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Natural Resource Management and Sustainability

The natural resource management and sustainability major is suited for students interested in natural resource management, but who seek a more flexible curriculum.  The curriculum provides a combination of knowledge and skills in biological and ecological sciences, natural resource management and social sciences needed to address complex natural resource challenges. The major has two areas of emphasis from which students can choose:

  • Geospatial Information Science
  • Water and Soil Resources


Students in the natural resource management and sustainability major have the flexibility to integrate courses from one or more of the other majors.  Additionally, curricula in the areas of emphasis are designed to facilitate earning an interdisciplinary certificate in the area of study. Graduates will be prepared to pursue careers in the public and private sectors, or pursue additional training in graduate studies.

Geospatial Information Science Area of Emphasis

The geospatial information science area of emphasis provides students with a foundation in natural resource management coupled with extensive training in Geographic Information Systems. Increasingly, employers hiring graduates from natural resource programs require primary training geospatial analysis.  These employers range from forest products companies who use the technology to identify wood supply zones and better schedule truck delivery routes to public agencies that use the technology to delineate habitat for threatened or endangered species.

Students pursuing the Geospatial Information Science area of emphasis are encouraged to also enroll in the GIS Certificate Program through the Department of Geography.

Course Sequences

Water and Soil Resources Area of Emphasis

The Water and Soil Resources major emphasizes assessment, conservation, and rehabilitation of the soil, water, wetland, and endangered species components of the natural landscape. The curriculum is broad-based, furnishing a comprehensive understanding of the physical and biological elements of the natural environment, an appreciation of the social, political, and economic forces that influence natural resources policy decisions, and the ability to analyze natural resource problems to forge realistic solutions.

Through appropriate choice of electives, students can meet the educational requirements for Certified Soil Scientist (by the Soil Science Society of America) and/or prepare for the certified hydrologist exam offered by the American Institute of Hydrologists.

Course Sequences