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. 

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
FallSemester Credit Hours
AGEC 105 Introduction to Agricultural Economics 3
ESSM 201 Exploring Ecosystem Science and Management 1
Select one of the following: 4
Botany  
Essentials in Biology  
Horticultural Science and Practices
and Horticultural Science and Practices Laboratory
 
RENR 205
RENR 215
Fundamentals of Ecology
and Fundamentals of Ecology--Laboratory
4
Communication 1 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Spring
ESSM 281 Seminar in Ecosystem Science and Management 1
ESSM 304 Rangeland Plant Taxonomy 4
Communication 1 3
Mathematics 3
General elective 1
 Semester Credit Hours12
Summer
CHEM 119 Fundamentals of Chemistry I 4
Language, philosophy and culture 1 3
 Semester Credit Hours7
Second Year
Fall
ESSM 303 Agrostology 3
Creative arts 1 3
Government/Political science 1,2 3
Mathematics 3
Emphasis area elective 3 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Spring
ESSM 301 Wildland Watershed Management 3
ESSM 313 Vegetation Sampling Methods and Designs in Ecosystems 3
ESSM 320 Ecosystem Restoration and Management 3
SCSC 301 Soil Science 4
Emphasis area elective 3 3
 Semester Credit Hours16
Third Year
Fall
ESSM 318 Coupled Social and Ecological Systems 3
ESSM 351/RENR 405 Geographic Information Systems for Resource Management 3
ESSM 406 Natural Resources Policy 3
American history 1 3
Emphasis area elective 3 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Spring
RENR 470 Environmental Impact Assessment 3
American history 1 3
Emphasis area elective 3 3
General elective 3
 Semester Credit Hours12
Fourth Year
Fall
ESSM 306
Plant Functional Ecology and Adaptation
or Biogeochemistry and Global Change
3
ESSM 416 Fire Ecology and Natural Resource Management 3
ESSM 420 Ecological Restoration of Wetland and Riparian Systems 3
ESSM 481 Senior Seminar 1
Emphasis area elective 3 3
Emphasis area elective 3 3
 Semester Credit Hours16
Spring
ESSM 430 Advanced Restoration Ecology 3
Government/Political science 1,2 3
Emphasis area elective 3 3
General elective 3
 Semester Credit Hours12
 Total Semester Credit Hours120