Department of Natural Resources Management
Dr. W. David Hacker, Department Chair
Ivan Hilton Science Center, Room 334
The Department of Natural Resources Management (NRM) offers instructional programs leading to a bachelor of science in environmental geology and forestry. Various concentrations are offered within these programs.
- Mission of the Department of Natural Resources Management
- Environmental Geology
- Conservation Management
- Resources and Facilities
- Active Projects
The mission of the NRM Department academic programs is to provide students with a high quality science education that includes experience with field and laboratory research. Both the environmental geology and forestry programs provide scientific and technical backgrounds that empower students to successfully pursue science and technology careers or proceed to advanced graduate studies. The NRM professors strive to make each student’s educational experience challenging and rewarding.
Kenneth P. Bentson (Forestry) Email
Maureen Romine (Biology)
Environmental geology is an interdisciplinary major concerned with the practical application of the principles of geology in the solving of environmental problems. Environmental geology deals with earth resources, geologic hazards, and the interaction of humans with the environment. Courses are designed to provide students with scientific knowledge, mathematical proficiency, research skills, technical abilities, and writing competencies to launch exciting and rewarding careers in the geosciences. Environmental geology professors are committed to learning-centered teaching, student-involved research, and community outreach.
The bachelor of science in environmental geology has two degree tracks: watershed management and environmental science. The degree tracks are highly integrated programs including basic courses in geology, water science, and environmental science, respectively. They also offer field study, laboratory experience, independent research, and elective coursework. Environmental geology students are not required to take a minor, but those concentrating in geology are required to take a summer field course (GEOL 375) prior to graduation. Environmental geology bachelor’s degree graduates have excellent career opportunities in water, mineral, and energy resource exploration, resource recovery, resource management, water minimization, pollution prevention, contamination remediation, and environmental protection.
The geology concentration is designed to provide quantitative preparation for career pathways involving interdisciplinary study of the environment, with a geological emphasis. It highlights those subjects that are most relevant to society, including hydrology, geomorphology, earth materials, geochemistry, and soil science, as well as the tools and techniques for environmental geology study.
The environmental science concentration focuses on the application of geologic, physical, biological, and chemical principles to the study of the physical environmental and the solution of a wide range of environment problems, such as abating or controlling environmental pollution and degradation and conserving and improving the ways that humans use rock, mineral, water, soil, and energy resources. The environmental science degree track is deliberately designed to be sufficiently flexible to allow students, with close guidance from a faculty adviser, to design a major program, emphasizing a variety of specific approaches to studying earth’s environment, based on a firm foundation of supporting sciences and ending with a project-oriented capstone course
The water resources concentration is designed to provide disciplinary and interdisciplinary preparation for positions in industries or agencies requiring diversified experience in water science and management. Coursework emphasizes surface and ground water hydrology, water science, watershed management, watershed restoration, geochemistry, and water policy.
Forestry is the application of scientific principles to the sustainable management of forest resources, including a wide range of ecosystem services (e.g., alternative forest products, wildlife, medicinal herbs and craft materials), fresh water and biodiversity. The primary goal of the forestry program is to train technically competent forest and natural resources managers who understand the ecological notions that underpin human use of forest resources. Graduates of the Forestry Program meet all federal requirements for employment as a professional forester. Students receive training in the various techniques used to determine resource quantities and qualities, economic values, and social constraints in the management of natural resources.
Students who major in forestry are not required to take a minor. A summer field course is required of all students prior to their graduation. Students who wish to pursue graduate degrees should talk to an adviser about recommended coursework.
The two concentrations within the forestry major are: forestry management and wildland fire.
The BA in Conservation Management will allow students a variety of career choices in the field of natural resource management with greater flexibility than is currently provided by the BS degree in Forestry. Issues of sustainability, climate change adaptation and mitigation, environmental justice, biodiversity, and increasing demand for finite food, water, and energy resources become more critical every day. While these challenges have a significant scientific and technical component, the social, cultural and economic dimensions of these issues are at least as challenging. The BA in Conservation Management will provide students with the skills necessary to integrate the diverse array of social, political, legal, institutional, cultural, economic and biophysical considerations inherent in attaining environmental and resource management goals.
Students must complete a total of 43 to 46 hours in forestry, geology, biology, anthropology, and chemistry. The university requires at least 45 credit hours in upper (300-400 level) courses.
The BA in Conservation Management will prepare students for a variety of careers in research, industry, education, government, or public service.
The BA in Conservation Management requires a minor. A variety of minors will complement the natural resource focus including: Business, Biology, Geology, Sociology, Anthropology, Criminal Justice and Psychology.
The Department of Natural Sciences is housed in the Ivan Hilton Science Center. Modern classroom settings and new laboratory spaces, showcasing state-of-the-art analytical equipment and modern safety features, provide students with hands-on, student-centered learning environments. For more information about our research facilities click here.
The environmental science degree track of the Environmental Geology Program focuses on the application of geologic, physical, biological, and chemical principles to the study of the physical environment and the solution of a wide range of environmental problems, including subjects such as abating or controlling environmental pollution and degradation; the interaction between human society and the natural environmental; an natural resources management. The concentration prepares students via instruction in biology, chemistry, climate, environmental management, geosciences, geospatial analysis, mathematics, and physics. The major is deliberately designed to be sufficiently flexible to allow students, with close guidance from a faculty adviser, to design a major program emphasizing a verity of specific approaches to studying Earth’s environment, based on a firm foundation of supporting sciences and ending with a project-oriented capstone course.
The Science Agricultural Summer Experience (SASE) project directed by Dr. Edward Martinez and the Focusing Recruitment, Retention and Research Experiences (FRRRE) project co-directed by Dr. Jennifer Lindline and Dr. Edward Martinez.
This department is under the College of Arts and Science