The goal of the Natural Resources Management major is to provide students with a broad-based understanding of the interconnectedness of social, political, and ecological systems. This knowledge will enable students to design sustainable solutions to address natural resource conservation and management problems. Students will learn about natural resource stewardship in both theory and practice, with an eye toward designing systems that are adaptable and resilient in light of the social and ecological complexity and change that characterize today’s challenges. Using an integrative approach, students will learn how to develop local solutions that are sustainable and ethical at larger, global scales. Environmental issues such as land-use change and planning, conservation biology, energy use, climate change, renewable resource management, and citizen engagement in place-based conservation will be addressed. Field measurements and field skills are important components of this major, and students are required to attend a four-week summer field course in ecological investigations and resource management.

Specific objectives are to provide each student with:

  1. a science-based core curriculum in biological, physical, and social sciences;
  2. a broad foundation in natural resources science and environmental management; and
  3. specialization in a subject relevant to natural resources management.

The breadth of the major allows students to specialize in a wide range of topics, including conservation biology, geographic information systems, forest management, rangeland ecology, restoration ecology, natural resource policy, recreation resources, watershed management, wildlife management, or other topics related to natural resources management. This specialization is accomplished by coupling the major with a required minor, typically declared by a student’s junior year.

Students are encouraged to participate in internships and obtain related work experience. Participating in seasonal and voluntary work, internships, and cooperative education opportunities will enhance your chances for permanent full-time employment. The department offers numerous opportunities to become engaged in these kinds of endeavors. At the completion of the program, students should have the technical and communication skills that are critical to resolving important natural resource management problems.

Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of a wide range of natural resource topics spanning ecological, social and physical aspects of wildland ecosystems
  • Demonstrate proficiency in an area of specialization through completion of a minor in an area complementary to natural resource management. Some minors that students find well-suited to develop a proficiency are Global Environmental Sustainability, Forestry, Rangeland Ecology, Ecological Restoration, Watershed Science, Conservation Biology, or Environmental Affairs, though there are many additional options
  • Be able to apply their broad natural resources knowledge to create sustainable solutions at local, national, and global scales
  • Accurately communicate their knowledge of natural resources, both verbally and in written form

Potential Occupations

Opportunities are available with a wide array of local, national, and international organizations and institutions involved in natural resource management. Graduates apply their education in science, technology, social science, and policy to solving today’s critical natural resource and environmental problems. Positions are found with federal, state, and local government agencies, industry, and education and advocacy organizations. Some natural resource professionals are employed in environmental consulting firms and corporate environmental departments. The nonprofit sector provides a variety of environmentally-related jobs, ranging from science application to policy development, education, and collaborative conservation.

Examples of available career choices include, but are not limited to: natural resource manager; professional forester; land use planner; geographic information system (GIS) or remote sensing specialist; fishery/wildlife manager; environmental policy analyst; environmental advocate; environmental consultant; resources/environmental lawyer (with continued education); youth agency administrator; natural resource communications specialist; law enforcement officer; natural resources/environmental educator; restoration specialist; multiple resource use planner; regulatory compliance enforcement officer.

Effective Fall 2015

BZ 110Principles of Animal Biology (GT-SC2)3A3
BZ 120Principles of Plant Biology (GT-SC1)3A4
CHEM 107Fundamentals of Chemistry (GT-SC2)3A4
CHEM 108Fundamentals of Chemistry Laboratory (GT-SC1)3A1
CO 150College Composition (GT-CO2)1A3
MATH 117College Algebra in Context I (GT-MA1)1B1
MATH 118College Algebra in Context II (GT-MA1)1B1
MATH 125Numerical Trigonometry (GT-MA1)1B1
NR 193FRS First Semester Seminar 1
SPCM 200Public Speaking 3
Arts and Humanities3B6
Electives 2
 Total Credits 30
ECON 202Principles of Microeconomics (GT-SS1)3C3
F 310/RS 310Forest and Rangeland Ecogeography 3
Select one from the following: 1
Dendrology Lab  
Rangeland Plant Identification Lab  
Select one from the following: 3
Exploring Earth - Physical Geology (GT-SC2)3A 
Geology of Natural Resources (GT-SC2)3A 
GEOL 121Introductory Geology Laboratory (GT-SC1)3A1
Select one from the following: 3
Fundamentals of Ecology (GT-SC2)3A 
SOCR 240Introductory Soil Science 4
STAT 301Introduction to Statistical Methods 3
Minor1 3
Global and Cultural Awareness3E3
Elective 2-3
 Total Credits 29-30
NR 220Natural Resource Ecology and Measurements 5
 Total Credits 5
Select one from the following: 3
Writing Arguments (GT-CO3)2 
Professional and Technical Communication (GT-CO3)2 
Select one from the following: 3
Forest Ecology  
Wildland Ecosystems in a Changing World  
F 322Economics of the Forest Environment 3
GR 304/WR 304Sustainable Watersheds3A3
NR 319Geospatial Applications in Natural Resources 4
NR 320Natural Resources History and Policy3D3
NR 326Forest Vegetation Management 3
Minor1 6
 Total Credits 28
F 326Wildland Fire Behavior and Management 3
NR 400Public Communication in Natural Resources4A,4B3
NR 420Integrated Ecosystem Management4C4
NR 421Natural Resources Sampling 3
RS 300Rangeland Conservation and Stewardship 3
Minor1 12
 Total Credits 28
 Program Total Credits: 120-121

At least 200 hours of acceptable professional work experience in the student's field prior to graduation is highly recommended.  This can include summer/seasonal/school semester employment in natural resource management through paid summer jobs, an approved internship, volunteer positions, or work study experience.  Acceptable work experience includes (but is not limited to) working for federal, state, non-governmental, private, and university organizations that research or manage natural resources, or are responsible for public policy or public relations related to natural resources. 

Distinctive Requirements for Degree Program:
Each student is required to complete acceptable professional experience besides NR 220 and the requirements of a minor in any discipline.


Semester 1CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
BZ 120Principles of Plant Biology (GT-SC1)X 3A4
CO 150College Composition (GT-CO2)  1A3
MATH 117College Algebra in Context I (GT-MA1)X 1B1
MATH 118College Algebra in Context II (GT-MA1)X 1B1
MATH 125Numerical Trigonometry (GT-MA1)X 1B1
NR 193FRS First Semester Seminar   1
Arts and Humanities  3B3
Elective   1
 Total Credits   15
Semester 2CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
BZ 110Principles of Animal Biology (GT-SC2)X 3A3
CHEM 107Fundamentals of Chemistry (GT-SC2)X 3A4
CHEM 108Fundamentals of Chemistry Laboratory (GT-SC1)  3A1
SPCM 200Public Speaking   3
Arts and Humanities  3B3
Elective   1
CO 150 must be completed by the end of Semester 2.X   
 Total Credits   15
Semester 3CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
ECON 202Principles of Microeconomics (GT-SS1)X 3C3
F 310/RS 310Forest and Rangeland Ecogeography   3
Select one course from the following:   1
Dendrology Lab    
Rangeland Plant Identification Lab    
Select one course from the following:X  3
Fundamentals of Ecology (GT-SC2)  3A 
SOCR 240Introductory Soil ScienceX  4
 Total Credits   14
Semester 4CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
Select one course from the following:   3
Exploring Earth - Physical Geology (GT-SC2)  3A 
Geology of Natural Resources (GT-SC2)  3A 
GEOL 121Introductory Geology Laboratory (GT-SC1)  3A1
STAT 301Introduction to Statistical MethodsX  3
Global and Cultural Awareness  3E3
Minor Course   3
Elective   2-3
 Total Credits   15-16
Semester 5CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
NR 220Natural Resource Ecology and MeasurementsX  5
 Total Credits   5
Semester 6CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
Select one course from the following:   3
Forest Ecology    
Wildland Ecosystems in a Changing World    
NR 319Geospatial Applications in Natural Resources   4
NR 326Forest Vegetation Management   3
Minor Course   3
Geospatial minors take NR 322 instead of NR 319.    
Forestry minors take F 325 instead of NR 326.    
 Total Credits   13
Semester 7CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
F 322Economics of the Forest Environment   3
GR 304/WR 304Sustainable WatershedsX 3A3
NR 320Natural Resources History and PolicyX 3D3
Select one course from the following:   3
Writing Arguments (GT-CO3)  2 
Professional and Technical Communication (GT-CO3)  2 
Minor Course   3
 Total Credits   15
Semester 8CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
Professional Work Experience    
 Total Credits   0
Semester 9CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
F 326Wildland Fire Behavior and Management   3
NR 400Public Communication in Natural ResourcesX 4A,4B3
RS 300Rangeland Conservation and Stewardship   3
Minor Courses   6
 Total Credits   15
Semester 10CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
NR 420Integrated Ecosystem ManagementX 4C4
NR 421Natural Resources SamplingX  3
Minor CoursesX  6
The benchmark courses for the 10th semester are the remaining courses in the entire program of study.X   
 Total Credits   13
 Program Total Credits:   120-121