University Catalog 2023-2024

Natural Resources

The natural resources program is an interdepartmental program designed to prepare students for positions in both private and public natural resource organizations. A selection of technical options couple core courses in natural resources issues and management with a series of related courses in a variety of related technical disciplines. The purpose of the natural resources core curriculum is to educate professionals at a Master's level who are well-versed in policy and regulation and who have skills in quantitative assessments. Currently approved technical options include: assessment and analysis, ecological restoration, economics and management, policy and administration, international resources, hydrology, and geographic information systems in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources; outdoor recreation management in the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management; and landscape architecture in the Department of Landscape Architecture.  Each option is available as either the M.S. in NR or as the non-thesis Master of NR.

Admissions Requirements

Students should have an undergraduate degree in natural resources or a related field. Experience in natural resources management and administration will be considered in lieu of an appropriate undergraduate degree. Admission is contingent upon meeting departmental requirements and acceptance by an advisor.

Master's Requirements

The M.S. degree requires a research thesis based on completion of a research project. The Master of NR degree requires a practical project which develops and demonstrates problem-solving skills. Students enrolled in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources must take FOR 603 in the first or second semester. The minimum number of credit hours varies by technical option, but is generally 36 credit hours including research or project credits and core courses.


  • Robert Carroll Abt
  • Aziz Amoozegar
  • Carla E. Barbieri
  • Robert E Bardon
  • Jason N. Bocarro
  • Kofi Malik Boone
  • Caren Beth Cooper
  • Frederick Willis Cubbage
  • Myron Fran Floyd
  • Andrew Alan Fox
  • Douglas J. Frederick
  • Khara Deanne Grieger
  • John L. Havlin
  • George R. Hess
  • Fikret Isik
  • John S. King
  • Yu-Fai Leung
  • Ross Kendall Meentemeyer
  • Mark Arthur Megalos
  • Stacy Arnold Charles Nelson
  • Elizabeth Guthrie Nichols
  • Rajan Parajuli
  • Markus Nils Peterson
  • Joseph Peter Roise
  • Robert Michael Scheller
  • Erin Lynn Seekamp
  • Erin Odonnell Sills
  • Kurt Smith
  • Michael John Vepraskas
  • Kevin M. Potter
  • Marcelo Luise Ardon Sayao
  • Gary B. Blank
  • Gene Leroy Brothers
  • Bethany Brooke Cutts
  • Jason Aaron Delborne
  • Michael B. Edwards
  • Ryan E. Emanuel
  • Christopher Galik
  • Madhusudan Vithal Katti
  • Fernando H. Magallanes
  • Duarte B. Morais
  • Theodore Henry Shear
  • Mirela Gabriela Tulbure
  • Candace Goode Vick
  • Rachel Louise Cook
  • Ayse Ercumen
  • Jodi Anne Forrester
  • Joshua Michael Gray
  • Jordan Kern
  • Lincoln Ray Larson
  • Zakiya Holmes Leggett
  • Katherine Lee Martin
  • Rajan Parajuli
  • Leah Rathbun
  • Louie Rivers
  • Kathryn Tate Stevenson
  • Jelena Vukomanovic
  • Jennifer Richmond Bryant
  • Stephanie Breard Jeffries
  • Laura Gray Tateosian


NR 500/NR 400  Natural Resource Management  (4 credit hours)  

Theory and practice of integrated natural resource management. Quantitative optimization, economics of multiple-use, compounding and discounting, optimal rotations, linear programming. Public and private management case studies and team projects.

Prerequisite: Senior standing in NR or ES or ETM or FOM or FWCB

Typically offered in Spring only

NR 510  Military Land Sustainability  (3 credit hours)  

An introduction and overview of the factors that influence natural resource conservation and management on Department of Defense lands within a temporal, geographic, and environmental context and perspective. Students will gain knowledge of natural resource management and military land sustainability by reviewing (1) military land uses and training/test requirements, (2) major policies/laws impacting training/testing activities on DoD lands, and (3) planning approaches to military sustainability.

Typically offered in Fall only

NR 511  Managing Natural Resources in an Arena of Conflict  (3 credit hours)  

Public policy issues, such as management of natural resources, are pervasive with conflicts. Surpassing political, jurisdictional, institutional, and geographic boundaries, natural resources and environmental issues can represent multiple dimensions of uncertainties and complexities. Effective management of public issues then is an important task (and topic) for natural resource professionals who are often required to develop management strategies to resolve or at best, reduce the level of the conflict. This course examines theories and approaches for managing natural resource conflict, with emphasis on the field of public or alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and its spectrum of collaborative approaches. Undergraduate degree or instructor approval required.

Typically offered in Fall only

NR 512  Land Use Policy & Management  (3 credit hours)  

Graduate course reviewing the history, formation and implementation of major natural resource laws and policies that impact land uses. This course will provide an overview of federal laws and policies that affect decision making by land managers. Weekly lectures will be followed by student presentations of a selected case study of their choosing in the final weeks of the course. Current natural resource / land management (including forestry, air, water, wildlife, climate change and energy) programs and institutions are discussed, analyzed and related to current land use and management policy challenges.

Restriction: undergraduate degree or instructor approval

Typically offered in Spring only

NR 520/FOR 420/NR 420/FOR 520  Watershed and Wetlands Hydrology  (4 credit hours)  

Principles of hydrologic science; classification and assessment of watersheds and stream networks; hydrologic, erosion, and water quality processes in natural and managed watersheds; wetlands hydrology; hydrologic measurements and data analysis; applications of hydrology and water quality management for forest agriculture, and urban ecosystems; watershed restoration. Emphasis field study of watersheds and hydrologic measurements. Two weekend field trips are required. Credit will not be given for both FOR(NR)420 and FOR(NR)520.

Prerequisite: SSC 200 and (FOR 260 or PB 360 or AEC 360)

Typically offered in Fall only

NR 521/NR 421  Wetland Science and Management  (3 credit hours)  

This course is designed to familiarize students with relevant science, technology and policy necessary to understand wetlands and their unique roles in natural and human-modified environments. The course covers wetland definitions and systems of classification used by scientists and policy-makers. Students will learn about relevant hydrological, ecological and pedological processes, and methods for assessing ecological functions of wetlands. Students will practice identifying and delineating wetlands in accordance with federal and state regulatory programs and procedures. Students will learn about evolving efforts to integrate wetland science into federal and state regulatory frameworks. Two daylong field trips are required.

Prerequisite: SSC 200, (PB 360 or AEC 360 or FOR 260), and FOR 339

Typically offered in Spring only

NR 548  Historical Environments  (3 credit hours)  

Course examines how we know and what we know about historical environments. Compares and contrasts contributions by various disciplines and interdisciplinary approaches to historical ecology and environmental history. Readings drawn from science, social science and humanities literature. Individual investigation projects required.

Typically offered in Spring only

NR 554  Introduction to Data Analysis in Natural Resources  (3 credit hours)  

Data examination, cleaning, summary and visualization, statistical analyses options using various procedures of the SAS software and R with an emphasis on natural resource applications. Interpretation of statistical analyses outputs. Discussions of individual data problems. Hands-on use of computers and the SAS and R software.

Pre or Co-requisite of ST512

Typically offered in Spring only

NR 560/NR 460  Renewable Natural Resource Management and Policy  (3 credit hours)  

The interaction of legal principles and governmental institutions in the development and implementation of natural resource policy and management. Legal principles, constitutional provisions and the location and organization of governmental programs. Examples from both historic and current case studies.

Prerequisite: Junior standing.

GEP Social Sciences

Typically offered in Fall only

NR 571  Current Issues in Natural Resource Policy  (3 credit hours)  

Seminar providing an overview of current natural resource issues for the world and the U.S. Population, sustainable development, food and agriculture, forests, rangelands, biodiversity, energy resources, water resources, atmosphere and climate, international policies and instructions.

Typically offered in Fall only

NR 595  Special Topics in Natural Resources  (1-6 credit hours)  

Individual students or groups of students, under direction of a faculty member, may explore natural resources related topics of special interest not covered by existing courses. Format may consist of readings and independent study, problems, or research not related to thesis. Also used to develop and test new 500-level courses.

Typically offered in Fall and Spring

NR 601  Graduate Seminar  (1 credit hours)  

Weekly seminar in which students registered for course present the results of research and special projects. Invitation to all graduate students and faculty in department to attend and join discussion.

Typically offered in Fall and Spring

NR 610  Special Topics in Natural Resources  (1-6 credit hours)  

Individual students or groups of students, under direction of a faculty member, may explore natural resources related topics of special interest not covered by existing courses. Format may consist of readings and independent study, problems, or research not related to thesis. Also used to develop and test new 600-level courses.

Typically offered in Fall and Spring

NR 685  Master's Supervised Teaching  (1-3 credit hours)  

Teaching experience under the mentorship of faculty who assist the student in planning for the teaching assignment, observe and provide feedback to the student during the teaching assignment, and evaluate the student upon completion of the assignment.

Prerequisite: Master's student

Typically offered in Summer only

NR 693  Master's Supervised Research  (1-9 credit hours)  

Instruction in research and research under the mentorship of a member of the Graduate Faculty.

Prerequisite: Master's student

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer

NR 695  Master's Thesis Research  (1-9 credit hours)  

Thesis Research

Prerequisite: Master's student

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer

NR 696  Summer Thesis Research  (1 credit hours)  

For graduate students whose programs of work specify no formal course work during a summer session and who will be devoting full time to thesis research.

Prerequisite: Master's student

Typically offered in Summer only