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2012-2013 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog

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Natural Resources Management - Program Description

For additional information about opportunities your college offers, please refer to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences section in this catalog.

Program Coordinator: Keenlance; Professors: Grifn, MacDonald, Menon, Northup; Associate Professors: Rueth; Assistant Professors: Aschenbach, Keenlance, Locher, Nordman.


Environmental pollution, deforestation, climate change, and increasing demand for outdoor recreation are just a few of the factors that pose challenges to environmental sustainability. As more users place demands on scarce environmental resources, the need for intelligent conservation of our natural assets is greater than ever. The natural resources management (NRM) program prepares students not only to care for the land and water-based ecosystems of Michigan and beyond, but also to serve the people whose well-being depends on these resources.

The careful stewardship of the environment requires knowledge in both the natural and social sciences. Ecology is the foundational science of the NRM program. Students learn to combine this ecological knowledge with geology, statistics, economics, and policy and apply it to practical situations. These practical applications might include managing wildlife populations or restoring natural ecosystems, such as forests and wetlands. In the interdisciplinary NRM courses, students examine the sources of conflict that lead to environmental degradation and learn the methods of sustainable resources management. With an advisor's guidance, students may develop customized programs focused on ecosystem science and management, environmental science, or resource analysis methods.


The natural resources management program provides a broad-based natural resources management education in a liberal arts curriculum and serves the public interest through the scientific analysis of natural resources.

Degrees Offered

The program offers a .

Career Opportunities

NRM students may gain practical work experience through internships with public natural resources and environmental agencies, non-profit organizations, and private industry. In addition, they can arrange special studies or research with faculty on a wide range of topics.

Career opportunities include both the traditional natural resource disciplines and emerging fields in environmental sustainability. The public demand for environmental quality provides opportunities in both the private and public sectors. Private sector employers include industrial forestry companies, urban foresters and arborists, environmental engineering and consulting firms, outdoor recreation providers, and non-governmental advocacy organizations. Graduates have also applied their NRM degrees in local, state, and federal government agencies dedicated to environmental regulation, fish and wildlife management, parks and recreation, and public forest management.

Graduate School Opportunities

The natural resources management program prepares students to pursue graduate studies in a wide range of natural resource management disciplines, including forestry, fisheries, wildlife, watershed management, parks and recreation, environmental sustainability, education and extension, economics, and policy.

Student Organizations

The program hosts a student chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS). The national organization serves as an advocate for conservation professionals and for science-based conservation practice, programs, and policy. The student chapter provides an opportunity for students to participate in local, community-based conservation projects as well as in professional networking activities.

The following programs are available:

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