Renewable Natural Resources - BS

Professional Fields of Study and Department Heads

Ecosystem Science and Management, Kathleen Kavanagh, Head
Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences, Gary D. Ellis, Head
Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, John B. Carey, Head

General Statement

Three departments offer degrees in specific areas of natural resources management and conservation. Students may select one of these degree programs or a broad approach to natural resource education by pursuing the multi-department degree in Renewable Natural Resources.

Renewable Natural Resources

Renewable Natural Resources (RENR) is for students desiring a rigorous education in the study and management of sustainable ecosystems for a wide variety of resource values. The RENR program of study is comprised of a core of courses and two emphases. The goal of this core/emphasis structure is to provide students with an identity as a renewable natural resources specialist, while, at the same time, affording the flexibility for preparation for a variety of career tracks. One emphasis focuses on management and the other on policy. Technical electives prepare the students in chosen educational and career directions. The underlying goal of the RENR degree is to integrate the scientific issues of renewable natural resources. Graduates of this program will be able to articulate these issues verbally and in writing in their chosen career. Therefore, the RENR degree emphasizes verbal presentations and major papers as well as field-oriented activities.

The RENR programs are designed to help students prepare for careers in public and private organizations associated with the planning and use of natural resources and the environment. Possible employment includes areas such as multi-use land management, environmental assessment, resource inventory, natural resource planning, law, policy analysis and land remediation.

An emphasis may be selected in policy or management. The RENR degree consists of 120 credit hours: 42 university core, 42-45 common to both emphasis areas and 24-27 designated by the emphasis area and 9 free elective hours.

RENR Areas of Emphasis

The BS in Renewable Natural Resources includes two emphasis areas for students to select. The directed electives available from advisors are what differentiates the emphases.

Management Emphasis

Designed for an education in the scientific management of integrated natural resources. In today’s world, it is important to have college graduates prepared to deal with integrated systems, accounting for all of the separate aspects of the system. The management emphasis seeks to prepare the student to integrate concerns related to land, water, air, plants and wildlife into the management process. Students select 24 credit hours of directed electives from an approved list in consultation with their advisor. The remaining 9 credit hours are free electives.

Policy Emphasis

Designed for students desiring an education in natural resources policy. This emphasis incorporates knowledge from all renewable natural resources disciplines, which provides a foundation for decision-making related to the environment. Students will obtain an understanding of the behavior of institutions and organizations associated with natural resource management.

Professionals associated with natural resources need to consider legislative mandates, community interests, resource evaluation and competing uses, and conflict management techniques. This emphasis prepares the student for work in private industry, public and non-profit agencies, and graduate school. Students must select 24 hours of restricted electives from an approved list in consultation with their advisor. The remaining nine hours are free electives.

Renwable Natural Resources Core Courses
ESSM 301Wildland Watershed Management3
ESSM 313Vegetation Sampling Methods and Designs in Ecosystems3
ESSM 318Coupled Social and Ecological Systems3
ESSM 351/RENR 405Geographic Information Systems for Resource Management3
RENR 205Fundamentals of Ecology3
RENR 375Conservation of Natural Resources3
RENR 410Ecosystem Management4
Introduction to Natural Resources
Select one of the following:1
Introduction to Natural Resources and Ecosystem Management
Exploring Ecosystem Science and Management
Introduction to Wildlife and Fisheries
Plant or Animal Taxonomy
Select one of the following:3-4
Forest Trees of North America
Wildland Plants of North America
Rangeland Plant Taxonomy
Natural History of the Vertebrates
Natural History of the Invertebrates
Select one of the following:3
Environmental and Natural Resource Economics
Natural Resources Policy
Environmental Impact Assessment
Fish and Wildlife Laws and Administration
Ecological Restoration
ESSM 320Ecosystem Restoration and Management3
or WFSC 418   or Ecology of the Coastal Zone 
Ecological Processes
Select two of the following:6-8
Plant Functional Ecology and Adaptation
Biogeochemistry and Global Change
Soil Science
Ecology of Lakes and Rivers
Wetland Ecosystem Management
ESSM 481Senior Seminar1
or WFSC 481   or Seminar 
Work Experience
Select one of the following: 13
Directed electives 224
Free electives9
College, University Requirements
AGEC 105Introduction to Agricultural Economics3
BIOL 101Botany4
or BIOL 113   or Essentials in Biology 
CHEM 101
CHEM 111
Fundamentals of Chemistry I
and Fundamentals of Chemistry Laboratory I
RENR 215Fundamentals of Ecology--Laboratory1
American history electives 36
Communications electives 36
Creative arts elective 33
Government/Political science electives 46
Language, philosophy, and cultural elective 33
Mathematics electives (MATH prefix preferred)6
Total Semester Credit Hours120