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

Ecological Restoration

Why ecological restoration matters

The goal of ecological restoration is a stable and functioning ecosystem that can withstand stresses and provide ecosystem services, such as clean water, wildlife habitat, biodiversity, and more. Students who have the skills to evaluate and manage these issues can help maintain and improve our natural resource environments, help prevent extinction of species, and maintain healthy hunting and fishing environments.

What you learn

Ecological restoration uses human intervention to direct and/or accelerate secondary succession following a disturbance. Students in the program learn how to influence the type of vegetation that re-establishes itself and the speed with which recovery occurs.

Students in the ecological restoration specialization will:
  • Gain an understanding of how to use ecological and management principles and how to use appropriate tools for designing and implementing ecological restoration projects.
  • Know how to evaluate successful vs. failed ecological restoration projects.
  • Be able to articulate the role that restoration can serve in the future stewardship of natural resources.
  • Understand and engage various stakeholder groups in restoring disturbed lands. Gain relationship management skills applied to working with individuals, agencies, communities, or mixes of all of these.
  • Be able to identify common stressors to ecosystems (changing climate, arrival of a non-native species, disease outbreaks, etc. and the relationship between multiple stressors) and human disturbances.


The natural resource stewardship degree requires completion of 30 credits, including 11 credits of required core coursework, 10 credits in the focus area (ecological restoration), and 9 credits of electives. This is a coursework-intensive degree and does not require completion of a thesis.

Required Courses

Specialization Courses: Ecological Restoration


To further diversify your curriculum, choose a minimum of 9 elective credits. These courses can be from any of the specialization areas or from other credit courses that pertain to your professional and education goals. Electives must be above the 300 level and be approved by an academic advisor.

The following course is also available as an elective:
NR 565 – Principles of Natural Resource Ecology (3 cr.)
NR 565 is a required course for students who have not taken a college-level ecology course.

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