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.

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Natural Resources Management Major


NRM Advising Guide 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. In general, the Natural Resources Management major gives students the educational foundation to address the complex issues of our changing society.

Natural Resource Management / Natural Resource Economics Dual Degree


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.

Summer Field Experience

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.