Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation
- Environmental Informatics
- Forest Resource Management
- Forest Operations and Business
- Environmental Resource Management
- Urban Forestry
- Conservation and Recreation Management
- Environmental Education and Natural Resources Science Education
- Water: Resources, Policy, and Management
- Undergraduate Course Descriptions (FREC)
University Distinguished Professor: H. E. Burkhart
Alumni Distinguished Professor: J. R. Seiler
Julian N. Cheatham Professor: G. S. Amacher
Honorable Garland Gray Professor: T. R. Fox
Professors: W. M. Aust, R. B. Hull, S. P. Prisley, J. Sullivan, and R. H. Wynne
Associate Professors: M. C. Bolding, A. M. Brunner, C. A. Copenheaver, S. D. Day, J. A. Holliday, J. A. McGee, J. F. Munsell, P. J. Radtke, M. J. Stern, B. D. Strahm, V. A. Thomas, and P. E. Wiseman
Assistant Professors: S. M. Barrett, K. M. Cobourn, J. A. Holliday, D. L. McLaughlin, M. G. Sorice, and R.Q. Thomas
Adjunct Faculty: C. B. Anderson, S. W. Bailey, G. M. Busby, D. C. Chojnacky, J. W. Coulson, A. J. Finkral, J. D. Knoepp, W. A. Lakel, C. A. Maier, J. L. Marion, R. Rubilar, E. B. Schilling, D. J. Soucek, E. B. Sucre, J. A. Westfall, and James Westlake
Courtesy Appointments: J. R. Harris (Horticulture), P. A. Miller (Landscape Architecture), and S. M. Salom (Entomology)
Environmental Informatics applies information science to the management of natural resources. It includes aspects of geographic information, mathematical and statistical modeling, remote sensing, database management, knowledge integration, and decision making.
The Forest Resource Management option emphasizes the biology, policy, and management skills needed to ensure the sustainability of the many renewable forest resources on which society depends. Graduates manage the forested landscape to provide society a renewable supply of wood and paper products along with clean water, recreation opportunity, wildlife habitat, and environmental quality.
Forest Operations and Business graduates are well prepared for careers in private industry emphasizing harvesting and reforestation operations. Forest Operations and Business specializes beyond the Forest Resource Management option by emphasizing the operations side of forestry along with landowner assistance and management skills for people and business.
The Environmental Resource Management major develops professionals who tackle a variety of environmental issues in the forested landscape. The foundation of this area of study is sustainability with additional emphasis placed on water resources, forest soils, environmental policy, and wildlife management.
The Urban Forestry option produces graduates who can deal with the ecological and biological characteristics of the forest in an urban environment, as well as the managerial and political context within which forest management takes place. Special education, training, and experience are necessary to address the many and complex biological, social, economic, and political issues that are part of the urban forest setting.
Conservation and Recreation Management blends natural sciences, resource management, and social sciences disciplines and topics. Graduates provide high quality recreation experiences to ever increasing numbers of recreationists while protecting the natural environment on which these experiences depend. Emphasis is on the human dimensions of natural resource management.
Environmental Education prepares students to teach in elementary schools. It is intended as a feeder into the Masters in Education at Virginia Tech, which provides necessary licensure. With proper planning, the Masters degree can be completed in one year.
The Water: Resources, Policy, and Management degree addresses the protection and development of water resources by providing the interdisciplinary training required to meet water challenges and opportunities now and in the future.
1004 (GEOG 1084): DIGITAL PLANET
Exploration of innovative geospatial technologies and their impact on the world around us, including how humans interact with the environment and each other. Roles of location-based services, global positioning systems, geographic information systems, remote sensing, virtual globes and web based mapping for environmental applications. Skills and techniques for spatial thinking and environmental decision-making. Ethical implications of the use of geospatial technologies, data, and computational approaches. (3H,3C)
1044: INTRODUCTION TO ENVIRONMENTAL INFORMATICS
Application of information science to environmental management. Role of information science, mathematical and statistical modeling, geospatial technology, database management, knowledge integration, and decision science in environmental decision-making. Skills and techniques required to assist scientists and managers with the challenges of collecting, collating, archiving, modeling, analyzing, visualizing, and communicating information in support of natural resource management. (3H,3C)
2004: FOREST ECOSYSTEMS
Introduction to forest ecosystem ecology. Global forest cover, types, distribution, and change. Relationships among forest structure, function, and biodiversity. Interactions among rock, soil, water, air, and the organisms that define and inhabit forests around the world. Energy, water, carbon, and nutrient fluxes from leaf to global scales. Connections among forests, society, and global change. Capacity of forests to sustainably provide ecosystem services. (3H,3C)
2114: ECOLOGY OF APPALACHIAN FORESTS
Introduction to the natural history, tree biology, tree identification, forest ecology, management and forest types of the Appalachian region. Contemporary issues related to forest functions will be discussed including carbon storage, climate change, invasive forest species, wildlife management, fire, biofuels, agroforestry, urban forests, ecosystem restoration, clean water, recreation, and use of renewable resources. (3H,3C)
2124: FORESTS, SOCIETY & CLIMATE
Role of forest ecosystems on the global carbon cycle, climate, biodiversity and economies. Anthropogenic impacts on forest ecosystems and their ecological function in the face of changing climate. Climate-related threats to global forests, including loss of biodiversity, deforestation, forest fires, and invasive species. Sustainable forest management for anticipated future scenarios. (3H,3C)
2134 (HORT 2134): PLANTS AND GREENSPACES IN URBAN COMMUNITIES
Modern concepts of sustainability changing plant use in urban settings. Fundamentals of urban plant systems in the context of urban ecosystem management. Philosophy and critical analysis of sustainability related to green infrastructure, including urban forests, green roofs, urban soils, urban wildlife, urban agriculture, and innovations merging plant and ecosystem functions with building and site engineering. Multi-disciplinary emphasis at site, regional, and global, scales. (3H,3C)
2214: INTRODUCTION TO LAND AND FIELD MEASUREMENTS
Measurement of land and field attributes including geographic position, land distance, direction, area, slope, elevation and boundary attributes. Use and development of maps used in natural resource applications. Use of global positioning systems and geographic information systems in the acquisition and management of land and field measurements. Assessment of vegetation attributes with field plots. Use of computer software to manage and analyze data and present results. Pre: MATH 1025 or MATH 1225 or MATH 1525. Co: 2324. (2H,3L,3C)
2254 (HORT 2554): ARBORICULTURE FIELD SKILLS
Field observation, discussion, and practice of skills employed in the management of urban landscape trees. Hands-on experience with tree pruning, removal, pest control, fertilization, cabling/bracing, lightning protection, and climbing. Emphasis on arborist safety, professional ethics, and best management practices. Guest instruction provided in part by professionals working in the tree care industry. Pass/Fail only. (3L,1C)
2314: FOREST BIOLOGY AND DENDROLOGY
Introduction to the botany, physiology, genetics and silvics of important forest trees of North America. Pre: BIOL 1006 or BIOL 1106. Co: 2324. (2H,2C)
2324: DENDROLOGY LABORATORY
Field identification of trees of North America with particular emphasis on trees native to the Eastern United States. (3L,1C)
2414: FIELD EXPERIENCE IN FOREST RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION
Field exercises to develop skills needed to sustainably manage forest and environmental resources including navigation and mapping, inventory of timber and non-timber resources, soil and water conservation, forest and recreation management, forest operations and timber harvesting. (6L,2C)
2514: WILDLAND FIRE: ECOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT
Provide students with basic knowledge on how: fire has an impact on forest environments; the environment and weather influence fire behavior; wildland fires are suppressed; and fire is used as a land and vegetation management tool. The course will also provide students with the knowledge and training to qualify as a basic wildland firefighter (FFT2-Red Card). Extended laboratory sessions will provide practice in fire behavior prediction, prescribed burning techniques, and fire control methodology. Pre: BIOL 1105 or BIOL 1106, CHEM 1035. (2H,3L,3C)
2554 (LAR 2554) (NR 2554): LEADERSHIP FOR GLOBAL SUSTAINABILITY
Leadership principles and humanities perspectives that help examine and engage global sustainable development challenges such as climate change, food-water-energy nexus, rising middle class, circular economy, and environmental justice. Topics include collaboration, stories, conflict resolution, self-awareness, bias, equity, religion, hubris, globalism, and moral naturalism. Examine trade-offs among economic, environmental, and social dimensions of sustainable development. Integration and application of disciplinary topics including ethics, ecology, evolution, anthropology, economics, religion, aesthetics, and risk management. (3H,3C)
2784 (SBIO 2784): GLOBAL FOREST SUSTAINABILITY
A socio-economic approach to examining the management and use of the world’s forests, enhance knowledge of global forest resources and products, and understand the roles and relationships of key stakeholders. (3H,3C)
2964: FIELD STUDY
Pass/Fail only. Variable credit course.
2974: INDEPENDENT STUDY
Variable credit course.
2984: SPECIAL STUDY
Variable credit course.
2994: UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH
Variable credit course.
3004: ENVIRONMENTAL INFORMATICS
Applications of the analysis and modeling of large environmental datasets at multiple spatial-temporal scales to study environmental issues of societal importance. Acquisition, analysis, visualization, and storage of environmental data. Ethics and methods of data curation, quality control, and sharing. Sophomore standing required. Foundational knowledge in quantitative and computational thinking expected. (3H,3C)
3104: PRINCIPLES OF WATERSHED HYDROLOGY
Study of hydrology in watersheds. Qualitative and quantitative principles of physical hydrological processes governing the movement, storage, and transformation of water on the Earth’s surface as influenced by watershed characteristics, including human modifications. Pre: Junior Standing Pre: MATH 1206 or MATH 1226 or MATH 2015 or MATH 1026. (3H,3C)
3214: FOREST BIOMETRICS
Statistical, mathematical and computer tools for collecting and analyzing data used to make inference or decisions in applications of forest ecosystem science and management. Principles and practices of forest inventory and probability-based sampling. Derivation of volume and weight equations for standing trees. Measures of stand density and site quality. Forest growth and yield modeling. Organization, summary and conveyance of information derived from the data-driven applications into visual, written, and spoken materials of presentation. Pre: (2214 or FOR 2214), (MATH 2015 or MATH 1026). (3H,3C)
3224: FOREST MEASUREMENTS FIELD LABORATORY
Field practice and computer analysis for collecting and analyzing survey data for use in forest management. Forest inventory and probability-based sampling, stratified sampling, double sampling, regression, and census-based sampling applications. Computer and geospatial tools for analyzing field data. Field assessment of tree and log contents, stand density, and site index. Collection and analysis of growth and yield data. Pre: (2214 or FOR 2214), (FREC 2414 or FOR 2414). (3L,1C)
3314: FOREST ECOLOGY AND SILVICS
Environmental factors affecting the establishment, growth, and development of forests; silvical characteristics of trees; forest community structure and function; forest ecosystem analysis. Pre: (2314 or FOR 2314), (FREC 2214 or FOR 2214). (2H,4L,3C)
3324: SILVICULTURE PRINCIPLES AND APPLICATIONS
Theory and practices involved in controlling forest establishment, composition, and growth are developed in a regional context. Formulation of silvicultural systems and the study of reproduction methods, site preparation, intermediate stand manipulations, and reforestation operations. Pre: 3314 or FOR 3314. (3H,4L,4C)
3344: FOREST FIELD STUDIES
Field observations and discussion of current forestry operations and practices. Junior standing required. A-F only. Pre: 2214 or FOR 2214. (3L,1C)
3354 (HORT 3354): TREES IN THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT
Science and practice of tree cultivation, conservation, and management in human-dominated environments along an urban to rural gradient. Holistic study of landscape tree management: planning, planting, inspection, maintenance, removal, and wood waste utilization. Examination of tree responses to urbanization and tree influences on built environments. Emphasis on sustainable, ethical stewardship of landscape trees for the benefit of people and the environment. Pre: (2314 or FOR 2314 or BIOL 2304 or HORT 2304), (FREC 2324 or FOR 2324 or HORT 332 5 or HORT 3326). (3H,3C)
3364: ENVIRONMENTAL SILVICULTURE
Application of ecological principles that determine how forests regenerate following disturbances, grow, develop, and change through time. Sustainable management of forests to meet the competing demands for products and environmental services placed on forests by society. Development of silvicultural regimes that meet multiple objectives including wildlife habitat, carbon sequestration, ecosystem restoration, clean water, aesthetics, recreational opportunities, timber and non-timber forest products. Pre: 2324 or FOR 2324. (3H,3C)
3454: TREES IN THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT LAB
Hands-on experience in the cultivation, conservation, and management of landscape trees in human-dominated environments along the urban to rural gradient. Field exercises in tree inventory, appraisal, disorder diagnosis, planting, pruning, and protection. Emphasis on use of scientific methods and best management practices to ensure tree health, safety, and functionality for the benefit of people and the environment. Methods of communicating technical information and management recommendations for landscape trees through written media. Co: 3354. (3L,1C)
3524: ENVIRONMENTAL INTERPRETATION
Interpretation theory and techniques; program planning and evaluation; role of interpretation in enhancing visitor experiences and protecting park resources. Pre: 2554 or FOR 2554. (2H,3L,3C)
3544: OUTDOOR RECREATION MANAGEMENT
Outdoor recreation management objectives; land acquisition; use measurement; impact assessment; facility operation and maintenance; role of private sector. Pre: 2554 or FOR 2554. (3H,3C)
3564: OUTDOOR RECREATION PLANNING
Techniques of planning for resource-based outdoor recreation, including: estimation of recreation demand; wildland recreation classification and resource inventory; methods of public involvement; social impact analysis; state comprehensive planning; site design; and values questions associated with these techniques. Pre: 2554 or FOR 2554. (3H,3C)
3574: ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION SERVICE LEARNING
Introduction to key concepts in environmental education and teaching skills through lecture, discussion, service learning, and reflection. Training in internationally recognized environmental education curricula (e.g. Project Learning Tree, Project Wet), in class management and organization skills and in theory relevant to both teaching and learning. Students develop and conduct after school environmental education programs at local elementary schools (2H,3L,3C)
3604: CLIMATE SCIENCE
Physical and biological principles that govern Earth’s climate with applications to natural resource management. Mechanisms explaining the causes of past and future climate change. Concepts of system dynamics as applied to the analysis of the climate system. Current and future effects of climate on ecosystem functioning and the associated provision of natural resources. Junior Standing. Pre: MATH 1026 or MATH 1206 or MATH 1226 or MATH 2015. (3H,3C)
3714: FOREST HARVESTING
Principles and application of forest harvesting. Terminology, phases, function, and the interrelationships of people, money, machines, and environment. Pre: 2214 or FOR 2214. (2H,3L,3C)
3724: FOREST BOUNDARIES AND ROADS
Application of basic land surveying and forest measurement techniques to the location, establishment, and maintenance of forest boundaries and roads. Consideration of stream crossings, best management practices, and costs. Pre: 2214 or FOR 2214. (2H,3L,3C)
3734: TIMBER PROCUREMENT
Analysis of the U. S. forest industry raw material supply process with emphasis on the evolution and dynamics of timber procurement systems and strategies. (2H,2C)
3754: WATERSHEDS AND WATER QUALITY MONITORING
Delivery of water quality constituents from watersheds to water bodies (streams, lakes, and estuaries). Field monitoring methods to assess watershed drivers and how they affect water quality and aquatic ecosystem condition. Linkages among water quality, watershed characteristics, land use and management, and climate. Design of watershed monitoring programs to guide watershed management for protecting water quality and ecological condition of aquatic systems. Pre: (BIOL 1106 or BIOL 1006), CHEM 1035, (FREC 2004 or FOR 2004 or FREC 2114 or FOR 2114 or FREC 3314 or FOR 3314 or BIOL 2804 or ENSC 3604). (3H,3C)
3954: STUDY ABROAD
Variable credit course.
3964: INTERNSHIP THROUGH DIRECTED FIELD STUDY
Variable credit course.
4014 (NR 4014): NATURAL RESOURCES ECONOMICS
Examination of domestic and international natural resource use, exploitation, and degradation problems, with special focus on use of economics to understand why potential overuse of natural resources exists, and what policy options are available to correct these problems and ensure sustainable natural resource use over time. Water, forests, fisheries, land and exhaustible resources. Permission of instructor may be substituted for the pre-requisite. Pre: ECON 2005 or AAEC 1005. (3H,3C)
4114: INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES FOR NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
An introduction to computer information systems used in natural resources management. Course will introduce students to the theory and applications of database management systems (DBMS) and geographic information systems (GIS). Uses, challenges, and limitations of these technologies in natural resource management applications will be discussed. Students will receive extensive hand-on instruction in the use of current software packages for DBMS and GIS. Pre: 2214 or FOR 2214 or GEOG 2314. (2H,3L,3C)
4214: FOREST PHOTOGRAMMETRY AND SPATIAL DATA PROCESSING
Films, filters and camera photogeometry; scale; measurement estimation; image processing; flight planning and photo acquisition; geographic information systems; spatial data analysis techniques and applications. Senior standing required. (2H,3L,3C)
4324 (FIW 4324): GENETICS OF NATURAL AND MANAGED POPULATIONS
Introductory genetics with an emphasis on evolutionary processes relevant to natural and managed populations of both plant and animal species. Traditional and modern genetics, including quantitative and population genetics, molecular evolution, genomics, and biotechnology. Pre: BIOL 1105, BIOL 1106, (STAT 3005 or STAT 3615 or FREC 3214 or FOR 3214). (3H,3C)
4334 (CSES 4334): PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICE OF AGROFORESTRY
Biological, social, economic, and technical aspects of agroforestry, training and technology transfer techniques, and application of forestry and agriculture principles. Roles of animals and fish, trees, and agricultural crops in agroforestry systems. Community involvement in planning and implementation of agroforestry projects. (3H,3C)
4354: FOREST SOIL AND WATERSHED MANAGEMENT
Properties and processes of soil and water in forests. Emphasis on management for the delivery of ecosystem goods and services. Includes analysis and interpretation in field and laboratory. Pre: CSES 3114 or ENSC 3114 or GEOS 3614 or CSES 3134 or ENSC 3134. (2H,3L,3C)
4364: ADVANCED SILVICULTURE AND FOREST VEGETATION MANAGEMENT
Advanced topics in silviculture with an emphasis on species silvical differences; forest vegetation management and control, herbicides used in forestry, their chemistry, toxicology, application technology; environmental considerations; tree improvement, individual tree growth, and stand dynamics as affected by intermediate silvicultural operations; implications of atmospheric deposition. Pre: 3324 or FOR 3324. (3H,3C)
4374: FORESTED WETLANDS
Classifications, jurisdictional delineation, and management options of forested wetlands. Relationship of hydrology, soils, and vegetation to ecosystem processes, societal values, and management with regard to environmental and legal considerations and best management practices. Emphasis is on forested wetlands in the southern U.S., but national and international wetlands are included. Pre: CSES 3114 or CSES 3134. (3H,3C)
4414: ADVANCED WILDLAND FIRE MGMT
Impacts fire has on forest environments; how the environment influences fire behavior; how computer programs aid fire decision making; and how fire is used as a land and vegetation management tool. Influences of weather on fire behavior. The course will also provide students with the knowledge and training to qualify as an advanced wildland firefighter (Squad Boss) (FFT1 - Red Card) and a Virginia Certified Prescribed Burn Manager. Pre: 2514 or FOR 2514. (2H,3L,3C)
4424: FOREST RESOURCES ECONOMICS AND MANAGEMENT
Application of economics principles and tools to forest decision making from the individual tract to large private and public holdings. Private and public landowner financial incentives and decisions, forest amenities, non-timber forest products, risk, multiple use, management and ownership trends, and sustainability are examined. Prerequisite course or consent of instructor. Pre: 3324 or FOR 3324 or FREC 3364 or FOR 3364. (3H,3C)
4434: NATURAL RESOURCE POLICY
Historical development of U.S. natural resource policy. Application of policy analysis tools to understand the factors driving natural resource policy formation at the federal, state, and local level. Evaluation of the effects of alternative policies on natural resource use and social wellbeing. Overview of existing natural resource policies with applications to forest and timber management, biodiversity, public lands, endangered species, and climate change mitigation and adaptation. Pre: NR 4014 or FREC 4424 or FOR 4424 or ECON 4014 or FREC 4014 or FOR 4014. (3H,3C)
4444: INTEGRATED FOREST MANAGEMENT PRACTICUM
Student teams apply accumulated discipline-oriented knowledge and techniques to a real forest resource management problem. A practicum in forest resource management and planning, applying multiple use concepts to solve a forest management problem. Senior standing required. Must be Forestry major. (1H,8L,3C)
4454: URBAN AND COMMUNITY FORESTRY
Ecological, socioeconomic, and technical aspects of planning, managing, and conserving urban forests. Historical, contemporary, and global context of urban forestry. Contributions of trees and associated greenspaces to urban sustainability and community well-being. Methods of urban forest assessment and valuation. Roles of government, private industry, and community stakeholders in shaping urban forests. Extensive experiential learning with field techniques and technology. Pre: Junior Standing. (2H,3L,3C)
4464 (AAEC 4464): WATER RESOURCES POLICY & ECONOMICS
Economic concepts to understand public and private decisions about water use. Current water policies and law. Analytical tools to evaluate policies and address management challenges. Water markets, climate change, and environmental flows. Pre: AAEC 1005 or ECON 2005. (3H,3C)
4514: FOREST AND TREE PEST MANAGEMENT
Identification and ecology of biotic and abiotic influences on forest and landscape tree health. Developing a theoretical and practical understanding for diagnosing and managing pests and stresses of trees in both the forest and landscape setting. Insects and diseases that attack trees. Pre: 3324 or FOR 3324 or HORT 3325 or HORT 3326. (2H,3L,3C)
4714: HARVESTING SYSTEMS EVALUATION
Principles and techniques for evaluating harvesting machines and systems design, application, productivity, and financial performance. Pre: (3714 or FOR 3714), (FREC 3734 or FOR 3734). (3H,3C)
4784: WETLAND HYDROLOGY AND BIOGEOCHEMISTRY
Water flows creating wetland hydrologic regime. Hydrologic controls on wetland processes. Linkages between hydrology and biogeochemical cycles. Carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and other element cycles within and across wetland boundaries. Field methods to assess hydrologic regime and biogeochemical cycles. Ecosystems services from hydrologic and biogeochemical processes. Applications of wetland hydrology and biogeochemistry in wetland restoration, delineation, and creation. Co: 4374 or FIW 4534 or CSES 4854 or ENSC 4854. (3H,3C)
4964: FIELD STUDY
Variable credit course.
4974: INDEPENDENT STUDY
Variable credit course.
4984: SPECIAL STUDY
Variable credit course.
4994: UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH
Variable credit course.