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CNRE Courses Reflect Growing Importance of Sustainability


May 17, 2011 – It would be difficult to enter any discussion on natural resources and environmental issues without addressing sustainability in some manner. Accordingly, principles of sustainability permeate most of the courses offered within the College of Natural Resources and Environment.

First-year students may be enrolled in courses as diverse as Introduction to Human Geography (GEOG 1004), where they are exposed to evaluating human-environment relationships and global issues that include sustainability concerns, to Introduction to Wood Science and Forest Products (WOOD 1234), which introduces students to concepts of sustainability as they pertain to assessing wood materials as a resource and sustainable manufacturing processes.

Principles of Fisheries and Wildlife Management (FIW 2114), a sophomore-level course, includes issues related to sustaining viable populations of fish and wildlife worldwide in the face of mounting environmental challenges. Nature and American Values (FOR 2554) helps students identify and celebrate the social and environmental qualities of a thriving and sustainable future. Global Forest Resource Sustainability (FOR/WOOD 2784) examines community management, certification, and the impact of conflict on forest-based resources such as wildlife, water, and ecosystem services. These three courses are open to all students, so many outside the college have opportunities to be exposed to concepts of environmental and resource sustainability.

Sustainability is a major focus of junior-level courses such as Wood Chemistry, Products, and Processes (WOOD 3434), Sustainable Nature-Based Enterprise (WOOD 3004), Mountain Geography (GEOG 3404), Forest Ecology and Sustainability (FOR 3364), Outdoor Recreation Planning (FOR 3564), Sustaining Human Societies and the Natural Environment (NR 3954/5954), and Ecology and Management of Wetland Systems (FIW 4534). For example, Forest Ecology and Sustainability (FOR 3364) provides non-forestry majors a broad education in the sustainability of forest resources and the communities upon which they depend. Sustaining Human Societies and the Natural Environment (NR 3954/5954) examines the impacts of human actions on natural systems and the challenges of balancing conservation with economic development.

Seniors, who will have been exposed to a great diversity of aspects of sustainability, typically enroll in a capstone course that helps them understand how to apply the principles they have learned to managing and sustaining the resources for which they will be responsible. Representative capstone courses across the college are Fisheries Management (FIW 4714), Conservation of Biological Diversity (FIW 4314), Integrated Forest Management Practicum (FOR 4444), Special Study: Urban Sustainability (GEOG 4984), Geography of Resources (GEOG 4204), and Senior Seminar in Forest Products Marketing and Management (WOOD 4004). At the conclusion of their undergraduate academic career, students are prepared to apply sustainability principles to environmental and resource management.

Many other courses, such as Wildlife Field Biology (FIW 2324), Ichthyology (FIW 4424), Forest Biology and Dendrology (FOR 2314), and Dendrology Laboratory (FOR 2324), support sustainability efforts by teaching students how to identify and understand the ecology of the organisms that they seek to conserve. In Introduction to Land and Field Measurements (FOR 2214), Forest Boundaries and Roads (FOR 3724), Freshwater Biomonitoring (FIW 4484), Cartography (GEOG 3314), Introduction to Remote Sensing (GEOG 4354), Wood Materials Science and Technology (WOOD 2554), and other similar courses, students learn the techniques and methods necessary to monitor, manage, and enhance natural systems for sustainability. Without these tools, sustainable management of our resources would be much more difficult.

Graduate students within the college also have a number of courses available that allow them to build their sustainability portfolios, including Constructing Sustainability (NR/FOR 5014), Global Issues in Natural Resources (NR 5114), Advanced Fisheries Management (FIW 5714G), Stream Habitat Management (FIW 5814), Forest Soils and Hydrology (FOR 5354G), and Advanced Studies in Urban Forest Ecosystems (FOR 5474). In many cases, graduate students can also avail themselves of the college’s senior-level courses to strengthen their background in sustainability.


    CNRE Newsmagazine Spring 2011 Cover

Spring 2011

25th Anniversary

Celebrating 25 Years

    1992 through 2017, 25 years

Join us Sept. 15-16 to visit campus and reconnect with alumni, faculty, staff, and friends.

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    CNRE Newsmagazine Spring 2017


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