instructors.

Nova J. Silvy is Regents Professor in the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences at Texas A&M University and editor of The Wildlife Techniques Manual, available from the JHU Press.