Natural Resources (BS): Ecosystem Assessment Concentration

To see more about what you will learn in this program, visit the Learning Outcomes website!

Two natural resources curricula are offered by the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources. The curricula are also accredited by the Society of American Foresters and produce natural resources professionals with a broad interdisciplinary background coupled with specifically focused skills needed to manage natural resources. The Natural Resources curricula include a series of common courses to highlight the integrated nature of work by interdisciplinary teams.

The curriculum in Natural Resources Ecosystem Assessment produces graduates who have knowledge and skills to inventory and describe ecosystems characteristics and to evaluate the impacts of management decisions. Ecosystem assessment or environmental impact assessment is an important part of development planning that calls for individuals who understand ecosystem structure and processes; who can identify, measure, inventory, and describe ecosystems; and who can apply standard evaluation and classification systems such as wildlife habitat evaluation procedures and the federal wetland delineation criteria. The curriculum entails a strong science base, as well as advanced courses in sampling and measurements, vegetation, soils, hydrology, and wildlife and fisheries are added. The 400-level courses also address techniques and issues of natural resource management.

The curriculum in Natural Resources Policy and Administration produces graduates who have knowledge and skills to manage natural resources programs in a variety of settings and organizations with an emphasis on public agencies. The advanced courses of the curriculum provide background in economics, policy, government, public administration, and natural resources management. An economics track begins with introductory microeconomics and culminates with environmental economics and public finance. Courses in government and public administration provide knowledge of how public institutions work. Courses in forestry, wildlife and fisheries, and outdoor recreation provide techniques of managing natural ecosystems for various uses. A common thread of how public policy on natural resources is influenced and developed runs through many of the courses already noted and culminates in two senior courses that focus on policy. For information on entrance requirements, contact the program coordinator:

Dr. George Hess
Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, NCSU
Box 8008
Raleigh, NC 27695-8002
Phone: (919) 515-7437
Fax: (919) 515-8149
E-mail: george_hess@ncsu.edu

Plan Requirements

Plan of Study Grid
First YearHours
ENV 100 Student Success in Environmental First Year 1
ENV 101 Exploring the Environment 2
BIO 181 Introductory Biology: Ecology, Evolution, and Biodiversity 4
CH 101
CH 102
Chemistry - A Molecular Science
and General Chemistry Laboratory
4
Math Electives 6
FOR 150 Critical Thinking and Data Analysis 2
Acad Writing Research 1 4
Select one of the following: 3
Introduction to Agricultural & Resource Economics  
Introduction to Agricultural & Resource Economics  
Principles of Microeconomics  
Fundamentals of Economics  
 Hours26
Second Year
COM 110
Public Speaking
or Interpersonal Communication
3
Physics Elective 4
FOR 252 Introduction to Forest Science 3
FOR 339 Dendrology 4
SSC 200
SSC 201
Soil Science
and Soil Science Laboratory
4
PS 201
American Politics and Government
or State and Local Government
3
 Hours21
Third Year
ENG 333 Communication for Science and Research 3
Select one of the following: 4
Ecology  
Forest Ecology  
Ecology  
NR 300 Natural Resource Measurements 4
NR 301 Practicum for Professional Development I 1
Spatial Technology Elective 3
ST 311 Introduction to Statistics 3
ARE 336 Introduction to Resource and Environmental Economics 3
 Hours21
Summer
NR 360 Internship Experience 3
 Hours3
Fourth Year
NR 400 Natural Resource Management 4
NR 460 Renewable Natural Resource Management and Policy 3
NR 484 Environmental Impact Assessment 4
Select one of the following: 3
Conservation Biology in Practice  
Wildlife Management  
Wildlife Habitat Management  
 Hours14
 Total Hours85
Technical Electives
Management Sciences6
Resource Sciences16
GEP Courses
GEP Humanities6
GEP Health and Exercise Studies2
GEP Additional Breadth (Humanities/Social Sciences/Visual and Performing Arts)3
GEP Interdisciplinary Perspectives2
GEP U.S. Diversity (verify requirement)
GEP Global Knowledge (verify requirement)
Foreign Language Proficiency (verify requirement)
Total Hours35

Acad Writing Research

Acad Writing Research
ENG 101Academic Writing and Research4
FLE 101Academic Writing and Research4
Transfer Sequence
ENG 1GEP100 Level English Composition3
ENG 202Disciplinary Perspectives in Writing

Math Electives

MA 114Introduction to Finite Mathematics with Applications3
MA 121Elements of Calculus3
MA 131Calculus for Life and Management Sciences A3
MA 141Calculus I4
MA 231Calculus for Life and Management Sciences B3
MA 241Calculus II4

Physics Electives

PY 131Conceptual Physics4
PY 205Physics for Engineers and Scientists I3
PY 206Physics for Engineers and Scientists I Laboratory1
PY 211College Physics I4

Spatial Technology Electives

FOR 353GIS and Remote Sensing for Environmental Analysis and Assessment3
GIS 510Fundamentals of Geospatial Information Science and Technology3
SSC 440Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in Soil Science and Agriculture3
SSC 540Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in Soil Science and Agriculture3

Management Science Electives

Management Category
ACC 200Introduction to Managerial Accounting3
ACC 220Introduction to Managerial Accounting3
ACC 280Survey of Financial and Managerial Accounting3
FOR 248Forest History, Technology and Society3
FW 221Conservation of Natural Resources3
FW 333Conservation Biology in Practice3
GIS 295Special Topics in Geospatial Information Science1-4
LAR 430Site Planning3
NR 350International Sustainable Resource Use4
PRT 350Outdoor Recreation Management3
PRT 451Principles of Recreation Planning and Facility Development3
Economics Category
ARE 301Intermediate Microeconomics3
ARE 304Agribusiness Management3
EC 301Intermediate Microeconomics3
EC 348Introduction to International Economics3
EC 410Public Finance3
FOR 319Forest Economics3
Policy Category
ARE 309Environmental Law & Economic Policy3
FOR 414World Forestry3
FW 411Human Dimensions of Wildlife and Fisheries3
FW 511Human Dimensions of Wildlife and Fisheries3
MIE 305Legal and Regulatory Environment3
NR 406Conservation of Biological Diversity3
PS 201American Politics and Government3
PS 202State and Local Government3
PS 312Introduction to Public Administration3
PS 320U.S. Environmental Law and Politics3
PS 336Global Environmental Politics3
PS 401American Political Parties3

Resource Science Electives

Flora
CS 414Weed Science4
FOR 204Silviculture2
FOR 261Forest Communities2
FOR 265Fire Management1
FOR 273Forest System Mapping and Mensuration II3
FOR 303Silvics and Forest Tree Physiology3
FOR 318Forest Pathology3
FOR 330North Carolina Forests3
FOR 411Forest Tree Genetics and Biology3
PB 220Local Flora3
PB 345Economic Botany3
PB 400Plant Diversity and Evolution4
PB 403Systematic Botany4
PB 421Plant Physiology3
PB 464Rare Plants of North Carolina3
PB 503Systematic Botany4
PB 564Rare Plants of North Carolina3
PP 318Forest Pathology3
Fauna
AEC 419Freshwater Ecology4
AEC 420Introduction to Fisheries Science3
AEC 423Introduction to Fisheries Sciences Laboratory1
AEC 441Biology of Fishes3
AEC 442Biology of Fishes Laboratory1
AEC 460Field Ecology and Methods4
AEC 501Avian Ecology4
AEC 509Ecology and Conservation of Freshwater Invertebrates3
AEC 519Freshwater Ecology4
AEC 586Aquaculture3
ENT 402Forest Entomology3
ENT 425General Entomology3
ENT 509Biology of Aquatic Insects3
FOR 264Forest Wildlife1
FOR 402Forest Entomology3
FOR 430Forest Health and Protection3
FW 311Piedmont Wildlife Ecology and Management3
FW 312Fisheries Techniques and Management1
FW 313Mountain Wildlife Ecology and Management1
FW 314Coastal Ecology and Management1
FW 353Wildlife Management3
FW 373Vertebrate Natural History3
FW 403Urban Wildlife Management3
FW 404Wildlife Habitat Management3
FW 405Tropical Wildlife Ecology3
FW 444Mammalogy3
FW 544Mammalogy3
FW 586Aquaculture3
MEA 220Marine Biology3
ZO 333Captive Animal Biology3
Earth Sciences
AEC 380Water Resources: Global Issues in Ecology, Policy, Management, and Advocacy3
ES 150Water and the Environment3
ES 200Climate Change and Sustainability3
FOR 420Watershed and Wetlands Hydrology4
FOR 520Watershed and Wetlands Hydrology4
GEO 200Principles of Geography3
MEA 200Introduction to Oceanography3
MEA 210Oceanography Lab1
MEA 250Introduction to Coastal Environments3
MEA 251Introduction to Coastal Environments Laboratory1
MEA 300Environmental Geology4
NR 420Watershed and Wetlands Hydrology4
NR 421Wetland Science and Management3
NR 520Watershed and Wetlands Hydrology4
NR 521Wetland Science and Management3
SSC 421Role of Soils in Environmental Management3
SSC 442Soil and Environmental Biogeochemistry3
SSC 452Soil Classification4
SSC 455Soils, Environmental Quality and Global Challenges3
SSC 461Soil Physical Properties and Plant Growth3
SSC 470Wetland Soils3
SSC 570Wetland Soils3

Semester Sequence

This is a sample.

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Fall SemesterHours
BIO 181 Introductory Biology: Ecology, Evolution, and Biodiversity 4
GEP Health and Science Studies 1
ENG 101 Academic Writing and Research 1 4
Math Elective 3
ENV 100 Student Success in Environmental First Year 1
ENV 101 Exploring the Environment 2
 Hours15
Spring Semester
CH 101
CH 102
Chemistry - A Molecular Science
and General Chemistry Laboratory
4
FOR 150 Critical Thinking and Data Analysis 2
GEP Requirement 3
Math Elective 3
ARE 201
Introduction to Agricultural & Resource Economics
or Principles of Microeconomics
3
 Hours15
Second Year
Fall Semester
Physics Elective 4
GEP Health and Exercise Studies 1
FOR 339 Dendrology 4
GEP Requirement 3
 Hours12
Spring Semester
FOR 252 Introduction to Forest Science 3
SSC 200 Soil Science 3
PS 201
American Politics and Government
or State and Local Government
3
COM 110
Public Speaking
or Interpersonal Communication
3
 Hours12
Third Year
Fall Semester
Ecology Elective 4
NR 301 Practicum for Professional Development I 1
Spatial Technology Elective 3
ST 311 Introduction to Statistics 3
Technical Elective 4
 Hours15
Spring Semester
ARE 336 Introduction to Resource and Environmental Economics 3
ENG 333 Communication for Science and Research 3
NR 300 Natural Resource Measurements 4
GEP Requirement 3
Technical Elective 3
 Hours16
Summer
NR 360 Internship Experience 3
 Hours3
Fourth Year
Fall Semester
Technical Electives 6
NR 460 Renewable Natural Resource Management and Policy 3
NR 484 Environmental Impact Assessment 4
Wildlife Elective 3
 Hours16
Spring Semester
NR 400 Natural Resource Management 4
GEP Requirement 3
Technical Electives 9
 Hours16
 Total Hours120

Career Opportunities

Graduates of the Natural Resources Ecosystem Assessment curriculum work in environmental service firms, public agencies, non-governmental organizations, and industries. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the N.C. Division of Water Quality, and county and city governments employ graduates to help manage compliance with county, state, and federal environmental regulations, particularly wetlands and protected species. Non-governmental organizations and private engineering and environmental consulting firms employ graduates to prepare environmental impact statements and assessments, delineate wetlands, and conduct searches for threatened or endangered plant and animal species. The broad background in natural resources provided by this curriculum also provides a strong base for students interested in graduate school or environmental law.

The curriculum in Natural Resources Policy and Administration produces managers and administrators for public agencies and private organizations involved with management, administration, policy-making, planning, preservation, or regulation of natural resources. Examples are the USDI National Park Service, the US Environmental Protection Agency, the US Geological Survey, state and local government agencies, and not-for-profit environmental organizations. Background in government, economics, policy, and natural resource management also provides a strong base for students who wish to pursue a graduate program in natural resources economics and policy or environmental law.