Ecological Restoration - BS

Ecological restoration is the process of repairing dysfunctional ecosystems to provide essential ecosystem goods and services important to society. The Ecological Restoration degree prepares students for a career that requires an understanding of the causes of land degradation and strategies for recovery of ecosystems damaged, degraded, or destroyed by natural or human causes.

The curriculum focuses on restoration of damaged ecosystems and landscapes, particularly terrestrial, wetland, and riparian systems in diverse settings that span the rural-urban spectrum. The discipline of ecological restoration requires a strong conceptual/theoretical foundation as well as a practical application component. This degree combines basic sciences, modern technologies, and contemporary ecological knowledge. Students will develop practical capabilities and gain critical understanding of the interaction of biophysical, socio-economic and political drivers that affect land degradation and restoration through a program that incorporates integrated coursework and an internship with ecological restoration practitioners.

Completion of this degree will prepare students to assess the causes of ecosystem degradation and to develop strategies for ecological restoration at multiple spatial scales. Graduates will be equipped for professional careers with environmental consulting companies, governmental and non-governmental land management organizations, and regulatory agencies. This degree program also provides a foundation for students planning to pursue advanced degrees in restoration ecology, disturbed land reclamation, natural resources conservation and management, or related fields. The total number of credit hours required for graduation is 120 hours.

Ecosystem Science and Management Core Courses
ESSM 201Exploring Ecosystem Science and Management1
ESSM 301Wildland Watershed Management3
ESSM 306Plant Functional Ecology and Adaptation3
or ESSM 311   or Biogeochemistry and Global Change 
ESSM 313Vegetation Sampling Methods and Designs in Ecosystems3
ESSM 351/RENR 405Geographic Information Systems for Resource Management3
ESSM 481Senior Seminar1
RENR 205Fundamentals of Ecology3
SCSC 301Soil Science4
Ecological Restoration Core Courses
ESSM 303Agrostology3
ESSM 304Rangeland Plant Taxonomy4
ESSM 318Coupled Social and Ecological Systems3
ESSM 320Ecosystem Restoration and Management3
ESSM 406Natural Resources Policy3
ESSM 416Fire Ecology and Natural Resource Management3
ESSM 420Ecological Restoration of Wetland and Riparian Systems3
ESSM 430Advanced Restoration Ecology3
RENR 470Environmental Impact Assessment3
Emphasis Area electives 121
Free electives8
University Core Curriculum
AGEC 105Introduction to Agricultural Economics3
Select one from:4
Essentials in Biology
Horticultural Science and Practices
and Horticultural Science and Practices Laboratory
CHEM 101
CHEM 111
Fundamentals of Chemistry I
and Fundamentals of Chemistry Laboratory I
RENR 215Fundamentals of Ecology--Laboratory1
American history electives 26
Communication electives 26
Creative arts elective 23
Government/Political science electives 36
Language, philosophy and culture elective 23
Mathematics electives (MATH prefix required)6
Total Semester Credit Hours120