NR 220 and F 230 Information

The ultimate outdoor classroom

Natural Resource Ecology and Measurements, NR 220, is an experiential, place-based, natural resources course focused on the ecology of the Rocky Mountains and measurements that support natural resource management and research. This course integrates knowledge across natural resource disciplines, enabling you to understand key ecological and socio-cultural patterns, and processes that influence ecosystems. This course challenges you to develop your ability to solve contemporary and complex environmental problems.

Because NR 220 is a valuable and unique experiential learning opportunity, it is a required course for students in the Department of Forest & Rangeland Stewardship.

students sitting on alpine grass

NR 220

NR 220 is offered within the Warner College of Natural Resources as a four-week summer course at the Colorado State University Mountain Campus. Three sessions are held each summer. Student assignments, plus living and working together for an extended period of time, provide you with experience integrating across disciplines. Leadership skills and outdoor experiences are also provided.

The cost of the course is greater for junior and senior students and because the course is intended to integrate early in the curriculum, it is highly recommended that the course be taken the summer between the sophomore and junior year.

Week 1

  • Discipline Specific sessions
  • Natural Resource Ecology
  • Ecosystem components

Week 2

  • Field discipline measurements

Week 3-4

  • Build on preceding material
  • Integrate experiental learning across disciplines
  • Five community days study

*A mandatory orientation meeting for NR 220 and F 230 is held each spring semester.

F 230

Forestry Field Measurements is an additional two-week course required for those with forest concentrations in the Forest and Rangeland Stewardship major. The course develops your field skills using maps, compasses, and aerial photos; GPS; photo interpretation; tree and stand measurements; and stand volume and value estimates.

NR 220 Alternative Policy

Only as a result of exceptional circumstances are you allowed to opt out of NR 220 and pursue an alternative. Although rarely granted, you can submit a proposal to complete an alternative course or courses.

Alternatives must result in college credits that are transferrable to Colorado State University. Questions about how credits would transfer into CSU should be directed to the Registrar’s Office at CSU. Any proposed alternative is subject to review and approval by department faculty and staff. Proposals must be submitted prior to the semester you are scheduled to take NR 220.

For more information, see the NR 220 syllabus for the course’s learning objectives. Consider your career goals when designing an alternative.

Contact the Registrar’s Office after you’ve completed your alternative experience to fill out the necessary paperwork.

What are the alternative requirements for NR 220?

  • Alternative field experience must include research and field methods, teamwork and team building.
  • + Must include opportunities for students to learn and practice the basic field skills necessary for a natural resource career.
  • + Must include all topics covered in NR 220, including watershed science, rangeland ecology, forestry, wildlife and human dimensions of natural resources.

What steps do I take to request a NR 220 alternative?

Meet with your academic advisor to discuss your needs.

Write your proposal using the following guidelines:

  • Proposal is well-reasoned, organized and free of grammar and spelling errors
  • Explain your reasons for proposing an alternative
  • Describe in detail your proposed alternative
  • Express the value the alternative has to your education and career
  • Explain how the alternative offers similar knowledge, skills and abilities gained in NR 220.

Deliver your proposal to your academic advisor for review.

The department will contact you with a decision.

I transferred to CSU, can previous courses count as an alternative?

If you transferred from Front Range Community College (FRCC) to pursue a degree in FRS you may use the following course combinations from FRCC as an alternative:

NRE 100 Foundations of Forestry
NRE 110 Forestry Field Research
NRE 121 Introduction to Hydrology
NRE 205 Wildlife and Fisheries Management Principles

If you transfer this suite of three courses, it is your responsibility to ensure that an official transcript demonstrating proof of completion of these courses is received and reviewed by the CSU Registrar’s Office. After the courses are visible on your CSU record, you MUST contact your academic advisor to ensure that the courses will be used as an alternative for the NR 220 requirement.

What are examples of NR 220 alternatives?

The following field experiences are available to Natural Resources Management majors in need of an alternative.

If you plan to establish a career with international work or for non-profit organizations you may complete either the faculty-led field experience in Belize (NR 382B) or Kenya (NR 382A). These are both international field experiences organized by the Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources.

The following organizations also offer field courses elsewhere:

  • The School for Field Studies
  • Wild Rockies Field Institute
  • Tatoosh School: Northwest Connections