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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 three areas of emphasis from which students can choose:

  • Community Forestry and Arboriculture
  • Geospatial Information Science
  • Water and Soil Resources

Curriculum

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.

 

 

Community Forestry and Arboriculture Area of Emphasis

A community forester works with children to measure a treeThe Community Forestry and Arboriculture area of emphasis prepares students for careers in community natural resources management. Through this program, students build an awareness of the issues facing community forestry and arboriculture, gain a foundation in current science and technology for the field, and learn from hands-on experiences. Students also take part in a three-week Maymester practicum as well as internships. This program is available as a bachelor’s or a master’s degree.

What is community forestry and arboriculture?

Community forestry is the art and science of managing individual trees, tree stands, forests, and green spaces. A community forester is involved in assessment and appraisal of urban trees and sites, community planning and design decisions related to trees, community engagement and education, developing ordinances for tree protection, maintaining reliable and safe utility lines, and more. A community forester often works with a variety of local leaders to sustainably protect and manage trees.

Arboriculture is the cultivation, health care, and management of individual trees in rural, suburban, and urban places, including trees that grow among community hardscapes, urban canyons, streets, highways, yards, parks, cemeteries, schools, rights-of-way, utility lines, and buildings. Through knowledge of tree biology and physiology, tree biomechanics, maintenance, health care and risk assessment, arborists address the range of challenges faced by trees in constrained, human-engineered environments. Arborists also use new technology to improve effectiveness and safety on the job, such as drone technology, spatial analysis data and software, and resistance-measuring devices.

Graduates gather resident input on trees, sites, and local environmental issues, and may work as:

  • Tree, forest, and environmental advocates for a interest groups and nongovernmental organizations
  • Municipal foresters
  • Commercial forest health care providers
  • Community planners, designers, and consultants

Graduates are also encouraged to become certified arborists through the International Society of Arboriculture. Arborists may work for:

  • Commercial tree health care and estate management firms
  • Municipal governments
  • Non-government organizations
  • Utility providers

Course Sequences

Related Minors and Certificate Programs

Students pursuing the Community Forestry and Arboriculture area of emphasis may be able to complete one or more of the following minor programs.

  • Environmental Soil Science minor (complete an additional 12 hours of coursework)
  • Geography minor (choose major electives from the approved list of GEOG courses plus six hours of additional GEOG courses)
  • Horticulture minor (use certain major electives toward this program plus an additional six additional hours, beyond the major requirements)
  • Water Resources certificate (take Senior Project or WASR 4400, and WASR(FORS) 4110 as a major elective, to fulfill the coursework requirements; students must also complete the associated seminar series)

Or, pursue one of our other certificate programs.

 

Want More Details? Contact Our Faculty

Rebecca Abney, assistant professor, forested soils and biogeochemistry

Holly Campbell, public service assistant, community forestry, wildland fire and wildland-urban interface

Kim Coder. professor and Hill Fellow, tree health care, arboriculture, community forest management, tree biomechanics and storms, risk assessment, tree biology, and urban forest ecology

Jason Gordon, assistant professor, human dimensions of urban and community natural resources

Larry Morris, Professor Emeritus, forest and urban soils, and reclamation and remediation of contaminated sites

 

Geospatial Information Science Area of Emphasis

Tripp Lowe flies a drone near the Warnell buildings.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 training in 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

Related Minors and Certificate Programs

Students pursuing the GIS area of emphasis in the natural resource management and sustainability major may be able to complete one or more of the following programs alongside the NRMS major, as circumstances allow. Warnell offers other certificate options as well.

  • GIS certificate (Have a B or higher in all courses counting toward the GIS certificate, including FANR 3800; students completing the GIS emphasis will have completed the coursework requirements for the certificate)
  • Water Resources certificate (Pick major electives that also fulfill the coursework requirements; several combinations are possible. Students must also complete the associated seminar series.)
  • Informatics certificate (Pick CSCI 2150 as a programming elective and also take INFO 2000 and one course from: BINF 4005, ENGL 4885, GEOG 2011-2011L, HPAM 4410, INFO 4150, or MIST 4610)

 

 

Water and Soil Resources Area of Emphasis

Water flows over rocks at the State Botanical GardenThe Water and Soil Resources area of emphasis promotes the 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

Related Minors and Certificate Programs

Students pursuing the water and soil resources area of emphasis in the natural resource management and sustainability major may be able to complete one or more of the following programs alongside the NRMS major, as circumstances allow. Warnell offers other certificate options as well.

  • Water Resources certificate (No additional coursework is needed to earn the water resources certificate, but students must complete an associated seminar series)
  • Environmental Soil Science minor (Pick two from the following: CRSS 4540, 4600, and 4610 and an additional course from among CRSS 4010, 4050, or 4590)
  • Environmental Health Science minor (Select EHSC 4310, 4350, 4610, and 4490 for electives, as well as EHSC 3060. A minimum grade of C is required for all courses applying toward the minor.)
  • GIS certificate (Must have a B or higher in all courses counting toward the GIS certificate, including FANR 3800. Students completing FANR 3800, GEOG 4330, and GEOG 4350 for their requirements can also take GEOG 4370.)
  • Informatics certificate (Must pick CSCI 2150 as a programming elective and GEOG 4330 and 4350 as major electives; then, take INFO 2000 and one course from: BINF 4005, ENGL 4885, GEOG 2011-2011L, HPAM 4410, INFO 4150, or MIST 4610.)