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

Ecology

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.

Teaching

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.

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
FallSemester Credit Hours
AGEC 105 Introduction to Agricultural Economics 3
ESSM 201 Exploring Ecosystem Science and Management 1
RENR 205
RENR 215
Fundamentals of Ecology
and Fundamentals of Ecology--Laboratory
4
Select one of the following: 4
Botany  
Essentials in Biology  
Horticultural Science and Practices
and Horticultural Science and Practices Laboratory
 
Communication 1 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Spring
ANSC 107
ANSC 108
General Animal Science
and General Animal Science Laboratory
4
CHEM 119 Fundamentals of Chemistry I 4
ESSM 281 Seminar in Ecosystem Science and Management 1
American history 1 3
Communication 1 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Second Year
Fall
ESSM 302 Wildland Plants of North America 3
ESSM 314 Principles of Rangeland Management Around the World 3
ESSM 351/RENR 405
Geographic Information Systems for Resource Management
or Geographic Information Systems for Resource Management
3
Creative arts 1 3
Mathematics 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Spring
ANSC 320 Animal Nutrition and Feeding 3
ESSM 301 Wildland Watershed Management 3
ESSM 313 Vegetation Sampling Methods and Designs in Ecosystems 3
Government/Political science 1,2 3
Mathematics 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Summer
American history 1 3
 Semester Credit Hours3
Third Year
Fall
ANSC 302 Basic Beef Cattle Production 3
AGEC 325 Principles of Farm and Ranch Management 3
ESSM 315 Rangeland Inventory and Monitoring 1
ESSM 316 Range Ecology 3
SCSC 301 Soil Science 4
 Semester Credit Hours14
Spring
ESSM 303
Agrostology
or Rangeland Plant Taxonomy
3
ESSM 306
Plant Functional Ecology and Adaptation
or Biogeochemistry and Global Change
3
ESSM 317 Vegetation Management 3
Government/Political science 1,2 3
Emphasis area elective 3 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Fourth Year
Fall
ESSM 415
Range Analysis and Management Planning
or Ecosystem Management
4
ESSM 481 Senior Seminar 1
Language, philosophy and culture 1 3
Emphasis area elective 3 3
Emphasis area elective 3 3
 Semester Credit Hours14
Spring
Select one of the following: 3
Environmental and Natural Resource Economics  
Coupled Social and Ecological Systems  
Changing Natural Resource Policy  
Natural Resources Policy  
Emphasis area elective 3 3
Emphasis area elective 3 3
General elective 3
General elective 2
 Semester Credit Hours14
 Total Semester Credit Hours120