Rangeland Ecology and Management - BS, Ranch Management Option

Students majoring in Rangeland Ecology and Management are taught to integrate knowledge and technology in a systems approach to manage land for sustainable utilization of natural resources. Emphasis is placed on conservation and maintenance of biological diversity in wet to arid environments and sustainable production, conservation and function of land. Rangelands comprise approximately 50% of the land area of the United States and the world. Natural resources on rangelands provide many products and values for society including: livestock grazing, habitat for game and non-game wildlife, water for urban and agricultural uses, recreational opportunities, minerals, oil and gas. The expansiveness and diversity of rangelands require that knowledge and technology be drawn from numerous disciplines.

Employment opportunities are diverse. They include all aspects of natural resource management, including ranch management, environmental consulting, conservation and natural resource planning on private lands and with state and federal agencies. Students also find employment in agribusiness sales, marketing, agricultural finance real estate, consulting and reclamation. Students can also pursue professional careers in teaching agricultural science.

Two options in the Rangeland Ecology and Management curriculum provide the opportunity for specialization in a minor field.

Ranch Management Option

Designed for students preparing for careers in ranch management and agribusiness. This option emphasizes management and utilization of rangeland for livestock and wildlife production. It provides excellent preparation for students desiring to obtain a Master of Agriculture degree in ranch management. Employment opportunities are available on private ranches, businesses, and industries supporting ranches and with state and federal agencies.

Emphasis Areas


Designed for students to explore and specialize in a diverse array of ecological topics. They study plants and animals and the ecological principles essential for effective conservation, management and restoration of the land and associated natural resources. They are prepared for careers in resource monitoring, management and conservation with state and federal agencies and the private sector.

Environmental Science

Designed for students preparing for professional careers in environmental management. The coursework includes a basic foundation of ecological sciences, plant taxonomy and rangeland management with emphasis on plants, water and soils. Job opportunities are available in environmental consulting firms, public utility companies, municipalities and federal environmental agencies. The curriculum provides a good foundation for students planning to pursue graduate studies in watershed management, environmental sciences, pollution control or waste management.

Preveterinary Medicine

Prepares students for admission to the professional program in veterinary medicine. Students planning to work in large animal practice would benefit from studies in rangeland ecology and management.

Range/Soil Conservation

Designed to qualify students as range management specialists or soil conservationists with the federal government. The curriculum will provide students with competitive ratings with federal Civil Service for positions with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management. Various electives and work experience may be used to increase the rating score. Job opportunities are also available in private and state organizations.


For students majoring in rangeland ecology and management who wish to teach. Directed electives may be chosen so that, following this curriculum, the student is eligible to enter the induction year as a teacher of agricultural science under the Texas Education Agency Plan. Off-campus student teaching is required.

Watershed Resources

For students preparing for a professional career in watershed management. Graduates qualify for employment as range management specialists and soil conservationists or, with proper selection of electives, as hydrologists. Opportunities are also available in environmental consulting firms, public utility companies, land reclamation firms, municipalities, secondary school education and private land management.

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
Rangeland Ecology and Management Core Courses
AGEC 325Principles of Farm and Ranch Management3
ESSM 302Wildland Plants of North America3
ESSM 303Agrostology3
or ESSM 304   or Rangeland Plant Taxonomy 
ESSM 314Principles of Rangeland Management Around the World3
ESSM 315Rangeland Inventory and Monitoring1
ESSM 316Range Ecology3
ESSM 317Vegetation Management3
ESSM 415Range Analysis and Management Planning 14
or RENR 410   or Ecosystem Management 
Ranch Management Option
ANSC 107General Animal Science3
ANSC 108General Animal Science Laboratory1
ANSC 302Basic Beef Cattle Production3
ANSC 320Animal Nutrition and Feeding3
Select one from:3
Environmental and Natural Resource Economics
Coupled Social and Ecological Systems
Changing Natural Resource Policy
Natural Resources Policy
Environmental Impact Assessment
Emphasis Area electives 115
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 2,36
Language, philosophy and culture elective 23
Mathematics electives (MATH prefix required)6
Total Semester Credit Hours120