Natural Resources Management Degrees
The goal of the natural resources management major is to provide students with a broad-based understanding of the interconnectedness of social, political, and ecological systems. This knowledge will enable students to design sustainable solutions to address natural resource conservation and management problems. Students will learn about natural resource stewardship in both theory and practice, with an eye toward designing systems that are adaptable and resilient in light of the social and ecological complexity and change that characterize today’s challenges.
Using an integrative approach, students will learn how to develop local solutions that are sustainable and ethical at larger, global scales. Environmental issues such as land-use change and planning, conservation biology, energy use, climate change, renewable resource management, and citizen engagement in place-based conservation will be addressed. Field measurements and field skills are important components of this major, and students are required to attend a 4-week summer field course in ecological investigations and resource management.
Specific objectives are to provide each student with: 1) a science-based core curriculum in biological, physical, and social sciences; 2) a broad foundation in natural resources science and environmental management; and 3) specialization in a subject relevant to natural resources management. The breadth of the major allows students to specialize in a wide range of topics, including conservation biology, geographic information systems, forest management, rangeland ecology, restoration ecology, natural resource policy, recreation resources, watershed management, wildlife management, or other topics related to natural resources management. This specialization is accomplished by coupling the major with a required minor, typically declared by a student’s junior year.
Students are encouraged to participate in internships and obtain related work experience. Participating in seasonal and voluntary work, internships, and cooperative education opportunities will enhance your chances for permanent full-time employment. The department offers numerous opportunities to become engaged in these kinds of endeavors. At the completion of the program, students should have the technical and communication skills that are critical to resolving important natural resource management problems.
Upon graduation students will:
- Demonstrate knowledge of a wide range of natural resource topics spanning ecological, social and physical aspects of wildland ecosystems.
- Demonstrate proficiency in an area of specialization through completion of a minor in an area complementary to natural resource management. Some minors that students find well-suited to develop a proficiency are Global Environmental Sustainability, Forestry, Rangeland Ecology, Ecological Restoration, Watershed Science, Conservation Biology or Environmental Affairs, though there are many additional options.
- Be able to apply their broad natural resources knowledge to create sustainable solutions at local, national, and global scales.
- Accurately communicate their knowledge of natural resources, both verbally and in written form.
Summer field experience with private and public organizations will further the student's overall learning experience, as will the four-week summer course at our mountain campus, Pingree Park. In general, the Natural Resources Management major gives students the educational foundation to address the complex issues of our changing society.
Students interested in both the management of natural resources as well as the allocation of natural capital used as inputs into production systems may like to peruse a dual degree in Natural Resource Management and Natural Resource Economics. Natural resource economics include non-renewable resources such as minerals and petroleum, renewable resources such as forests and fish, and more specialized resources such as land, water, biodiversity, wildlife, and other ecosystem services. In addition, the relationship between developing countries and resource use is a major area of study. A key component of many natural resource allocation problems is that decisions are linked from period to period; in other words, the decision environment is dynamic, rather than static. Examples include non-renewable resources such as minerals and petroleum, renewable resources such as forests and fish, and more specialized resources such as land, water, biodiversity, wildlife, and other ecosystem services.
All undergraduate students in Natural Resource Management are required to complete one summer of acceptable field experience prior to graduation. The student's advisor must approve a proposed field experience. This requirement may be met through summer employment in natural resources management, through an approved internship, or through volunteer work with a land management agency or non-governmental agency. Warner College of Natural Resources employs a career counselor who provides assistance for students seeking summer or seasonal work as well those seeking career positions.
The forestry program provides high quality education in forestry and related disciplines; develops knowledge through scholarly endeavors; and disseminates information to the profession, the public, and the community through service and outreach. This focus on forestry extends into the broader arena of natural resources and environmental sciences through collaboration across the college and university.
This curriculum is accredited by the Society of American Foresters.
Forest landscapes are always changing, sometimes very slowly as a result of long-term processes, followed by rapid changes as a result of fires or harvesting. Sustaining forests in the modern world requires managers who understand these changes, and how forests connect to global, ecological, and social systems.
The Forestry Major spans the entire range of experiences necessary to build skills for the forestry profession. Curricula include a broad background in the biological, physical, and management sciences, followed by professional forestry courses.
As a sophomore or junior in this major, you will spend a month or more at Pingree Park , our mountain campus near Rocky Mountain National Park. Hands-on field studies include: 1) the identification and ecology of forest plants and animals, 2) wildland fire measurements, 3) forest mapping, 4) and forest measurements. You will enhance your education through exposure to field forestry operations and state-of-the-art computing facilities.
- Effectively communicate knowledge of forestry and natural resources, both verbally and in writing.
- Demonstrate proficiency in subject areas outside their major study focus, including principles/issues in wildlife, water, recreation, wilderness, soil, range and fishery resources.
- Demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of subject areas relevant to the major fields of study in forest sciences, including forest ecology and forest management and apply this knowledge in a complex, problem-solving environment.
Warner College of Natural Resources employs a career counselor who provides assistance for students seeking summer or seasonal work as well those seeking career positions.
You may specialize in one of four concentrations in the Forestry Major. These concentrations provide you with professional training in the fundamental principles of multiple-use forestry and ecosystem management. At the same time, you will develop a broad understanding of the sciences and improve your communication abilities. Each of the four concentrations leads to a Bachelor of Science degree.
This concentration is intended for students who wish to focus on the biology of trees and the ecology of forests. If your interest is in the growth of trees or the functioning of ecosystems that are comprised of many plant and animal species, this concentration will meet your needs.
This concentration makes available to the student the latest knowledge in the study of fire as an ecological process, as well as the application of fire as a forest management tool. Although wildfires destroy valuable forest resources, you will learn how prescribed fire can be used to enhance wildlife habitat, prepare seedbeds, control forest insect and disease, and reduce fire hazards.
This concentration is designed for students primarily interested in managing forested lands. Graduates from this concentration are employed by state and federal land management agencies, private forest land owners, consultants, conservation organizations, and other firms and agencies. If you elect to pursue this concentration, you will learn about forest productivity, economics, and conservation along with the latest in computer-based management tools.
If you seek employment with a private timber company, or if you want to develop your own forest business, this concentration will help you meet your goals. You will learn business applications as they relate to forest management. This concentration will also prepare you for the master of business administration (MBA) program.
Rangeland Ecology Degrees
The Rangeland Ecology undergraduate program emphasizes interdisciplinary study of, and research on, the world's rangelands. These rangelands occupy nearly 50 percent of the earth's land surface and consist of natural grasslands, savannas, shrublands, riparian areas, deserts, tundra, alpine communities, and coastal marshes.
This program was the first in the nation to be accredited by the Society for Range Management and is the only undergraduate degree program in ecology.
Colorado provides an ideal setting for the study of rangeland ecology and management. East of the Colorado State University campus are the shortgrass plains where buffalo co-evolved with the natural grasslands. West of the campus are the beautiful Rocky Mountains, which contain high elevation grassland parks and riparian areas. Within a 100-mile radius of the campus are six national forests, a national grassland, Rocky Mountain National Park, and several wilderness areas. These sites provide students a unique opportunity to gain experience in a wide variety of rangeland ecosystems.
Students in the Rangeland Ecology program have the opportunity to take summer courses at the Pingree Park Campus in the Rocky Mountains, participate in field trips to various research sites in Colorado, and enjoy both the social and educational activities of the Colorado State Range Ecology Club.
Students are prepared to understand and manage the animal, soil and vegetation resources on rangelands for state and federal land managing agencies as well as a variety of private companies and non-governmental agencies.
The curricula meets U.S. Civil Service requirements for range conservationist and soil conservationist. It is possible, with a few additional courses, to meet U.S. Civil Service requirements for soil scientist and ecologist. Students with such training are generally employed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Forest Service, or private industry (e.g., conservation groups, reclamation firms, private consulting companies, etc.).
Upon graduation students will:
- have developed an in-depth understanding of basic plant and animal biology and physical sciences as they relate to the field of rangeland science;
- understand the important concepts of ecology and rangeland management;
- understand economics and how to use it to evaluate alternatives;
- be skilled in problem solving and decision making; and
- have developed communication, political, and interpersonal skills to make their education effective.
Three concentrations can be selected within the Rangeland Ecology major. Each of the concentrations leads to a Bachelor of Science degree.
Range and forest management prepares students in multiple-use principles to manage and administer both rangeland and forest resources for federal and state government agencies or private businesses.
Restoration ecology provides students with skills important to restoration and rehabilitation of damaged rangeland ecosystems.
Rangeland conservation and management focuses on multi-use rangeland management issues and techniques.
*Please note that the new Conservation & Management concentration, effective Fall 2010, will replace the former Management concentration. Please see an advisor if you have questions about this change.