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Natural Resource Stewardship Master of Natural Resource Stewardship (M.N.R.S.)

Course Descriptions

Core Courses

NR 566 – Natural Resource Inventory, Monitoring and Data Analysis

This course provides an introduction to sampling designs and their implementation and analysis for inventory and monitoring of forests, rangelands, wetlands and streams. Students will develop a solid understanding of the basic concepts of quantitative analysis and their application to the management of natural resources; design sampling strategies to characterize various natural resources (e.g., forests, rangelands, watersheds, streams); strengthen their ability to frame and formulate management decision problems based on information obtained from sampling; and interpret and evaluate data that relates natural resources management and processes. Development of computing skills for data entry, storage and analysis and the application of statistical techniques to answer questions relating to natural resource issues will also be addressed.

NR 567 – Analysis of Environmental Impacts

The national governments in the U.S. and globally are major sponsors of economic development projects that have significant impacts on the environment. The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 mandates that all federally---sponsored projects that significantly impact the quality of the human Environment must go through a detailed analysis of those impacts. The NEPA model has been replicated in many state and local policies, and around the world. At the core of NEPA is the analysis of environmental impacts, using certain analytical standards and requirements. The purpose of this class is to examine in detail the purpose, goals, and results of NEPA, and the analytical requirements and standards of environmental impact analysis. The course will incorporate real---world case studies, including local projects. An underlying theme is the role of science in environmental policy, with a special focus on renewable natural resource management settings.

NR 578 – Ecology of Disturbed Lands

Analysis of basic and applied ecological principles involved in the restoration of drastically disturbed lands.

NR 693 – Natural Resources Stewardship Seminar

This seminar begins with a review of tools needed to succeed in online academia and quickly segues into a forum for exploring current natural resource stewardship issues. Students will investigate issues of professional ethics in academia and in natural resources management, build their professional networks, and be exposed to different professions and opportunities within the natural resources field.

Specialization Courses

F 571 – Applied Forest Ecology

Concepts and theory of stand dynamics in relation to advanced ecological concepts within the Rocky Mountain Region and Intermountain West and applications of these concepts to natural disturbance-based management.

F 572 – Advanced Silviculture Practices

Application of forest ecology principles and silvicultural techniques to meet a wide range of desired conditions and resource objectives.

F 574 – Climate Adaptive Forest Management

Application of climate science and adaptive silviculture strategies to real-world forest management scenarios. This course fosters skills in evaluating and applying climate adaptation principles within a forest management context and communicating a range of climate change impacts and adaptation responses with diverse audiences.

F 624 – Fire Ecology

Fire in forest and range ecosystems; principles and techniques for evaluating fire effects on vegetation, soils, watersheds, and wildlife.

NR 552 – Ecology of Military Lands

Landscape ecology of military lands with emphasis on ecological processes and principles as related to militarily-induced disturbances.

NR 577 – Wetland Ecology and Restoration

Wetland hydrology, ecology and soils; assessing conditions and identifying common disturbances; restoration techniques, planning and implementation.

NR 678 – Advanced Ecological Restoration

Analysis of environmental factors influencing restoration of disturbed lands and practices for successful restoration of disturbed ecosystems.

RS 452 – Rangeland Herbivore Ecology and Management

Ecology and management of large ungulate herbivores including consumer functions at organismal and ecosystem levels.

RS 500 – Advanced Rangeland Management

Rangeland management concepts including the ecology and management of soils, plants, water, wildlife, fisheries, timber, recreation, and grazing.

RS 630 – Ecology of Grasslands and Shrublands

Distributions and climatic controls on grassland and shrubland plant communities.


NR 565 – Principles of Natural Resources Ecology

Overview of ecological fundamentals examined from the perspective of forest, rangeland, wildlife and fisheries science and management.

RS 329 – Rangeland Assessment

This week-long, face-to-face intensive field course is designed to build students' field skills in identification and mapping land classification units (ecological sites), assessment of soil and vegetation relative to reference conditions for a particular site, and use of state and transition models to interpret current and potential conditions.

What Next?

  • Learn more about being a student in this program, including information about course structure, assignments, time commitments, and interaction with peers and faculty.