Renewable Natural Resources - BS

Professional Fields of Study and Department Heads

Rangeland, Wildlife and Fisheries Management - Cliff Lamb, Interim Head

Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences - Scott Shafer, Head

Ecology and Conservation Biology - Kirk Winemiller, Interim 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.

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
FallSemester Credit Hours
AGEC 105 Introduction to Agricultural Economics 3
RENR 205
RENR 215
Fundamentals of Ecology
and Fundamentals of Ecology--Laboratory
4
Select one of the following: 1
Introduction to Natural Resources and Ecosystem Management  
Exploring Ecosystem Science and Management  
Introduction to Wildlife and Fisheries  
Select one of the following: 3-4
Forest Trees of North America  
Wildland Plants of North America  
Agrostology  
Rangeland Plant Taxonomy  
Natural History of the Vertebrates  
Natural History of the Invertebrates  
Communication 1 3
 Semester Credit Hours14
Spring
CHEM 119 Fundamentals of Chemistry I 4
ESSM 281 Seminar in Ecosystem Science and Management 1
Communication 1 3
Mathematics 3
American history 1 3
 Semester Credit Hours14
Summer
BIOL 101
Botany
or Essentials in Biology
4
 Semester Credit Hours4
Second Year
Fall
ESSM 318 Coupled Social and Ecological Systems 3
Select one of the following: 3-4
Soil Science  
Plant Functional Ecology and Adaptation  
Biogeochemistry and Global Change  
Ecology of Lakes and Rivers  
Wetland Ecosystem Management  
American history 1 3
Mathematics 3
Emphasis area elective 2 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
or Ecology of the Coastal Zone
3
Government/Political science 3 3
Emphasis area elective 2 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Summer
Select one of the following: 4 3
Internship  
Internship  
Internship  
 Semester Credit Hours3
Third Year
Fall
ESSM 351/RENR 405 Geographic Information Systems for Resource Management 3
Select one of the following: 3
Environmental and Natural Resource Economics  
Natural Resources Policy  
Environmental Impact Assessment  
Fish and Wildlife Laws and Administration  
Government/Political science 3 3
Language, philosophy and culture 3
Emphasis area elective 2 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Spring
Select one of the following: 3-4
Soil Science  
Plant Functional Ecology and Adaptation  
Biogeochemistry and Global Change  
Ecology of Lakes and Rivers  
Wetland Ecosystem Management  
Creative arts 1 3
Emphasis area elective 2 3
Emphasis area elective 2 3
 Semester Credit Hours12
Fourth Year
Fall
ESSM 481
Senior Seminar
or Seminar
1
RENR 375 Conservation of Natural Resources 3
Emphasis area elective 2 3
Emphasis area elective 2 3
General elective 3
 Semester Credit Hours13
Spring
RENR 410 Ecosystem Management 4
Emphasis area elective 2 3
Emphasis area elective 2 3
General elective 3
General elective 2
 Semester Credit Hours15
 Total Semester Credit Hours120